By Mary Ann Pacelli, Senior Consultant, MAGNET Even with high unemployment rates, so many jobs in manufacturing still remain unfilled- an estimated 200,000 over the next couple years. These unfilled jobs are typically requiring technical skills and competencies not in abundance in the general unemployed population- but skills believed to be within local Veterans. As part of latest efforts to promote employment for former service members, the Manufacturing Advocacy and Growth Network (MAGNET) launched a program to match returning Veterans with unfilled manufacturing jobs in Ohio, and provide additional training where needed. MAGNET has partnered with the Veterans’ Services group of the Ohio Department of Job & Family Services (ODJFS) on the Veterans Program which is funded by an award from the U.S. Department of Labor Employment and Training Administration. Mone’ Givner, Region 2 Veterans Program Manager of the Office of Workforce Development of the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services states, "Our mission is to provide policies and procedures regarding the Veterans programs and services necessary for Ohio to implement the Jobs for Veterans Act. Our goal is to alleviate unemployment and underemployment for veterans and other eligible persons." This partnership of community colleges, universities, businesses, and Veterans
Vocational Guidance Services (VGS) secures service and product contracts and can provide workers to manufacturers who help meet operational and production needs while advancing VGS’s philanthropic mission. In the case of labor intensive work, temporary labor and services contracts, these workers are VGS employees and VGS therefore pays all of the wages and fringes. If the employer likes what they see from these workers and decides they would like to hire them as employees, the company then become the employer and pays the wages. In order for this "Social Enterprise" approach to succeed, VGS knows that commercial price, quality and delivery expectations must be achieved by the participating companies. To help companies meet these expectations while employing people challenged by disabilities, VGS provides a unique blend of social service supports and business management finesse. This enables VGS to provide paid work experience to over 1,000 people daily! This program helps people dealing with physical disabilities, mental disabilities, economic challenges and/or a history of incarceration find jobs. To discuss how to get involved as a community-based employment site, contact Jim Hudak, vice president of VGS, at (216) 881-6028, or VGS’s sales manager Brad Sommerfelt at (216) 881-6015.