Stark County (OH) Manufacturing Workforce Development Partnership Receives $100,000 State Grant

Ohio Lt. Governor John Husted’s office announced the industry sector partnership grants awarded to 13 organizations throughout Ohio. The Stark County Manufacturing Workforce Development Partnership (SCMWDP) grant application, which was written by the Canton Regional Chamber of Commerce, was awarded the maximum amount of $100,000 for a Spark Grant. The Spark Grant provides “seed funding” for emerging sector partnerships to fund start up activities and become self-sustaining.

“The Stark County Manufacturing Workforce Development Partnership is a collaborative effort formed in March of 2021 between Stark County manufacturers, education and training providers, and community stakeholders who are invested in improving Stark County’s workforce. The Partnership has worked hard over the past year to understand the needs of local employers to better upskill and recruit manufacturing employees and what challenges people face to join the manufacturing workforce.  We look forward to using the ISP funding to help manufacturers recruit and upskill employees for the hundreds of available manufacturing positions in the Stark County community.” stated James T. Batchelder, President, of the SCMWDP.

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The $25,000 required matching grant dollars is provided by the Stark Port Authority. All funds will be used to build the membership, promote manufacturing as a viable career pathway and conduct outreach and training for entry level careers in manufacturing. Initiatives and metrics have been developed to work with middle school students and teachers, high school and career tech programs, career changers, and underrepresented populations such as minority, women and veterans.

The Stark County Manufacturing Workforce Development Partnership (SCMWDP) is an industry-led, regional collaboration of manufacturers and other stakeholders who have come together to address the talent shortage in Stark County. Also known as an industry sector partnership, SCMWDP was organized to ensure that manufacturers have a voice and an active role in identifying the needs and solving the challenges related to attracting, hiring, training, and retaining a qualified workforce. The group will work with other workforce development providers, programs, and initiatives in Stark County, aligning and supporting efforts rather than recreating or duplicating what already works.

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Barbco Inc., a world class manufacturer of capital equipment for the trenchless excavation, horizontal directional drilling, and underground manufacturing industries, has been a Founding Member of the SCMWDP and its Vice President, Business Development, Thomas W. Schmidt, serves as Vice President of the SMWDP nonprofit organization. Tags: