Manufacturing Roundtable Discussion with U.S. Senator Rob Portman

Published February 13, 2019

Chris Leedy, Pilot Chemical’s Vice President of Manufacturing and Engineering, and Jake Back, a Pilot Chemical chemical operator, visited Rhinestahl Corporation in Mason, Ohio, this past Friday, February 8, to take part in a Manufacturing Roundtable discussion with U.S. Senator Rob Portman and other leading area manufacturers about Ohio manufacturers’ struggles finding skilled workers.  The Senator has seen first-hand a similar skills gap across the state of Ohio and has been actively engaging with employers and schools to understand the issues and define Federal policy changes that can accelerate solutions.  Senator Portman’s bipartisan JOBS Act would expand Pell Grant eligibility to cover high-quality and rigorous short-term job training programs so workers can afford the skills training and credentials they need for today’s job market.   

The group shared their concerns that the current workforce skills gap has been widening for the last several years, but each company was proud to highlight their efforts to create new training programs in partnership with regional technical schools.  Attendees included company apprentices, interns, or new employees who have used these training programs to prepare them for great careers.  The Senator especially enjoyed talking with this group to learn their stories and was excited to see the next generation embracing Ohio manufacturing as a career.

Leedy also serves as the Vice Chair of the Advanced Manufacturing Industry Partnership.  The AMIP is a regional collaborative of advanced manufacturing employers, educators, and community-based organizations working together to link students, training programs and perspective employers. In a recent success story, 28 area students received over 100 job offers after graduating from Butler Tech’s training programs.    

To read more about this roundtable discussion, visit: https://www.portman.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/press-releases?ID=B218C7F3-C270-41F8-93D2-D63B615B74FB.