Manufacturing next generation of workers

Coshocton Tribune

COSHOCTON — Mayor Steve Mercer said one factor in keeping manufacturers in the area is providing the next generation of workers the businesses need.

At this past week’s city council work session, Mercer said his administration is working with the Coshocton Port Authority, Coshocton County Career Center, Ohio Means Jobs of Coshocton County, Coshocton Rotary Club and Democratic U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown’s office to provide a summer manufacturing camp. The weeklong program, entitled How’s that Made, is open to 15 county students entering grades seven or eight.

The day will start with team-building exercises and hands-on activities at the career center, which will be followed by a field trip to one or two local businesses to see how they make goods and provide services. Firms participating include Pearl Valley Cheese, Jones Metal, American Electric Power, Annin Flagmakers, Rock-Tenn, Kraft Foods and MFM Building Products.

“All of America keeps saying we want to bring jobs back to America, but not too many parents want to encourage their children to work in a factory,” Mercer said. “We want to be able to expose kids to the concept you can make a good living working in a manufacturing facility.”

Jerry Stenner, Coshocton safety services director, said the program won’t just focus on traditional manufacturing line jobs. It also will look at management, information technologyand other skilled positions firms need to be successful.

Mercer said Brown’s office sponsored a manufacturing camp in Mahoning County in 2013 and is trying to expand the program to six or seven counties this year. The hope, Mercer said, is to make it a national program.

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