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Economy and Business

Dip in manufacturing nationally doesn't necessarily mean trouble for Ohio
Magnet's Krizman says diversification of types of manufacturing and investments should keep Northeast Ohio ahead of the national economy

Web Editor
M.L. Schultze
GM is investing another $200 million into its Lordstown plant near Youngstown.
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In The Region:

The latest index of manufacturing in the United States is down to its lowest level in nearly four years. Manufacturing has been a mainstay of Ohio’s economic rebound. But, as WKSU’s M.L. Schultze reports, the current national dip does not necessarily mean trouble for Ohio’s economy

LISTEN: The state of manufacturing in Northeast Ohio

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The Institute for Supply Management says manufacturing activity in the U.S. dropped to 49 percent in May, the lowest measure on the index since June of 2009. The dip below 50 percent puts manufacturing nationwide into contraction territory.

What about jobs?

But Greg Krizman of the Manufacturing Advocacy and Growth Network is predicting a big boom in jobs before this decade ends, in part because of investment and in part because of retirements.
"A lot of people who were going to retire in 2007-2008, who saw their nest eggs deplete, have been working since that time to make up for what was lost back then. And some of them are wanting to stick around perhaps longer than they anticipated. So it (mass retirements) could be happening at anytime but certainly within the next four to five years."

But he says many those who will replace those retirees will need to have college-level training.

Greg Krizman is head of the Manufacturing Advocacy and Growth Network, which tracks and supports manufacturing in Northeast Ohio. He says Ohio already was projected to outstrip the national economy over the next 10 years, and the region’s diversification of manufacturing into things like medical devices and specialty chemicals should keep that going. Plus, he says, the region has major financial commitments underway.

“Newell Rubbermaid is investing $25 million to expand its manufacturing capacity out in Mogadore in Summit County; you’ve  got the folks at General Motors who have  committed to invest $200 million at Lordstown another $20 million in Parma. In Lorain, Republic Steel moved forward with its plans to invest, I think, $85 million in an electric arc furnace and related equipment just a few years after shutting the thing.

Nationally, the manufacturing numbers were hurt by weak overseas markets and cutbacks in government spending.

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