You have reached your limit of free articles this month.

Enjoy unlimited access to SpringfieldNewsSun.com

Starting at just 99¢ for 8 weeks.

GREAT REASONS TO SUBSCRIBE TODAY!

  • IN-DEPTH REPORTING
  • INTERACTIVE STORYTELLING
  • NEW TOPICS & COVERAGE
  • ePAPER
X

You have read of premium articles.

Get unlimited access to all of our breaking news, in-depth coverage and interactive features. Starting at just 99c for 8 weeks.

X

Welcome to SpringfieldNewsSun.com

Your source for Clark and Champaign counties’ hometown news. All readers have free access to a limited number of stories every month.

If you are a News-Sun subscriber, please take a moment to login for unlimited access.

breaking news

Ohio House budget proposal would eliminate Municipal Clerk’s office

Champaign County manufacturers seek strategies to retain engineers


The Champaign Economic Partnership is working with local employers to find ways to attract and retain engineers, particularly for manufacturing firms.

The agency has partnered with FASTLANE, a program of the University of Dayton Research Institute, to administer surveys and develop strategies to retain talented workers in Champaign County. It’s a problem many small communities like Urbana face, particularly as older experienced engineers prepare to retire over the next five to 10 years, said Marcia Bailey, director of the partnership.

READ MORE: Hospital top Clark County employer, reflects statewide trend

“The manufacturers have said it’s difficult sometimes to attract engineers to our area because they don’t realize the specifics of our location,” Bailey said. “Even though we’re in a small community, we have ready access to the larger cities.”

FASTLANE and the the economic partnership have developed two separate surveys, one for employers and one for engineers who work for the companies.

Once complete, Bailey said city and county leaders, along with employers can use the information to determine whether there are opportunities to attract workers to Champaign County. For example, it’s possible Champaign County has some amenities that workers are interested in but the county is doing a poor job of promoting them, Bailey said.

MORE BUSINESS NEWS: Topre plant in Springfield to bring new life, jobs to historic site

It could also identify schools where local companies could look to recruit recent graduates, for example.

Local businesses raised the issue during meetings with the CEP, Bailey said.

“They are faced with recruitment to fill the gaps that already exist, but in the near future we’re going to see the engineers being age-eligible to retire,” Bailey said. “We’re trying to get ahead of that and see what we can do to market and attract engineers to our area.”

DETAILS: Unemployment rates fall in Clark, Champaign Counties

Engineers at Orbis Corp. in Urbana have a wide range of responsibilities, said Angie Brunswick, human resources manager for the company. It manufactures plastic products, including pallets, shipping containers and several other products.

That means its engineers also have to be knowledgeable about the materials used to create the products, she said. Orbis attracts workers, but it can challenging to retain them once they gain experience and often want to move to a larger community or a bigger company.

“We can get people that are interested but a lot of times it’s hard to get them to stay,” Brunswick said.

MORE CHAMPAIGN COUNTY NEWS: Champaign County creates tool to help job-seekers

Orbis has hired recent graduates who previously completed internships with the company. It has an extensive internship program that has helped the company attract some skilled workers, Brunswick said. Interns develop products for the company and develop extensive skills during the program.

“That’s how we’re going to get the younger generation in,” Brunswick said. “But you still have the problem retaining workers who have all the experience that you really need as a company and you need that balance.”

For workers who moved to Champaign County from other areas, one of the challenges is to get them involved in the community, Brunswick said. It’s not specific to engineering, but the Chamber of Greater Springfield is also developing a pilot program to make younger workers more aware of the opportunities available in Clark County.

The survey results will remain confidential, Bailey said, and will be used to develop engineer retention and recruitment strategies for the county.



Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Business

STORE CLOSINGS: Sears to close 50 auto centers
STORE CLOSINGS: Sears to close 50 auto centers

Sears Holdings is set to close 50 Auto Center locations, the company announced. Sears updated investors last week on its strategic restructuring program, stating the company aimed to save $1.25 billion through some store closures in 2017. The company already announced it would close 108 Kmart stores and 42 Sears locations. » RETAIL APOCALYPSE...
Two area health systems named Top 15 in nation
Two area health systems named Top 15 in nation

Kettering Health Network and Mercy Health have been named two of the Top 15 health systems in the nation by the international business research firm Truven Health Analytics. It’s the fifth appearance on the Top 15 list for the Dayton-based Kettering system, comprised of eight hospitals, including Kettering Medical Center, Fort Hamilton, Soin...
675 Ohioans complained about mortgage servicer sued by feds
675 Ohioans complained about mortgage servicer sued by feds

State and federal authorities have sued mortgage servicer Ocwen Financial Corp., saying the company botched the handling of millions of mortgage accounts, including 675 Ohio complaints. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau said Thursday that the accounts Ocwen serviced were riddled with errors throughout the repayment process. It said the company...
Premier, UnitedHealthcare negotiations continue over health plans
Premier, UnitedHealthcare negotiations continue over health plans

Contract negotiations between the region’s largest health system and insurer UnitedHealthcare remain at an impasse as a deadline approaches that could jeopardize the health plans of up to 70,000 local residents. Premier Health and UnitedHealthcare, the area’s largest insurer, have been at an impasse in talks to renew their health coverage...
Dayton-area event will feature 500 small businesses
Dayton-area event will feature 500 small businesses

Ohio’s largest small-business-to-government-contracting event is set to happen Wednesday, the Ohio Development Services Agency said. The 2017 Ohio Business Matchmaker will be 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Wednesday at Wright State University’s Ervin J. Nutter Center, 3640 Colonel Glenn Highway, Fairborn. RELATED: Defense contractor opens new office...
More Stories