News Home
Quick Bites
News Archive
News Channel
Special Features
On AirNewsClassical
School Closings
WKSU Support
Funding for WKSU is made possible in part through support from the following businesses and organizations.

Wayside Furniture

Akron General

Akron Children's Hospital

For more information on how your company or organization can support WKSU, download the WKSU Media Kit.

(WKSU Media Kit PDF icon )

Donate Your Vehicle to WKSU

Programs Schedule Make A Pledge Member BenefitsFAQ/HelpContact Us
Economy and Business

Ohio looks for a new manufacturing workforce
Jobs are available for skilled workers but few younger people consider it as a career

Mark Urycki
Students of the Polaris Career center tour the Swagelok plant in Strongsville.
Courtesy of MARK URYCKI
Download (WKSU Only)
In The Region:
The state of Ohio has designated October as “Ohio Manufacturing Month.” And to mark the occasion, 15 high-school students took a tour of a Swagelok Co. manufacturing site in Strongsville. These kids are interested in careers but more and more, Ohio companies are concerned about finding a trained workforce.
LISTEN: Manufacturing supply and demand

Other options:
Windows Media / MP3 Download (3:19)

The students attend the Polaris Career Center in Middleburg Heights, a public technical school that serves a half-dozen school districts in southwestern Cuyahoga County. They toured the Swagelock plant in Strongsville.

Swagelok specializes in the computer-controlled precision machining of valves, tubes and fittings for handling any manner of liquids.The vice president of operations, Michael Neff, says the company employs some 1,000 skilled machinists in several countries, and they are seasoned employees.

"Probably a couple hundred of them that are over 30 years so we do have an aging workforce.”

Swagelok has its own internal Machining 101 classes to get employees the certification they need, but Neff applauds organizations like Polaris -- and the state-supported Manufacturing Advocacy and Growth Network, known as MAGNET  -- for fostering programs for such skills.

“We’re a company of fairly large scale and we can afford to put our programs together, but there are a lot of companies that don’t have that scale.”

Neff says Solon-based Swagelok has hired 120 full-time machinists this year and 110 part-timers, with 60 openings yet to fill. But getting school guidance counselors to even mention manufacturing jobs to students is an uphill battle, and Doug Miller of Polaris says they often have to convince parents that the industry is not withering away.

"We tend to only hear about the closures. We don’t typically hear about the openings and the expansions and the opportunities.”

Supply and demand
“The demand is there in manufacturing.  In a good economy and a down economy, we can place a good machinist and a good welder. The demand is there on a daily basis.”

Miller says manufacturing jobs pay 15 to 20 percent higher than the average Ohio wage.

(Click image for larger view.)

Add Your Comment


E-mail: (not published, only used to contact you about your comment)


Page Options

Print this page

E-Mail this page / Send mp3

Share on Facebook

Stories with Recent Comments

Backers of legalizing marijuana in Ohio promise to be back in 2016
We should be aloud to grow more than 4 plants and not have to register with the state considering it will be a free market.

Akron says it's had no second thoughts about welcoming refugees
What business does Councilman Neal own on North Hill? I'd love to support him. I am so glad to have the refugees in our neighborhood. I have lived here for 25 ...

Scarborough says the University of Akron is trying to rebuild relationships
In order for the University of Akron to grow and become a desirable place for students across Ohio and elsewhere, it must address the crime problem in the Akron...

Ohio Sen. Cliff Hite wants to end pay-to-play sports fees at Ohio's schools
You can bet Hite and Husted will also rush to the rescue of the Academic Challenge team, the speech-and-debate squad, the Science Olympians and the chess club. ...

Ohio lawmakers consider new gun bills
States that have gun restrictions/cities have reduced gun violence is false. CHICAGO has some of the toughest gun laaws/restrictions but yet fun violence is off...

Cleveland's public transit system considers fare increase for 2016
I work with individuals with disabilities. Yes some of my folks need more help than the average person. As a whole, the group I work with however can manuver ju...

Community group sues to re-open part of Wadsworth hospital
My father was part of the founding group of citizens which started the "new" Wadsworth/Rittman Hospital. For some reason the leadership for the future of the ho...

The Cleveland Museum of Art presents painters who loved their gardens
brilliant masterpiece, Greetings from

Ohio Sen. Tom Patton proposes bill for firefighter cancer benefits
Thank you Senator Patton. On behalf of all of those who love our firefighters; we appreciate that someone is standing up for them and their continued health. ??...

Copyright © 2015 WKSU Public Radio, All Rights Reserved.

In Partnership With:

NPR PRI Kent State University

listen in windows media format listen in realplayer format Car Talk Hosts: Tom & Ray Magliozzi Fresh Air Host: Terry Gross A Service of Kent State University 89.7 WKSU | NPR.Classical.Other smart stuff. NPR Senior Correspondent: Noah Adams Living on Earth Host: Steve Curwood 89.7 WKSU | NPR.Classical.Other smart stuff. A Service of Kent State University