Monday, November 19, 2018

Job Talking Points for Thanksgiving Dinner

This is an opinion-editorial piece which ran in Sunday's edition of The Advocate and aimed at tapping that homesickness.  Thanksgiving is a time to promote a "return to Ohio" message.

Record levels of employment. Major new investments. A great economy. Licking County has much to be thankful for and Thanksgiving Day sure seems timely to give thanks.

My kids and I will gather on Thursday to do just that. I'm thankful that I can get them all together, but I know I may not always be able to do that. As they advance through their education, I fear someday that I may see them leave the area for work. That's a fear many parents face already.

It doesn't need to happen. Experience tells us that people who leave often find themselves homesick for Ohio and craving the chance to come back. A job is the number one reason to come back.

2018 is a year when it can happen.

Consider these suggestions for Thanksgiving Dinner table conversation with family from out of town. Will you?

There are well-paying jobs open right now in Central Licking County. Right now.

Boeing in Heath is hiring. There were two jobs on this week for Electrical Design. Engineers of all sorts and manufacturing talent are in demand. Ariel Corporation's Newark plant has jobs open for machinists, heavy equipment mechanics, and equipment maintenance technicians. Covestro and Anomatic are hiring systems analysts and multi-craft maintenance workers. shows over 5,000 jobs posted within 50 miles of Newark with the title "engineer" in them. There are 1,287 jobs open within just 10 miles of Heath.

It's clear that many firms are looking to hire workers, and it's easy to predict that out-of-state returnees would find a welcome mat to a new job at many local companies.

New job opportunities are coming too.

Facebook, Amazon, and Kohls have grabbed the headlines, but there are countless other job-creating projects that haven't become as well known.

For example, three new food manufacturers are in various stages of development on the Port Authority's Aerospace Center campus. Someone who knows how to properly handle food and work with food processing equipment is going to be in demand in 2019 with those firms.

One of those, GB Food, already attracted talent to return to the area. A Granville resident is now heading up the protein food additive ingredient manufacturer's new plant in Heath.

He'll be leading an early 2019 hiring effort. A baby formula manufacturer and plant-based seafood manufacturer are predicted to be doing the same here later in 2019.

You don't have to be out of a job to want to return to Ohio and Licking County.

Ohio Means Jobs Licking County is the area's one-stop place for job seekers. Get to know them.

They can quickly connect job seekers with employers. You don't have to be unemployed to use their very capable services. How about suggesting a stop by their 998 East Main Street office in Newark before heading back?

I'm sharing these thoughts in hopes that your Thanksgiving Day time with family is a joyous one and one filled with conversations that cause those many homesick Ohioans to come back, not just for the holidays, but for a job right here in Licking County.

Thursday, October 25, 2018

Ford Launches Edgy, Midwestern Themed Ad Campaign

I'm in the wrong demographic for about 99% of TV commercials.  One just got my attention.

Ford launched a campaign of talking vs. doing.  That's up my alley.

They take more than a few shots at so-called tech titans and add a strong dose of Midwest edginess to do it.  Wow.  Midwest and edginess don't normally mix.

The images are as good as the message.  There's a coal worker, a steel furnace, a forging shop, and the Ford Rouge plant that started an industrial revolution in there.

Worth a look.  A couple or more times.

Seems like more than just an ad.  It's a great short story and a metaphor for so many things in my World.

Thursday, October 4, 2018

The Pickaway County Manufacturer Story: From Impress Me to Impressive

Our neighbors in Circleville celebrated Manufacturing Week in an impressive way.  See the news at The Dispatch.

Private-label toilet tissue, napkins, and paper towels are now coming out of a new manufacturing plant in Circleville, Ohio, just an hour away.  The plant was a $400 million investment in building and equipment by Sofidel, an Italiian-headquartered company.  This is their first new plant built in the U.S. and their most modern plant on the planet.

It officially opened Wednesday with a day-long, international gala.

I'm celebrating with the Circlevillians and Italians.

I was part of the three-person team that visited Sofidel on April 22, 2015 outside of Porcari in the Tuscany region of Italy.  The visit was part of a Columbus 2020-led trade mission to Europe.  A sit down with the CEO of the family-owned business began with a bold challenge.  He said in very clear English, "Impress me."

We in Licking County didn't have a site for this plant that had some pretty precise needs for size with rail and stream access.  Obviously, Circleville did.

There's so much more to it than that.

Economic development is a little-defined profession.  This deal has lessons for all.

True economic development involves having ready-to-go sites and having capable people.  Communities need people capable of targeted sales/marketing and people capable of seeing projects from A-to-Z to ensure the smoothest landing for projects in a local community.  You gotta close the deal.  Without these, Ohio never impresses and the deal doesn't happen in Circleville.

I'm impressed.  Congratulations, Pickaway County.