Cleveland Gets Ready for Its Future

It seems fitting that, on a day when Congress is preoccupied with discussing a rise in the minimum wage, that the greater Cleveland area is taking steps to make sure it will continue to have $20 and $25 an hour jobs well into the future. Those of course would be manufacturing jobs and just about any community would turn itself into a knot to land a new or expanded manufacturing facility.

That’s because a large investment like that in a community not only produces the jobs in that facility, but for every manufacturing worker, about six jobs in other categories like finance, wholesaling, transportation and accounting. Moreover, for every dollar spent on manufacturing, $1.37 is spent in other sectors, the highest “multiplier” of any business sector.

So it’s not surprising that Ohio, which is one of the most intensive manufacturing states in the country, would want to bolster this part of its economy. If you heard the recent election ads out there, you heard about their concern for manufacturing from both Democrats and Republicans.

Today, the greater Cleveland area heard about Dream It. Do It. (DIDI), a campaign of The Manufacturing Institute and NAM that helps communities increase the interest of young people in manufacturing at a time when 80 percent of manufacturers say they face a skilled worker shortage. In the DIDI pilot program in Kansas City last year, applications to the local technical school rose 35 percent after a year of campaign activity. Click here for more information on Dream It. Do It.

Leading the Ohio effort is Jim Griffith, president and CEO of The Timken Company in Canton, Ohio. At today’s program launch, Jim talked about the hundreds of jobs going begging in this part of Ohio and the critical need for manufacturing to have workers with rising skills to operate in today’s sophisticated and technological manufacturing facility. Kudos to Jim Griffith for having the vision and persistence to bring all the stakeholders together–including civic leaders, business, school officials, community colleges and economic development executives.

The Manufacturing Advocacy & Growth Network (MAGNET) will manage the program in a 16 county area that includes Cleveland. For the NAM and Institute press release or more information, click here.