New program aimed at filling manufacturing jobs while boosting equity, inclusion in the field

CUYAHOGA COUNTY, Ohio — There is a new program designed to fill manufacturing jobs while boosting equity and inclusion. It involves more than a dozen Northeast Ohio companies and organizations.

Currently, there is a huge need in the manufacturing industry.

“The need in manufacturing for talent is enormous,” said Adam Snyder, managing director for the manufacturing sector partnership of Cuyahoga County’s Workforce Connect initiative. “We’ve hovered between 1,000 to 5,000 jobs manufacturing for the last decade.”

Those jobs range from entry-level to engineers, he said.

Now, there is a new effort to steer more minorities into manufacturing jobs.

“It’s not your grandfather’s job anymore,” said Andrew Jackson, CEO Elsons International.

Jackson is also a member of the manufacturing leadership team. The heads of a dozen companies have come together to improve equity and inclusion in the industry and increase the number of African Americas in the manufacturing field.

The group just rolled out a new scholarship offered to black engineering students or black manufacturing workers looking to advance with an engineering degree. However, leaders said the scholarship is more than financial.

“We also want to make sure students build social capital. Relationships with employers through internships, mentorships,” said Shana Marbury, Greater Cleveland Partnership.

Applications are expected to be available in the spring for the 2021-2022 school year.

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