July 23, 2016

Mostly clear

Lt. Gov. discusses ways to link companies with qualified workers

BRUNSWICK — If a company has job openings but can’t find workers qualified for the jobs, how can the economy grow?

That was one of several questions addressed at a roundtable discussion among about 15 local business owners and Lt. Gov. Mary Taylor at Philpott Rubber Co. in the Industrial Park on Friday.

Lt. Gov. Mary Taylor speaks to a group of business owners at Philpott Rubber Co. in Brunswick on Friday. (JENNIFER PIGNOLET / GAZETTE)

The company was a revolving door for politicians throughout the day, as U.S. Rep. Jim Renacci, R-Wadsworth, hosted a separate roundtable event with businesses at the company earlier.

Taylor spoke about job-training programs and career centers as ways to match skilled workers with employers who are hiring.

The other issue, she said, is convincing people that it is acceptable not to go to college.

“I think there’s a cultural shift, for parents and kids, to say, ‘It’s OK,’ “ Taylor said. She added that her 21-year-old son tried college and wasn’t successful because he likes working with his hands.

One growing industry that is searching for skilled workers, she said, is shale drilling.

While Ohio may be behind states like Texas when it comes to the energy industry, she said drilling is on its way up statewide.

“It appears that we do have a great opportunity for job creation,” Taylor said.

Philpott President and CEO Mike Baach knows firsthand the economic potential of drilling. His company this year began producing a polymer that forms a gel used to clean out a well after it is drilled.

Production of that gel makes up 10 percent of his business, he said.

Baach is a board member for Taylor’s Common Sense Initiative, which oversees economic-related regulations and acts as a liaison between government and the business community.

As lieutenant governor, Taylor heads the initiative.

Taylor said she advises communities looking to strengthen their economy to play to their strengths.

“I think every part of this state has potential for growth,” she said.

Baach said he appreciated Taylor and Renacci seeking constructive conversation with businesses, and felt honored to play host to both.

“This is a very proud day for our company,” he said.

Contact Jennifer Pignolet at (330) 721-4063 or jpignolet@medina-gazette.com.

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