Desperate need for manufacturing workers: Local company offers to pay for training

SOLON, OH- The manufacturing industry is facing a shortage of skilled workers with millions of jobs possibly going unfilled for decades. Now one Northeast Ohio company, Vector Technical Inc., is doing everything they can to prevent that.

“Made in America.” That’s something we all love to see, but is the manufacturing industry becoming too successful for its own good?

“Since 2010 manufacturing has come back very strong and it’s increasing every year,” said Tim Bleich, who is the president and owner of Vector Technical Inc. Vector Technical Inc. is a staffing agency that finds and trains people to work for more than 40 local manufacturing companies.

“We don’t even have enough people to fill the positions related to growth let alone what we’re experiencing from attrition because of retirement,” Bleich said.

Experts give a few reasons for this shortage in manufacturing employees. Technology has changed the business, vocational classes have been taken out of high schools, but mostly because the largest group of manufacturers is retiring, The Baby Boomers.

“We have a big skills gap because we’ve told kids for the last generation or two they have to go to college,” Bleich said. “We have all these great manufacturing positions, skilled trades, but we don’t have the right people to replace those who are retiring.”

That’s why Vector Technical Inc., is giving you those skills. They will train you and prepare you for the job for free, no matter who you are.

“We actually work with everybody,” said Elaina Muenster, a senior recruiting specialist at Vector Technical Inc. “Men, women, people in school, contract workers, and most recently high school graduates.”

High school graduates like Aminah Abdul-Barr, an 18-year-old who just graduated from Twinsburg High School. Less than a week after graduation, she will be starting her new job as an entry-level machine operator for one of the largest packaging industries in Northeast Ohio. That’s how fast she was able to get a job in manufacturing.

“At first it was my back-up plan but then I looked more into it and thought oh wow, this could be a plan, my real actual plan,” Abdul-Barr said. She also said she is aware there aren’t as many women in the manufacturing industry but says that’s not going to stop her.

“I’m going to be the big dogs and the boys but I’m going to show them girl power and show them what women can really do,” Abdul-Barr said.

The need for manufacturing candidates is so dire, Vector Technical, Inc. will even pay for the candidates to take online, self-pacing courses to give them the skills needed.

“We partnered with Penn Foster, which is an online school that helps candidates that we place to get certified in various things like machine operating, blueprint reading, tow motor operation and more,” Muenster said.

The good news is that the jobs are here. Now the goal is to get them to stay here.

“American workers are still the best and there’s no doubt about it,” Bleich said. “When you see an American product you know it’s quality made.”

Vector Technical Inc. opened in Lake County 26 years ago. Bleich noticed the extreme need for manufacturing employees so he opened another office in Solon last year. To see a list of jobs now available, click here.

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