YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) — The message that manufacturing is back in Ohio came with a different twist Thursday evening as Ohio Lieutenant Governor Mary Taylor spoke on the subject.
“Some of us as parents who maybe weren’t sure or always had those hopes and dreams that their kids would go to college. I would say to you as a mom, it’s okay if they don’t. It really is okay,” said Taylor.
Taylor was speaking from experience; her oldest son dropped out of college after a year and a half and she said she’s not worried.
“We need skilled labor in the state of Ohio. There are great jobs out there. Great jobs will be available in the future. And they pay well,” Taylor said.
It’s not a message many parents are used to hearing, let alone giving.
However, with Ohio ranking third in manufacturing in the country, the Ohio Manufacturers’ Association said those skilled trade jobs are a big part of the state’s future.
“Innovation is transforming our manufacturing sector making Ohio more competitive than any other place on Earth,” said Ray Augsburger of the Ohio Manufacturers’ Association.
Taylor’s visit was at Brilex Industries in downtown Youngstown. The CEO of the company said the Valley is expecting a large wave of retirement in the next ten years.
That means a large number of skilled trade jobs will be opening up.
“These are jobs that are paying wages on par with most four year college education occupations,” said Brian Benyo of Bilrex Industries.
Young adults have opportunities they may not have believed.
“The reality of it is we’re only graduating about 40 percent of the kids that are entering college. Where do they go if they don’t have skills? Well, they end up in low wage, low opportunity occupations,” said Augsburger.
The skilled trade jobs are boasting pay wages that are close to what a college graduate would make, and the younger generation is hearing the message.
“You have great job opportunities even if you don’t want to go to college right away or maybe ever,” finished Benyo.