MAGNET partners with Canton Chamber to grow manufacturing in Stark County
MAGNET has announced a new partnership with the Canton Regional Chamber of Commerce to expand its reach in Stark County, and offer new growth opportunities to Stark County manufacturers.
Funded by the Stark Community Foundation, Fund for Our Economic Future (FFEF), and the Ohio Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP), the new venture will allow small- and medium-sized manufacturers to access MAGNET’s holistic consulting services and take advantage of resources for manufacturers in Northeast Ohio. A true public-private partnership that leverages all of Northeast Ohio’s economic development infrastructure to help grow manufacturing, MAGNET’s consulting covers all areas of a small- to medium-sized manufacturer’s business, including sales and marketing, process improvements, product innovation, workforce and talent development, logistics, exports, and more.
Steven J. Katz, Chamber COO
Canton Chamber Interim Chief Operating Officer Steven J. Katz will serve as the primary liaison between the two organizations, helping launch MAGNET’s Canton office while strengthening MAGNET’s relationship with the community. According to the latest data from Cleveland State University, manufacturing makes up 17.1 percent of Stark County’s economy, employing over 26,500 people, and growing two percent annually.
“As a longtime friend and collaborator of MAGNET, I am pleased to partner with them to help manufacturers in Stark County,” said Katz. “Our county is vibrant and unique, with over 500 manufacturing companies, and MAGNET has clearly demonstrated that they have the knowledge, the passion, and the resources to help those companies succeed for many years to come.”
MAGNET has served several companies in the area and collaborated with Stark State College on workforce initiatives for students and aspiring manufacturing workers. In addition to holding more events in the area, the partnership will create new links to local nonprofits and economic development organizations, and allow MAGNET’s unique brand of holistic consulting to reach more manufacturers.
“This relationship is a unique and powerful opportunity to expand our presence in Stark County by helping people and companies in a variety of ways,” said MAGNET President and CEO Ethan Karp. “The area has already demonstrated significant potential in manufacturing, and we’re eager to channel our focus to serve a broader range of businesses and individuals.”
For more than 30 years, MAGNET has offered a wide range of capabilities to manufacturers as part of the national Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP). These services, which include product and process development, workforce initiatives, and lean/operations consulting, help companies by improving revenue and job retention as well as driving manufacturing and economic development in Northeast Ohio.
HEADLINE The survey definitively shows that product innovation leads to more growth, while “grow your own workforce” strategies will be needed to fill the major labor shortages hampering small manufacturer growth. Emerging technologies like the Internet of Things (IoT), 3D printing, and digital manufacturing are beginning to enhance innovation and productivity, but still have significant room for adoption amongst Ohio’s small manufacturing businesses. ABOUT THE SURVEY Under the direction of the Ohio Manufacturing Extension Partnership (Ohio MEP), MAGNET: The Manufacturing Advocacy and Growth Network conducted a thorough survey of Ohio’s manufacturing base. Contributing approximately 20% of Ohio’s jobs (and driving in some regions up to 50% of Ohio’s economy), and generating a disproportionate amount of export revenues and Gross Regional Product, manufacturing is critical to Ohio. Greater than 95% of Ohio’s manufacturers are small (under 500 employees), and these manufacturers need to remain competitive both nationally and internationally to ensure our economy’s health. Ohio’s Development Services Agency and the National Institute of Standards and Technology, which runs the MEP, recognizes the importance of this sector and fuels MAGNET and the Ohio MEP program to directly serve and support innovation, efficiency, and growth in small and medium manufacturers. What manufacturers need
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