COLUMBUS—State Representative Ron Young (R-Leroy Township) highlighted funding contained in the state operating budget  for the Lake County Educational Service Center. The $200,000 grant will support the Lake and Geauga Counties Manufacturing K-12 Partnership.

This project seeks to prepare students of Lake and Geauga counties for quality job opportunities in the manufacturing industry by providing them with the exposure, training, and life skills necessary to succeed. It also assists in sustaining and expanding manufacturing, which currently accounts for 20% of the workforce in these counties.

“Helping young people gain the skills necessary to find productive, fulfilling and high paying jobs I believe should be the top priority of our public school system” said Representative Young. “Training and exposing our kids to these in-demand advanced manufacturing opportunities definitely contribute to that mission. The bottom line is these dynamic companies need skilled and motivated talent. Why not provide that talent locally?” Young continued “I am proud to support programs like these. They enrich the lives of our young people, help keep more of them in Lake County, increase the productivity and help to increase the overall wealth of the whole region.”

The Manufacturing K-12 Partnership will increase awareness of manufacturing careers in the region, provide learning opportunities for students through site visits, job shadowing, a speaker series, and other educational programs, and help the manufacturing sector locate qualified candidates to fill open positions. The partnership also fosters a unique environment in which the leaders of the manufacturing community can collaborate with the leaders in K-12 education to establish mutually beneficial programming.

Joe Spiccia, Superintendent of the Wickliffe City School District, provided praise for the grant: “This project will lead to greater career opportunities for young people and will encourage economic prosperity throughout the region. This was made possible by the generous funding from the state of Ohio and through assistance from our legislators.”

“We are thrilled about the support that the Manufacturing K-12 Partnership project has received,” said Alice Cable, Executive Director of Alliance for Working Together (AWT). “We believe that connecting manufacturing ambassadors to the schools in a simple way will not only provide students with a broad range of experiences, but will also help manufacturers close the skills gap. As students gain more exposure to modern manufacturing, they learn about opportunities they might not have considered. It is our hope that this project will help schools and industry work together in an efficient way.”

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