Three steps to a more prosperous manufacturing sector (and Ohio): Ryan Augsburger
COLUMBUS, Ohio — While the past year and COVID-19 have brought plenty of challenges, there have been silver linings in Ohio. Throughout the pandemic, Ohio’s top industry – manufacturing – has led the way in workplace safety while supplying the nation with personal protective equipment (PPE), pharmaceuticals, and other necessary goods. Manufacturing employees have again demonstrated why they are essential in so many ways. And manufacturers have led the economic recovery by creating jobs and making major investments. Despite these positive developments, manufacturing businesses face immediate threats. Supply chain disruptions, rising prices for inputs and energy, and exacerbated labor shortages could seriously impede this recovery.
To ensure continued success for Ohio’s manufacturing sector and economy, The Ohio Manufacturers’ Association (OMA) is focusing our efforts on the following three action areas:
Expand the talent pool
An updated study by The Manufacturing Institute finds America’s manufacturing skills gap could result in 2.1 million unfilled jobs over the next decade. The cost of those unfilled jobs could total $1 trillion in 2030 alone. Because manufacturing represents nearly one-fifth of the Buckeye State’s GDP, this workforce shortage is a direct threat.
Thanks to the DeWine-Husted administration and key members of the General Assembly, Ohio is a leader in the use of industry-recognized credentials and the promotion of manufacturing careers. This progress must continue, while federal policymakers need to remove financial incentives that keep individuals out of the workforce.
Find reshoring opportunities
Ohio is the nation’s third-largest manufacturing state for several reasons, including its competitive manufacturing environment. After all, Ohio was recently awarded its second consecutive Governor’s Cup from Site Selection magazine for having the largest number of economic development projects per capita – about half of which are manufacturing projects.
But our business climate is under constant threat. Every policy decision that impacts Ohio’s manufacturing competitiveness in turn affects our economic health and job creation. Manufacturers need policies that encourage investment and protect our manufacturing advantage. Near-term priorities should include:
· Building on initiatives that create incentives for capital investment in Ohio.
· Shoring up Ohio’s insolvent unemployment trust fund by aligning benefits with contributions. (The best solvency plan is one that includes a focus on job creation.)
· Ensuring our energy markets are free from manipulation so customers can benefit from innovation and competition. (This means Ohio lawmakers must repeal the House Bill 6 subsidies for Ohio Valley Electric Corp. coal plants, including one in Indiana.)
Read the original story here: https://www.cleveland.com/opinion/2021/06/three-steps-to-a-more-prosperous-manufacturing-sector-and-ohio-ryan-augsburger.html