Canton manufacturers form workforce partnership
Some manufacturers in the Canton area are aiming to recruit and educate potential employees about opportunities in the local industry through a new partnership.
The Ohio Manufacturers’ Association has officially recognized the New Stark County Manufacturing Workforce Development Partnership, one of 14 such partnerships in Ohio, the partnership announced and the chamber of Canton regional trade.
The chamber said in a statement that the partnership was formed with the chamber, Stark Economic Development Board and MAGNET, a Cleveland-based manufacturing support and advocacy group, serving as “neutral intermediaries.”
The OMA’s certification process requires partnerships to have a neutral intermediary, the chamber said in its statement.
The partnership currently includes 24 Stark County companies actively engaged in the effort. But it has room to grow, and the chamber noted that there were around 550 manufacturers located in the county.
Thomas Schmidt is the vice president and co-founder of the partnership, as well as the vice president of Barbco, based in East Canton, which manufactures screw drills and is a member of the partnership. Schmidt said in a separate statement from Barbco that the partnership has been ongoing since 2019, born out of an effort to get local manufacturers to pool their resources and best practices on workforce issues and specifically to address a shortage of skilled workers in Stark County.
“The SCMWDP was organized to ensure that manufacturers have a voice and an active role in identifying needs and addressing challenges related to attracting, hiring, training and retaining a workforce. ‘qualified work,’ the Barbco statement read. “We will be working with other workforce development providers, programs and initiatives in County Stark, aligning and sustaining efforts rather than recreating or duplicating what is already working.”