FINDLAY, OH (WTOL) - Worker shortages are an issue across Northwest Ohio and the country, but Hancock County is doing everything they can to stay ahead of the problem.
"As we have qualified employees that are leaving the workforce, if we don't have that back-fill to fill them up, then at some point in time, you're going to run up against the wall," said Tony Iriti, Director of the Findlay-Hancock Economic Development Organization.
To prevent the shortage from happening, Iriti says they've developed a number of plans including targeting students in high school and trying to generate interest in technical fields like manufacturing.
"Somebody has to fix all these machines that make something. And today you fix them with a laptop, not a tool belt. That's why stem becomes important and education needs to get in to more of the stem programs," said Iriti.
The director says they have also teamed up with Colleges and Universities across northwest Ohio, like Owens Community College in Findlay.
"Looking at a particular pipeline of it professionals that may be needed in the future. And how can we work together," said Iriti.
Truck drivers and tool and die makers are other areas where they are developing pipelines to fill positions. But while all these plans are in the works, the director says high school is the main place they need to start to have long term success.
"We have every program imaginable in the state for workforce. So another program is not going to help. It's changing the process so that we have the employees coming out of high school that can fill those gaps," says Iriti.
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