In a collaboration between the two organizations, the Third Annual Manufacturing Breakfast was held at the Galion High School Cafetorium on Wednesday, October 18
at 7:30 am with over 60 people in attendance.
The crowd was welcomed by Chamber President, Joe Kleinknecht and after the pledge of allegiance and the invocation by Pastor Rick Maddox, breakfast prepared by Avita Nutrition Services was served.
The program began with Gary Frankhouse, Executive Director of the Crawford Partnership, talking about the $7.5 million in capital improvements locally and the great relationship in the community between the city, the school district and local manufacturing.
Frankhouse then showed a video (taken by his son, Wilson) that featured the WAGE program, which is run by the Crawford Partnership.
The program takes high school students on trips to local manufacturers, where tours of the facilities show the types of jobs and skills that are needed to work in those places, as well as the types of opportunities that are available locally.
With computers and robots and other advancements in technology, Frankhouse admitted that the number of manufacturing jobs available is going to lessen. However, the jobs available are going to require more skills and will pay even higher wages.
When first started, the WAGE program concentrated on the manufacturing sector, but has since branched out to include other types of businesses. Those involved in this year’s program included Avita Hospital, Lifetouch and Longstreth Memorials. Local financial institutions are also being included in the program.
Frankhouse, noted that Ohio’s economy is based on the manufacturing sector and that Crawford County is no different. He then shared these interesting stats:
Manufacturing in Ohio
· Ohio ranks 3
in Nation for MFG employment
· MFG is largest of 20 Sectors in Ohio
· 97% of Manufactures expect the economy to grow
· Ohio as a Country would rank as 33
largest based upon manufacturing
Manufacturing Crawford County
· Average earnings per Job $52,339 per RGP Northwest
· 2,795 jobs which is 40% above National Average
· 121 Manufactures
Erin Stine, Community Development Director for the Partnership and Joe Kleinknecht presented awards to the following in recognition of their “Leadership, Service, Loyalty and Dedication to the Local Manufacturing Industry”:
Longstreth Inc. – Monuments & Burial Vault Team
Ryan Caldwell – Eagle Crusher
Jeff Cullen – Eagle Crusher
John Griffith – Eagle Crusher
David Kuns - Crossroads
Joshua Laferty – Urban Industries
Lynn Martin - Lifetouch
Jeran Pollock – Elliott Machine Works
Rick Rinehart – Tramec Sloan
Jennifer Wolfe – Covert Manufacturing
Mayor Tom O’Leary spoke about the On the Job Training Program that provide financial assistance for businesses hiring new employees. He also shared, that after Avita, the next 10 or 15 largest employers in the city are manufacturers. O’Leary said, “It is still the heart of this community.”
Galion City Schools Superintendent Jim Grubbs also commented on the collaboration within the community. “We are trying to prepare students for the opportunities that are available,” he said. “We’ve added a global logistics program to the curriculum and we’re looking to add more programs that include the skills local manufacturers need.”
The annual manufacturing breakfast gives local businesses a chance to publicly acknowledge their employees.