Manufacturing is a field thought to be on life support in Northeast Ohio.
But the huge demand for skilled workers in the field, paints a very different picture.
Good-paying jobs. Career security. No college debt. That's the promise that the resurgent Northeast Ohio manufacturing sector is offering.
"It's cool!" says Tonya DiSalvo, President and Owner of Criterion Tool. "It's amazing what it takes to make the world go round."
Entry level jobs starting well above minimum wage: At $15 dollars an hour. Careers that can earn upwards around $60,000 to $70,000 a year.
Terrence Robinson, Executive Director of the Early College/Early Career Program says of Northeast Ohio's manufacturing industry, "Right now, they actually need a workforce that can come in and have the skill sets in order to operate some of the machinery."
That means training people to do these jobs. Whether its folks looking to re-engineer their existing careers, or starting young people down a career path that only a few years ago, most people thought was extinct in the U.S.
"We need to give students more than one pathway to success," says Robinson.
One of the ways educators are getting that done, is through the MAGNET -- a group dedicated to growing the pool of people with the skills to do these new high-tech manufacturing jobs.
A group of five local high schools and six local corporate partners are exposing youngsters to manufacturing as a career. And for those interested, getting them certifications, 2 years of job experience, and college credits by the time they graduate high school.
The students are learning that these jobs take skill, but also that the traditional 4-year college track isn't the only way to learn skills that will earn a decent living.
According to John Colm, President and Executive Director of WIRE-Net, "The jobs in manufacturing today, the skilled jobs, do not require a four-year degree. They do require a good, solid basic education however."
Northeast Ohio is a still a major manufacturing hub, known within the industry for being a big piece of the national puzzle.
Still. countless manufacturing jobs go unfilled each year.
And as these quintessentially American jobs continue to grow -- both in number and sophistication -- so does the immense demand.
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