BB2C Conversation Starter: Jeff Hollister, OMA

Workforce is a hot topic right now, which is why it is the focus of our upcoming BB2C Community Meeting. It will take place on September 13, from 4:30 – 6:00 at the Washington County Career Center. We will have three speakers start the conversation for us that evening: Misty Crosby of Buckeye Hills Regional Council, Tracy Najera of Children's Defense Fund – Ohio, and Jeff Hollister of Ohio Manufacturers Association (OMA).

This week's blog features Jeff Hollister speaking from his role in the OMA. In his own words....

Workforce development is one of the cornerstones of a brighter future vision for our region.  Workforce development is by its nature a partnership involving education (K-12 through college), community organizations, organized labor, workforce boards, economic development organizations, and businesses.  In order for the effort to achieve maximum results, all participants must be aligned.  That is where the partnership is essential – the whole is greater than the sum of the parts.

As we in Southeastern Ohio consider the launch of a concerted workforce development effort, there are several threshold questions that will need to be addressed:

BY THE GROUP

-          What businesses would benefit from joining this partnership?

-          How should we define our region?

-          What is our greatest workforce need?

-          What are the demographics of our workforce?  Is this a cause for concern?

-          How do we distill these needs and challenges into a shared vision for the partnership?

-          What is our message?  (When we invite others to join us, what will we ask of them?)

INDIVIDUAL QUESTIONS

-          Am I willing to serve as a leader (Industry Champion)?

-          If so, am I committed to setting partnership priorities and driving progress?

-          Am I willing to commit the time/effort to see the partnership succeed?

-          Am I (or is my company) able to directly contribute in-kind or financial resources?

-          Are there other companies I can engage in the partnership?

-          What else can I do?

PLEASE CONTACT BB2C IF YOU ARE WILLING AND ABLE TO JOIN THE EFFORT.  IT IS THAT IMPORTANT TO ALL OF US.

Jeff Hollister is a life-long resident of Marietta, is President of Vanguard Paints & Finishes, Inc. and is a member of the Board of Directors of the Ohio Manufacturers’ Association.

What does the term ‘workforce’ really mean and who is included when we say ‘workforce’? What are we going to do about the ‘workforce’ issue? These questions and more will be discussed at the next BB2C Community Meeting