Skilled Labor

January 13, 2014

“A skilled worker, regardless of the job description, remains a treasure.” -Madeleine M. Kunin

Skilled labor has been defined as “a segment of the workforce with a high skill level that creates significant economic value through the work performed (human capital). Skilled labor is generally characterized by high education or expertise levels and high wages. Skilled labor involves complicated tasks that require specific skill sets, education, training and experience, and may involve abstract thinking.”

Every day until 2030, roughly 10,000 baby boomers will turn 65. And every day, the way we design, manufacture, manage, sell and deliver products and services becomes a little more sophisticated. The marriage of these two realities will require more training and skills to replace those leaving the workforce and to compete in the global economy. Facts suggest that regions that create, attract and retain a skilled workforce will be more innovative, have a sustainable economic base and have higher per capita incomes.

Last week, our team and a number of elected officials, civic leaders and manufacturing company executives visited the Robotics & Advanced Manufacturing Technology Education Collaborative (RAMTEC). Located in Marion, Ohio, RAMTEC is a place where people are doing a lot more than just talking. Academia, private sector employers and the public sector have come together to ignite kids’ interest in advanced manufacturing and to encourage lucrative career paths. Through hard work, creativity and a lot of passion, the leaders there have put together a facility that is world-class, growing and making a difference in the development of skilled labor. RAMTEC will not only serve our existing companies, but promises to develop leaders who will create their own companies and innovation in Ohio.

Others are doing the same at Columbus State Community College, Central Ohio Technical College and Career & Technology Education Centers, with programs that focus on advanced manufacturing and mechanical and electronics careers. These programs are aimed at putting people in great jobs, as this chart from PayScale explains. The Ohio Manufacturing Institute also provides resources, connecting manufacturers with technical expertise, co-located internships and other opportunities to collaborate with The Ohio State University.

Skill development and workforce training matter to our nation’s economy, Ohio’s economy and the Columbus Region. Not only will they produce skilled workers for the Columbus Region’s manufacturing base, which consists of more 1,800 companies and some 80,000 people, but they will very likely produce entrepreneurs who will create our economic future.

Kenny McDonald

Additional Resources:

The Ohio Manufacturing Extension Partnership

Edison Welding Institute

Ohio Means Jobs

The Ohio Manufacturers’ Association

National Council for Advanced Manufacturing

American Technical Education Association

National Association of Manufacturers


One Columbus Update

  • This week, One Columbus is in New York City at the National Retail Federation Annual Conference and Expo to promote the Columbus Region to growing retailers and their key service providers. As a hub of multi-store operations specialists, national retail headquarters, and information technology and analytics service providers, the Columbus market is a known entity at this show.
  • Back home this week, our team will be hosting companies visiting the Columbus Region.
  • Next week, we will travel to Atlanta to meet with companies and consultants.