Representatives from a company that produces engineered plastic and metal components in Sugarcreek testified before the Ohio House of Representatives Agriculture and Rural Development Committee earlier this month about the importance of technical training.
SUPERB President John Miller focused on three points of public private training partnerships: what SUPERB has done, what Germany is doing, and what Ohio should do.
“Without a significant investment in technical training, advanced manufacturing is just another political pipe dream that will go nowhere,” Miller told the committee. “If Ohio is serious about a future in manufacturing then we must invest an equivalent amount in training to put us on par with Germany — that is $891 million per year.”
Miller then stated that the German sector invests $5.9 billion and the private sector contributes another $8.5 billion to equip over 500,000 technicians each year with the skills required to compete globally.
Miller related how he founded SUPERB Technical Institute in 2012 to meet SUPERB’s growing technical training needs amidst a lack of programs for advanced manufacturing.
Since its founding, the institute has trained more than 75 employees, certified 12 technicians to journeyman status, and credentialed 14 technical experts as Ohio adult educators.
In 2015, the company committed to increasing the scope and standards for the institute by establishing as a separate legal entity with partial German ownership to bring German trainers to the institute to provide technical training.
Miller testified for over 30 minutes fielding questions from the committee including the obvious one — where do we get $891 million — to which Miller recommended that Ohio consider reinvesting Ohio BWC’s one billion dollar surplus into training.
After testifying, he met with Jason Wilson, director of the Governor’s Office for Appalachia.
After listening to a recap of the testimony and the need for advanced technical training, Wilson agreed to schedule an appointment with Ryan Burgess, director of the Governor’s Office of Workforce Transformation.
Ohio State Rep. Al Landis vowed he would “make Ohio better” than the high manufacturing standards of “Made in Germany.”
The decision now sits with the Ohio House of Representatives on whether to reciprocate with adequate training dollars in the state budget.