MVMC Receives $250,000 Industry Sector Partnership Award

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio — The Mahoning Valley Manufacturers Coalition is among 13 recipients for the next round of the state’s Industry Sector Partnership Awards.

Lt. Gov. Jon Husted, director of the Governor’s Office of Workforce Transformation, announced Thursday the selected partnerships are awarded a combined $2.58 million in Industry Sector Partnership grants. The program supports partnerships that help bring Ohioans into the workforce pipeline while meeting the needs of job creators and the local economy.

“The awards made today support Industry Sector Partnerships across the state as they expand best practices to help Ohioans enter the workforce in many different industries,” Husted said in a release. “These partnerships give everyone a seat at the table and require collaboration between the public and private sectors. We have seen this model succeed and will continue to invest in partnerships that prepare more students and job seekers for high wage jobs in their regions.”

MVMC will receive $250,000 over 18 months (Oct. 1, 2021 – April 1, 2023) that will overlap with its current Industry Sector Partnership grant of $250,000, which ends June 2022.

For this round of funding, the MVMC will focus its outreach efforts on populations that are underrepresented in manufacturing, including women and racial and ethnic minorities, Allison Engstrom, project manager, said in an emailed response for comment.

“We have identified specific school districts and community-based organizations who serve these demographics and will prioritize our outreach efforts to reach a more diverse audience and, in turn, lead to increased representation in the manufacturing workforce,” Engstrom said.

The coalition’s three-prong strategy, she said, includes outreach to underrepresented communities, increased focus and awareness among manufacturers about DEI (diversity, equity and inclusion) importance, and assisting companies in taking tangible actions in support of our collective DEI goals.

“We’re grateful for [the Ohio Department of Development’s] funding and their confidence in our model to continue to develop the region’s advanced manufacturing workforce,” Engstrom said. “We’re driven to increase the pipeline of an available and trained workforce so our member manufacturers can meet demand, invest in technology, and compete and grow their businesses, all to the benefit of the local economy.”

MVMC will partner with the Columbiana County Educational Service Center and Business Advisory Council as well as the Columbiana County Port Authority to educate and engage students and others in the community about careers available in manufacturing, she added.

The awardees focus on a number of in-demand industry sectors, including information technology, manufacturing, healthcare, transportation and aerospace.

In addition to the MVMC, awarded partnerships include:

  • Workforce Connect IT Sector Partnership (WC IT SP)
  • The Health Collaborative Workforce Advisory Council
  • Raise the Bar Hancock County
  • ConxusNEO Industry Sector Partnerships
  • WorkforceConnect Manufacturing Sector Partnership
  • Great Lakes Regional Industry Sector Partnership
  • Lorain County Manufacturing Sector Partnership
  • Alliance for Working Together Northeast Ohio Sector Partnership
  • Ohio IT Apprenticeship Collaborative
  • Stark County Manufacturing Workforce Development Partnership
  • Preparing Students for Transportation + Information Technology Sectors with PIE CaseLAB Career Academy & DriveOhio Smart Mobility Ambassador Program
  • Fairfield County Career Readiness Endorsement

The MVMC was also part of the first round of awards in January 2021, which saw $2.5 million distributed to 12 partners. Industry Sector Partnerships develop regional workforce strategies in an effort to drive collaboration between local businesses, education and training providers, and community stakeholders, according to the release.

“These awards are unique because each region can tailor their training programs to meet the needs of businesses in their area,” said Lydia Mihalik, director of the Ohio Department of Development. “This is not a one-size-fits-all approach. Workers will gain the skills they need for jobs where they live, and businesses will get workers who meet their specific requirements.”

Copyright 2022 The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.