Right here in Ohio, the skilled worker gap is painfully apparent. As a state built on industry and growth, many of our leading companies have put immense resources into hiring and retaining the very best skilled workforce available. Lincoln Electric, the world leader in the manufacturing of welding products for 125 years, has made it crystal clear it can only retain its position as an industry leader if it attracts and keeps the highest-level of skilled candidates possible.
Based in Cleveland, Lincoln Electric has turned to its partnership with SkillsUSA Ohio over the past 50 years to amplify this great effort. Whether it’s an electrician, mechanic, millwright, machinist, welder fabricator or tool & die operator, Lincoln Electric has sustained demand for well-trained, prepared and experienced professionals to support the manufacturing of its quality products. And they know they can find such skilled workers through SkillsUSA Ohio.
The value of personal, workplace and technical skills
“SkillsUSA provides industry with a well-rounded student. Not only do they have a trade skill, they also have great leadership, communication, teamwork and decision-making skills that set them apart,” shares Jason Keyes, District Manager of Lincoln Electric’s Columbus District Office. Jason has worked with SkillsUSA Ohio since 1995, so he understands the unique benefits of its partnership first-hand. With the Golden Rule as its guiding principle—Treat others how you would like to be treated—Lincoln Electric also appreciates that SkillsUSA focuses on developing personal skills such as integrity, worth ethic and responsibility.
Lincoln Electric specifically focuses on the opportunity to transfer technology updates and trends to educators through SkillsUSA Ohio so students are more workforce ready. Jason believes, “SkillsUSA Ohio partnerships with local industry expose students to the latest tools and technology to give them the experience to enter the workforce ready to be productive.” The relationship becomes a win-win-win with teachers improving training and instruction, students learning new trends and techniques, and industry building a pipeline of future talent.
A partnership with payoff
Through the years, Lincoln Electric’s commitment to SkillsUSA Ohio has given its team opportunities to help run Regional Welding Competitions in Central Ohio, serve on the Board of Directors for SkillsUSA Ohio, and assist with statewide Welding and Welding Fab Competitions. Jason personally has served as a judge for many past regional VICA Welding Competitions. In particular, Jason routinely works alongside SkillsUSA Ohio educator Steve Strelecky, Welding Instructor at Career & Technology Education Centers (C-TEC) of Licking County in Newark, Ohio.
Working center stage with educators and students for so many years gives Lincoln Electric the chance to impress upon a younger generation the latest welding skills and education. And it allows them to not only promote their brand and products, but more so their workplace and opportunities available for skilled workers. “We have hired members of SkillsUSA in the past and were able to make an impact right away,” said Jason.
There’s a lot of pride in the long-lasting Lincoln Electric and SkillsUSA Ohio partnership. You have a world-renowned manufacturing company dedicating financial support, technology insight, apprenticeship opportunity, training, leadership and professional knowledge to students and teachers. In return, the teachers and students are able to elevate classroom learning, develop leading-edge skills and become better prepared to enter a workforce in which they are desperately needed.
Jason shares, “As long as SkillsUSA Ohio continues to keep up with the ever-changing technology and keep exposing those to students, SkillsUSA Ohio will be able to provide students with the best chance to succeed in their industry.”
Learn more about how your business can benefit from a partnership with SkillsUSA Ohio.