The development of Lorain County’s workforce needs is a subject that gets discussed in every city, every school system, every business meeting and in every family. Lorain County is in a constant battle to match up companies in need of qualified and trained workers with individuals looking for careers to remain and raise their family in Lorain County. While this goes for our transitioning workforce, it’s our emerging workforce – the “Next Generation Workforce” (NGW) – that is in school right now that is a topic of discussion.
The Manufacturing Institute recently produced a survey to identify the characteristics of experiences that impact student career choices. The purpose was to inspire dialogue between parents, educators, counselors and students, with the goal of better aligning programs and services with students’ needs while preparing them for careers ahead. What they wanted to know was, “How do young people make career decisions?” With such a huge amount of knowledge available to kids today, what is it that most influences the future direction and career choices of high school students?
As any parent of a teenager can attest, they are their own person, so it should come as little surprise that 64 percent of high school students surveyed report the greatest influence on their future careers is their own experiences and interests. Not the guidance counselors, not their parents and not even their friends or peers. The Manufacturing Institute also found out that individuals who are familiar with manufacturing are more than twice as likely to recommend or pursue a career in the industry.
Knowing that personal experience plays such a big role in the career decisions of the next generation, the Lorain County Growth Partnership (LGCP) and our local schools and local manufacturers work hard to provide a glimpse of careers available to Lorain County’s young people when developing Manufacturing Month events every October. And while these discussions may have started in October six years ago when the State of Ohio declared October as the month to recognize our local manufacturers, they now take place weekly and sometimes daily with our local partners and collaborators. Lorain County is lucky to have Fortune 500 and mom and pop manufacturers that are producing products sold all over the world — and even out of this world into outer space.
Members of the LCGP include: The Lorain County Commissioners, the Lorain County Chamber of Commerce, Lorain County Community College, Lorain County Community Development, Lorain County Joint Vocational School and Ohio Means Jobs Lorain County.
Work for the month-long October 2017 events started soon after the 2016 events ended and these scheduled event help highlight our Lorain County manufacturing companies. Each year we add new events to continue to grow and showcase our local manufacturers and we are proud of the Women in Manufacturing event that will take place this year at LCCC on October 10, showcasing opportunities available to women of the New Generation Workforce.
Events for Manufacturing Month are taking place throughout all of Lorain County. All events are posted at www.lorainccc.edu/manufacturingmonth. The LCGP continues to partner and collaborate with the business community, our educational institutions and philanthropic organizations to continue to make Lorain County a model community for doing business, and for raising a family, much as we did in the past and will continue to do in the future.