Manufacturing

Laurie Means / Clark State

The U.S. Department of Labor has awarded Clark State Community College a $2.5 million grant to that will help the school train workers for manufacturing jobs.

The grant money will be used to purchase equipment and develop a curriculum to help students and displaced workers find jobs in different manufacturing areas. Clark State President Dr. Jo Alice Blondin feels that manufacturing jobs require a different skill set these days.

Manufacturing is coming back to Ohio, although the jobs are coming in something of a trickle and there are still far fewer than there were before the Recession.

Plus, the jobs themselves are different: many companies are actually paying less for the same work. Auto parts manufacturing has been an area of particularly steep declines: median earnings in Ohio fell nearly 10 percent from 2001 to 2013, with even lower wages for new hires.

The view from the old employee entrance to the Moraine GM plant, where Fuyao plans to put a new entrance to the plant.
Lewis Wallace / WYSO

A year after the announcement of a new auto-glass factory in Moraine, Fuyao Glass America Inc. says it will add another 750 jobs to the plant as it ramps up U.S. production. Fuyao had previously committed to bring 800 jobs to the former General Motors plant south of Dayton, which had been mostly abandoned since 2008. The addition of after-market automotive glass manufacturing in the planned factory brings the total expected jobs up to more than 1500.

Jerry Kenney/WYSO

On Tuesday morning, job seekers filled the Ponitz Center at Sinclair Community College to hear auto-glass manufacturer Fuyao talk about the company and its hiring process. 

Rod Fielder from Urbana lived in Moraine and worked at the GM assembly plant when it shut down in 2008.

 27 foot 1987 Airstream Sovereign built at the Jackson Center Ohio Airstream factory.
Tdenton/Wikimedia Commons

The trailer company Airstream has announced a major expansion at its facility in Jackson Center, Ohio, 56 miles north of Dayton. The company is investing $5.9 million dollars in the project, and its parent company, Thor Industries, says the millions they’re putting into the expansion will allow them to increase office capacity and production of their famous silver travel-trailers by 70%.

Airstream is Jackson Center’s biggest employer, according to Village Administrator Bruce Metz.

Sinclair Community College President Steve Johnson (center) welcomes democratic U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown to the college.
Lewis Wallace / WYSO

U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown visited Sinclair Community College Tuesday to talk about shortages in skilled workers—and talk up his part in amending the Workforce Investment Act (WIA). Since 1998, the WIA has funneled billions in federal dollars towards workforce training programs at the state and local levels.

Beatrice Murch / Flickr

The Ohio Tax Credit Authority has announced  credits to help three different Miami Valley factories open or expand, adding up to 166 jobs.

Fecon, which already makes forestry equipment in Lebanon, is widening its plant floor and adding 25 jobs.

“We’re infiltrating markets that we previously hadn’t really had a presence so we sold recently to Russia, South America and Europe,” says Fecon CFO John Desczc.

Ford Motor Company will use rotating shifts - two weeks on, two weeks off - to avoid indefinite layoffs at its assembly plant, located west of Cleveland.

Ford said Monday that rotating shifts for 1,000 workers at its Avon Lake plant will begin in August and continue until a new product launch in 2015.

The auto maker says rotating shifts will mean most Avon Lake workers will get 74 percent to 100 percent of regular fulltime pay.

Emily McCord

When Jude Whelley walks her dog in her front yard in Harrison Township, she often detects a syrupy-sweet smell, particularly on moist, foggy nights. Jude has lived in this neighborhood since 1985,  and while the generally accepted wisdom is that the smell comes from the nearby Cargill factory, for years she's wondered "does [the smell] depend on what they’re making? Or does it depend on the weather? Is it dangerous, or is it just unpleasantly sweet?"

UPDATE Friday Jan. 10, 11:55 a.m.: Chinese auto-glass firm Fuyao will be the company to purchase over a million square feet of the old GM plant. Find out more here.

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