Manufacturing Month in Middletown, Ohio: Focusing on the Workforce of the Future
13 Oct 2021
Middletown, Ohio, is home to a diverse variety of global manufacturing companies that are producing goods using cutting-edge technologies. These manufacturers are leaders in good workplace practices, produce high quality products, and consistently innovate to keep in step with and advance their industries. In celebration of Manufacturing Month, we, at Middletown Economic Development, are recognizing these companies for their employment opportunities and their innovations that grow our economy.
Focusing on the Future for Workforce Development
“This is our eighth year conducting Manufacturing Month to expose our K-12 students to the many opportunities that manufacturing provides,” said Rick Pearce, President/CEO of The Chamber of Commerce serving Middletown, Monroe, and Trenton, Ohio. “Middletown has a very rich history in tobacco, paper, and steel. Manufacturing makes up roughly 20 percent of our membership and supplies area residents with sustainable, livable wages to support their families. We need a talented and technically skilled workforce for those manufacturers to grow, and to grow the community. While it is true that many will work directly with the product being produced, many will work behind the scenes in sales, customer service, supply chain management, accounting, human resources, and information technology.”
For Manufacturing Month, The Chamber is working with several employers and K-12 partners to arrange tours whether they be in-person or virtual, but their efforts for workforce development are year-round.
“This is our sixth year working with our members to develop solutions to their workforce challenges,” said Pearce. “During that time, we’ve introduced Manufacturing Month, Healthcare Month, Industry Day, and Pathways to Professions. All are designed to build awareness among our K-12 students to the various career opportunities that exist locally.”
Future Ready Skill Set
“In 2018 through 2019, we worked with our manufacturing and healthcare sectors to identify a set of skills they needed in their next generation workforce; we called it the ‘Future Ready Skill Set,’” said Pearce. “Madison and Monroe local schools have included those skills in their graduation requirements in addition to the state minimum graduation requirements. Middletown City schools have taken the ‘Future Ready Skill Set’ and incorporated them into their next strategic plan to bring them to life in the classroom. We are extremely excited to be working with our educational partners to prepare their students for success after high school regardless of which career track they may choose.”
Most recently The Chamber has introduced the “Skills2Careers” initiative. “It’s the next generation job search tool that focuses on skill sets,” said Pearce. “It is our vision to get all three parties: employers, individuals, and educators speaking the same language of skill sets. It’s pretty interesting technology.”
Local institutions including Butler Tech, Cincinnati State, and Miami Regionals all have courses to prepare students for careers in manufacturing.
“Manufacturing today is no longer dark, dirty and dangerous, or dead-end,” said Pearce. “To work in the manufacturing industry today, a qualified person needs skills and knowledge in safety, the production process, how to use precision measurement tools, and basic maintenance.”
Middletown Manufacturing Spotlight: LubriSource, Inc.
Founded in 2001, Lubrisource, Inc. has a proven track record in automated lubrication equipment, components, systems design, installation, and repair. Industrial machinery lubrication is100 percent of their focus.
“Ensuring precision lubrication is one of the cornerstones of reliability,” said Angela Morrow, President, LubriSource, Inc. “Ensuring uptime for our clients keeps the manufacturing in this region competitive. We provide services and equipment for a majority of the Middletown plants.”
“It was a smart move for LubriSource, Inc. to move to Middletown this past February 2021,” said Morrow. “Middletown is an excellent place for business, first because of location. It is strategically placed between Cincinnati and Dayton. Middletown also has solid economic development initiatives that will expand and launch Middletown businesses. Just recently Middletown kicked off its Small Business Alliance. Being in a city that not only believes in small business, but is also very active in supporting it, is vital to success.”
Morrow discussed why LubriSource is a good place to start a manufacturing career. “Learning about reliability through filtration, oil analysis, equipment, and system design can develop a person into not only an excellent problem solver, but also a valuable contributor to the success of the manufacturing floor. Knowing what keeps a machine viable and running is a very foundational aspect in every plant. If a line is shut down due to bearing failure or a ball screw not being lubricated properly, then the company is incurring great costs.”
As leaders in their field, the LubriSource team recently presented at the Contractors and Manufacturers Regional Conference sponsored by Dayton Region Manufacturers Association (DRMA) to share about cutting-edge technology — minimum quantity lubrication. Morrow has also served as a forum leader for the four-day event, Catch the Wave, that brings female entrepreneurs together to network, learn, and gain inspiration from each other. Sponsored by the Women’s Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC), there was a specific manufacturing tract.
Middletown Manufacturing Spotlight: Middletown Tube Works
Middletown Tube Works is a cutting-edge brand of Phillips Tube Group.Their steel tube services the automotive, appliance, HVAC, construction, and recreational vehicle industries.
“Phillips Tube Group is proud to be a woman-owned, American-based business that produces American products from coated and non-coated welded steel tube,” said Angela Phillips, Phillips Tube Group CEO. “You can find our steel tube in everything from your automobile, furnace, dishwasher, recreational vehicle, appliances and so much more. We’ve been in Middletown for over 28 years. Our location here provides us with a strong manufacturing workforce, as well as access to steel, interstate, and rail.”
Phillips Tube Group has a long history of recognizing the value of Manufacturing Day and how it relates to workforce development. “Last month, Phillips Tube Group’s Middletown Plant was recognized by the Dayton Region Manufacturers Association (DRMA) for participating in Manufacturing Day for the past five years,” said Phillips. “Our team takes pride in inspiring the next generation of creators. We are eager to share the good news about manufacturing jobs with local students so that they are aware of the great career opportunities right here in their community.”
“We have several area schools that have signed up to bring students in for manufacturing tours throughout the month of October,” said Phillips. “These schools include: Middletown, Edgewood, Marshall, and Madison High Schools. We provide participating students with an overview of the company that includes who we are and what we produce, and then we take them out into the plant for a tour so that they can witness the tubes being formed and welded on the mill and then cut to exact customer specifications.”
Phillips discussed why Middletown Tube Works is a good place to start a career in manufacturing. “Phillips Tube Group is family-owned and we treat our employees like family. We’re also like family in that we grow together. Our employees benefit from education, training, tuition reimbursement, upward mobility, and our commitment to their experience at work. This creates an amazing workplace, which translates into pride in our work.”
“Phillips Tube Group has grown into the quality and service leader of the steel tube industry. Today we are bigger, faster, and more flexible than ever before because of our world-class production team. Our employees produced over 250 million feet of tube last year. That’s enough to circle the globe nearly two times!”
Middletown is Right for Your Manufacturing Business
To learn more about manufacturing opportunities in our area, contact Middletown Economic Development at 513-425-7941 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Find out more about Middletown’s plans for the future and how you can become a part of them.
Join the Small Business Alliance today!