Today, U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) visited TremCar in Dover to highlight his plan to train out-of-work Ohioans for jobs in emerging, high-tech industries--like shale development--after touring the company's facility and meeting with employees. Brown discussed his Strengthening Employment Clusters to Organize Regional Success (SECTORS) Act, which would help unemployed workers train for high-tech jobs in their region. Brown has been working to connect Ohioans with jobs in the natural gas industry and on Thursday, he will co-host a jobs fair with Chesapeake Energy in Canton.
"Shale development has tremendous potential to bring new economic development and new jobs to our state. Not only do we have to protect our public safety and health, but we must make sure that these new jobs are going to Ohioans--not out-of-staters," Brown said. "The SECTORS Act aligns worker training programs to the needs of industries--like shale development--that are creating jobs. It helps local communities, and educational institutions like the Buckeye Career Center, tailor workforce training to meet industry needs. Here in Tuscarawas County, the SECTORS Act would help the community make sure more workers are prepared for opportunities in shale development."
Brown was joined by Roger Bond, the superintendant of the Buckeye Career Center, and Jacques Tremblay, CEO of TremCar, to outline how the SECTORS Act would help ensure that more Ohioans can get jobs in high-growth industries, including shale development. Cody Malloy, a graduate of the welding program at the Buckeye Career Center, also joined Brown. Malloy has worked for TremCar for six years, starting in the Strasburg plant, and was one of the first employees at the Dover facility. He serves as a line leader with six employees on his team.
TremCar manufactures tankers for use in shale development and the petroleum industry, and has been coordinating with the Buckeye Career Center and Stark State College to train Ohioans for new jobs in the natural gas industry. The company employs several graduates and interns of programs at the Buckeye Career Center, and will be bringing in a welding instructor from Stark State College to run intensive two-week welding trainings for its new hires.
Despite Ohio's 7.6 percent unemployment rate, many employers in these industries--which also includes solar energy, advanced manufacturing, and healthcare--struggle to find workers to fill job vacancies. The SECTORS Act tailors workforce development to the needs of regional industry, allowing more workers to receive placements and attracting more businesses to a given region. The bill would organize stakeholders connected to a regional industry--businesses, unions, education and training providers, and local workforce and education system administrators--to develop plans for growing that industry. A sector approach can focus on the dual goals of promoting the long-term competitiveness of industries and advancing employment opportunities for workers, and would help ensure that new jobs in Ohio's expanding natural gas industry are filled by Ohioans.
Brown's bill would organize stakeholders connected to a regional industry--multiple firms, unions, education and training providers, and local workforce and education system administrators--to develop plans for growing that industry. Eligible entities would be able to apply for a one-year planning grant of up to $250,000 and a three-year implementation grant of up to $2.5 million.