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Economy

Summit County Employers and Educators are Working Together to Close Skills Gap

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KEVIN NIEDERMIER
/
WKSU
Educators and employers at the ConxusNEO Summit County jobs conference Thursday.

Representatives from education, manufacturing and economic development in Summit County gathered in Akron yesterday to discuss efforts to better train workers to fill local jobs.  The “Align” conference was an opportunity for the approximately 50 groups to strengthen the links between themselves.

The event was sponsored by “ConxusNEO,” Summit County’s recently established organization for determining employer needs and the educational opportunities required to close the so-called “skills gap.” David Sattler runs a small parts manufacturing company and works with Conxus. He says all manufacturers have difficulty finding people with the necessary skills, and he believes big city school systems are one answer.

“That’s going to be the area of growth for employment opportunities for our industry really. Those that wouldn’t have normally had the opportunity to see it, feel it, touch it or do any of that stuff, but they have the right skills, or can be given the right skills to be good employees.”

Akron Public Schools Superintendent David James told the group the city’s high schools are being to converted to college and career academies, and they rely on data from Conxus to adjust training programs to fit local needs, such as those of manufacturers.