The world of manufacturing is broader than most people know—much broader, according to Ethan Karp, president and CEO Cleveland Manufacturing advocacy (magnet).
Karp says that “traditional” jobs are definitely part of the industrial ecosystem. Ongoing labor shortages have created a demand for welders, maintenance techs, CNC operators, and add-ons.
However, a Google search casts a larger net, revealing potential work off most people’s radar. For example, EarthQuaker devices In Akron manufactures circuit boards that are integrated into guitar foot pedals. Then you have it Great Lakes FarmersAn excellent hydroponic product for herbs and lettuce. Schwebel Baking Company. It is considered a more familiar name – and it is not so clear that the company needs workers who can operate a bread making machine.
These are all manufacturing jobs, Karp says, each one far from the soot-covered faces and miserable, damp machinery sometimes associated with industry.
Ethan Karp, President and CEO, MAGNET“There are also jobs in marketing and finance,” Karp says. “This is a business, not just an industry. Just because you started out as a programmer or a welder doesn’t mean you can’t get into management, too.”
MAGNET is spreading the word about these abundant opportunities at its new headquarters in Cleveland’s Hough neighborhood. The 53,000 square foot facility, which was purchased in 2020 from Cleveland Metropolitan School District (CMSD), connects people with training and jobs while increasing innovation and equipping Northeast Ohio plants with advanced technologies.
Part of MAGNET’s mission, Karp adds, is to show students the depth and breadth of their local manufacturing openings. Field trips have transported 700 K-12 learners through the areas around the high-tech facility so far in 2023, with visitors getting hands-on experience with all kinds of automated equipment. To emphasize the unique job opportunities in the industry, MAGNET currently has students building electric race cars from scratch.
“We always talk about these core jobs, but then we introduce kids to different roles,” Karp says. “When you build a car, they develop their own paint colors. Or you might be a quality manager where you use sensitive equipment to make sure your parts are of adequate quality.”
Opening eyes and minds to manufacturing
The shortage of a skilled workforce in the United States is no secret. According to the US Bureau of Labor StatisticsNearly eight million skilled jobs were lost from the workforce during the pandemic.
Skills gaps in manufacturing could lead to 2.1 million job vacancies by 2030, per Study 2024 by Deloitte And manufacturing institute. The good news, according to Karp and other industry bystanders, is that well-paying manufacturing jobs are available everywhere. And the jobs available are unique and interesting.
For example, companies might ask workers to fix collaborative robots, or they might ask someone to sell the parts that make up the robots themselves.
And high-tech jobs don’t necessarily require a degree, Karp notes. companies like stronghold And Intel They are looking for non-religious people, low-income individuals looking for better salaries, and people in landlocked areas.
Tracy GreenCreate and manufacture a giant with high-tech heroes
Biden administration Chips and the law of scienceMeanwhile, it aims to reignite the domestic semiconductor industry after decades of offshoring.
Successful relocation requires expanding, training, and diversifying the regional workforce so that more people can participate in the growth of the industry. at the heart of this endeavor Lorain County Community College (LCCC), which over the past decade has developed its semiconductor and microelectronics manufacturing expertise in an on-campus training facility.
Today, LCCC leads a consortium of 10 colleges and universities to prepare Ohio for its potential as a silicon hotbed. Through the Intel grant, LCCC and its partners will provide curriculum and faculty training ahead of the tech giant’s upcoming semiconductor plant in New Albany, Ohio.
Tracy Green, the college’s vice president of strategic and institutional development, compares the facility’s prospective arrival to the automotive and steel industries that are taking root in the Great Lakes region. An entire industry integrating itself into Ohio could have a ripple effect through the local supply chain and beyond.
“This is exciting for students, because it’s more than just creating a widget,” says Green. “In our minds, we’re developing high-tech heroes. The work they do will help with national security or advances in healthcare. That’s the power of this technology.”
MAGNET’s Karp knows there are barriers to entry in lucrative manufacturing jobs—one of them is understanding that the business even exists. MAGNET HQ’s educational efforts bridge the knowledge gap while opening young minds to a wealth of industry opportunities.
“You can build things or fix things—there’s a wide range of jobs,” Karp says. “We’re not convincing anyone that this is a definite career for them – we just want people to know that manufacturing is cool. Casting off a wide net will sway imaginations and make people think twice when it comes time to choose a career.”