DeWine Tours Taylor-Winfield, Praises Manufacturing in Valley

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio — Logan French sees the robotics around the vast warehouse at Taylor-Winfield Technologies Inc., and eagerly awaits Oct. 11 when he can start his apprenticeship there in welding assembly.

On Friday, French, a senior at the Columbiana County Career and Technical Center, joined the school’s career tech director and assistant superintendent, Jeremy Corbisello, student services coordinator Michelle Fitzsimmons and welding instructor Mike Boyle to greet Gov. Mike DeWine, who visited Taylor-Winfield for Manufacturing Day.

Lt. Gov. Jon Husted was making trips as well to other manufacturing facilities across the state.

DeWine made trips to Strongsville and Toledo earlier in the day. French presented the governor with CCCTC merchandise after his roundtable discussion with more than a dozen academic, manufacturing and other area leaders about manufacturing in the Mahoning Valley.

“This is in Ohio’s DNA,” said DeWine, whose trip was hosted by the Mahoning Valley Manufacturers Coalition and Taylor-Winfield. “This is what we do. We make things. When we can make things and sell it to the world, that’s a good thing for all of us.”

French is excited to be part of this process.

CCCTC senior Logan French presents Gov. Mike DeWine with CCCTC swag during the Manufacturing Day tour.

“Without manufacturing, we wouldn’t have a lot of things that we all like to use – our cars that got us here, our public transportation to get us to school, most of our appliances,” said French, who is making $16 an hour to start. “A lot of things are done in manufacturing.”

Taylor-Winfield President Donnie Wells said DeWine was seeing the future of his company with machines, automation and technology. What this company and other manufacturers have to offer around the Mahoning Valley is something more people need to see.

“I think we have to get our young people here in places like Taylor Winfield so they can see the robotics, the automation, the technology, the bright and clean environment to kind of shirk off this old view that manufacturing blue collar is not good, not noble,” Wells said. “Manufacturing is good. It is noble and you can provide a nice living for your family, many cases better than you can with a college education.”

DeWine said 750,000 Ohioans make their living in manufacturing and echoed Wells’ thoughts that this living is not like it was 40 or 50 years ago.

“It’s fundamentally different,” he said. “As I go into manufacturing plants as I did today, there’s always something to excite young people. Kids like technology. Many like to work with their hands. That’s all here in manufacturing.

“One of the things we have to do is push education together with our businesses.”

DeWine said this part of northeast Ohio is a model for the rest of the state.

“I represent the whole state, so I have to be careful of what I say,” he said. “But no one does it better than the Mahoning Valley. I will guarantee you that.

“Some of the people at this table have been real leaders.”

MVMC Executive Director Jessica Borza said Manufacturing Day shines a light on the great jobs and innovations in manufacturing, not only in northeastern Ohio, but the entire state. DeWine’s appearance Friday not only boosted MVMC and its partners, but all over Ohio.

“While there are other industry sector partnerships across the state, our manufacturers have been leading our coalition for 10 years and are quite active,” Borza said. “That’s getting some attention.”

Borza the whole month of October is dedicated to manufacturing. MVMC is partnering with the Public Library of Youngstown and Mahoning County to organize storytime with manufacturing themes by showing videos of MVMC partner companies for the children so they and their parents can have a fun way to learn about manufacturing.

Partnerships with America Makes and Brite Energy Innovators also enable hands-on activities to take out into classrooms, she added.

“We believe every day is manufacturing day,” Borza said. “We want to invite more and more manufacturers to join the efforts of the coalition and open their doors to young people and career switchers.

“Have floor tours,” she said. “Go out into the schools and talk to young people about manufacturing. Participate in community events. There’s quite a variety of ways to volunteer your time and efforts, and talk about the cool things that are happening in their facilities and the career paths of their employees.”

CCCTC’s Corbisello said MVMC is a model people will recognize around the state, teaching to children and adults alike. He’s happy DeWine is noticing these efforts.

“MVMC continues to create opportunities for our kids, both high school and adult learners,” he said.

“We’re continuing to fight the stigma that [manufacturing] is a dirty career, and it’s not,” Corbisello said. “There’s so many different opportunities in the field.

“The Mahoning Valley Manufacturers Coalition is continuing to help bridge that skills gap. They’re creating the opportunities to get folks to us to get the training. The folks are getting quality training, and they’re filling the voids. They’re getting the jobs and turning it into a career.”

Pictured: Gov. Mike DeWine visited Taylor-Winfield in Youngstown on Friday, capping off a Manufacturing Day tour in the state.

Copyright 2021 The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.