Chamber to unify jobs, students and education

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – The Youngstown Warren Regional Chamber wants to team up with area colleges to help with economic development in the Valley.

Deputy Chancellor Cheryl Hay with the Higher Education and Workforce Alignment in Columbus was the guest speaker at a luncheon Wednesday hosted by the chamber.

The groups are collaborating on ways to build economic development for the Valley and are using education to make that happen.

“We are looking at ways to support Governor Kasich’s strategies around how we build workforce for our businesses. Both those we attract to the state and those that are already here,” said Hay. “How we broaden our students’ perceptions on career paths they can be involved in.”

The organization is working with the governor’s Workforce Transformation Program to help businesses identify a skill set they are looking for and then bringing that information back to the educational institutions and implementing complementary curriculum.

Regional Chamber CEO Thomas Humphries said he appreciates the significant role education plays in economic development.

“If we don’t have the labor force and the people to fill the jobs, we can’t grow the economy,” said Humphries. “Our issue is how do we tie education to economic development?”

The Chamber is focusing on trying to identify the types and number of jobs available and making sure their partners in education are aware of those openings.

Efforts are also underway to help build the workforce at Vallourec and other companies throughout the area.

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