Learning the “Trade” – Apprenticeships

Posted on Tuesday, May 23, 2017 by Jillian Rine

Licking County has a rich history in manufacturing and GROW Licking County, through our association with Workenomics is striving to continue this legacy with our current manufacturing partners.  As is the case with a number of counties & regions in Ohio, workforce is a topic of discussion, particularly with the newly announced unemployment rate of approximately 3.5% here in Licking County.  The question really becomes, what is our pipeline?  Apprenticeship is the new buzz word in the industry world and although it is not a new concept, it fits well with most manufacturing models.  The community has a vision to help employers learn the “trick of the trade.”     

Owens Corning, Ohio Means Jobs Licking County and GROW Licking County hit the road to Wooster, Ohio, home of the Schaeffler Group, to explore options to re-introduce apprenticeship programs here locally.

Shaeffler is one of the world’s largest family companies and, with approximately 170 locations in over 50 countries, has a worldwide network of manufacturing locations, research and development facilities, and sales companies.  The Wooster facility employs 1,800 people alone. 

The Schaeffler Academy is LuK USA’s apprenticeship program.  The academy offers six different apprenticeship disciplines.  Since 1980, the academy has offset the labor shortages through in-house training.  Luk USA has evolved over time and supplemented efforts to fill the “gap.”  The German model has been instrumental in innovating the way the U.S. thinks about trades.  With a success rate of approximately 80% of apprentices staying with the company, they have a lot to be proud of. 

Our continued workforce discussion will only drive innovation within our state, not just Licking County.  Manufacturing continues to attract diverse industry to our community and with strong partners, such as Owens Corning, evaluating the value-added proposition by offering a similar program at their Newark facility -- it is time for our workforce discussion to move to the forefront to ensure that our programs & partnerships are meeting the current (and future) needs of our community's industrial partners.  


Workenomics™ is a team of professionals committed to supporting private and public economic and workforce development efforts in Licking County.  To learn more about Workenomics, be sure to visit our website:  http://www.workenomics.com/ or call Jillian Rine, Project Associate for GROW Licking County & Workenomics' Chair at (740) 345-9757 ext. 6.

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