In May, the Chamber launched the Toledo Region Talent Alignment Strategy, an initiative that aims to create the next generation of workforce needed to propel our economy forward. As part of the strategy, a deep dive was taken into advanced manufacturing, one of the region’s four growth industries, to uncover which skills the workforce currently has, which skills employers need and how to fill in gaps in the talent pipeline. We learned that there is significant current and projected demand for entry-level manufacturing careers in the Toledo region. There is a strong job demand for entry-level workers requiring a high school degree, about 3,000 job openings a year.
Employers are reporting extreme difficulty filling these positions. It was noted through several employer conversations that certificate and associate level positions, largely focused on skilled trades and maintenance and repair, are the hardest to fill and sustain. For semi-skilled or skilled positions, the largest shortages in advanced manufacturing are in machinists and various industrial repair and maintenance positions.
“This new program will address the regional demand as well as give our students a head start on a career,” Heban says. “We will work with local employers to secure positions in advanced manufacturing facilities as well as assist our students to experience apprenticeships and degree opportunities.”
With the support of the Chamber and as part of the overall strategy, programs like the recently approved advanced manufacturing curriculum will assist in ensuring education and workforce development efforts are aligned with the needs of employers to ensure that the region has robust talent for years to come. If you’d like to learn more about the Toledo Region Talent Alignment Strategy, please visit www.toledoregiontalent.com or contact any of the Talent & Workforce team at the Chamber.