Lt. Gov. Jon Husted touts job program

Reimburses employers, lets employees gain new skills

Staff photo / R. Michael Semple Machinist Jon Moore of Champion, left, shakes the hand of Lt. Gov. Jon Husted, right, as Husted tours Kiraly Tool and Die Inc. in Youngstown Tuesday afternoon. The company was Husted’s second stop of the day and coincided with the official launch of TechCred, a program to try to fill the void of in-demand skills.

YOUNGSTOWN — Lt. Gov. Jon Husted’s statewide workforce development tour was in Youngstown on Tuesday to promote Ohio’s latest initiative he said is a win for businesses in need of highly skilled talent and for employees to develop new and better skills.

The event at Kiraly Tool and Die Inc., Husted’s second stop of the day, coincided with the official launch of TechCred, a program to try to fill the void of in-demand skills.

“There are lots of job programs for people out there that don’t have jobs,” Husted said. “But there are few for people who have a job but might be underemployed or underskilled and want to elevate their skills. This way, we’re creating the partnership.”

TechCred will reimburse up to $2,000 of the cost of training upon completion of a credential with one reimbursement available per employee in each funding round. Employers are eligible to receive up to $30,000 per funding cycle.

Online applications opened Tuesday.

Employees must complete the training and employers must show proof of the credential in order to receive the reimbursement.

“The employee has a credential skill, which gives them job security and frees them up to go search for a job somewhere else if it doesn’t work out for that particular employer, and the business wins because they can up-skill their employees to meet the demand of the competitive environments they have to work in,” Husted said. “Ohio wins because we create a better workforce for the employers of our state and we help people earn more.”

The website is www.techcred.ohio.gov. It contains a list of approved credentials and program guidelines.

Kyle Kiraly, controller and tool designer at the family-owned company on Crescent Street, said the business works with Trumbull Career and Technical Center for training in machining, but is looking for a training partner for the tool-and-die side.

They also are heavily involved in apprenticeship programs to get more of their new workers “skilled-up to match what would be industry standards in terms of journeyman machinist,” the highest level of skilled worker at the business.

The company employs 22 full-time workers — 19 at the Crescent Street facility and three at a relatively new shop on Andrews Avenue. About 25 percent of the employees are entry level to get into the apprenticeship program, at the end of which they can earn $22 or more per hour.

“This TechCred program will allow us to pursue more credentials that are higher-skilled credentials, less than one year, but expands the training they already have to this advancing technology we are seeing here every year just to really keep pace with the market and trends of manufacturing,” Kiraly said.

Because Ohio is neither an immigration nor migration state for workers, the program should help it retain its homegrown talent.

“So it’s more important than ever that we get the talent, build the talent and keep the talent, and this is one of the ways to do that,” Husted said. “Anytime you build strong partnerships between business and education and the workforce, you are more than likely to make those employees stick. They like to stick with you because they have great opportunities and they are growing. And you also make Ohio attractive to more investment.”