GREENVILLE – Ohio Treasurer Josh Mandel’s office recently visited Greenville City Schools Career Tech Center in Greenville to present an ‘Ohio Strong’ Award. Ohio Strong is an effort started by Mandel to help recognize local workers in manufacturing and the skilled trades, and raise public awareness to encourage more people to pursue careers in these fields.
As part of this initiative, a regional representative from the Ohio Treasurer’s office presented an Ohio Strong Award to Chris Sykes, engineering instructor at the Greenville Career Tech Center, after Sykes was nominated as an example of an employee who deserved recognition for dedication to his trade.
“As the baby boomers are retiring, I frequently hear about the shortage of welders, pipe-fitters, electricians, carpenters, machinists and other skilled trades across Ohio. There are high paying jobs going unfilled because employers can’t find a modern workforce to hire with the skill sets they need,” said Mandel. “I believe that there is a quiet crisis upon us, and in order to prosper as a country we need to encourage young Americans to pursue careers in the skilled trades. I launched the Ohio Strong initiative to help bring pride and profile to dedicated men and women across our state who work in these fields that are so vital to our economy.”
A recent Bureau of Labor Statistics study showed that 48 percent of college graduates are working in jobs that don’t require a four-year degree. At the same time, according to a recent Skills Gap Survey by the Manufacturing Institute, approximately 600,000 manufacturing jobs are unfilled nationally because employers can’t find qualified workers.
“There are too many young people throughout America today who have four-year liberal arts degrees, thousands of dollars in debt, and are serving coffee at Starbucks or working part-time at the mall,” said Treasurer Mandel. “Ohio can and must do a better job of helping to encourage students to pursue careers in modern manufacturing and the skilled trades.”
The Ohio Strong Award is intended help highlight examples of Ohioans working in manufacturing and the skilled trades in order to raise public awareness of Ohio’s need for more people to join these fields. Treasurer Mandel is looking for workers within Ohio organizations who have gone above and beyond the call of duty in their jobs, or to help train the next generation of workers. Anyone who would like to nominate an employee or co-worker for recognition should visit OhioTreasurer.gov/OhioStrong. There you will find a form that asks for a short statement describing why someone you know is deserving of consideration. Ohio Strong Award recipients receive a resolution from Mandel and will be featured on OhioTreasurer.gov.