- Manufacturing Leadership Team founding member

The WorkforceConnect Manufacturing Sector Partnership, founded in 2019, has been working hard to drive the vision and strategies developed by the manufacturers that lead it. In just a short time, we are very proud of the things we’ve done, as well as the foundations we have built for expanded impact.

The core of the partnership is that manufacturing employers lead the initiative; but the power that brings these results and creates future scalability is with our great partners in the workforce development, education, economic development, and funding communities.

In-School Youth

Through key partnerships with Cleveland Metropolitan School District, Manufacturing Works, and others, we have developed a number of manufacturing engagement and career discovery mechanisms. The initial focus has been high school students, and an emphasis on engaging with non-college bound seniors.


  • 55 Guidance Counselors through manufacturing 101 + plant tours
  • 140 CMSD seniors engaged in manufacturing awareness activities
SWAG manufacturing
ACCESS picture 1

Incumbent Worker Upskilling

The manufacturers leading this workstream in the sector partnership have prioritized the development of an Industry 4.0 Earn + Learn model. This model, being collaboratively developed with Tri-C, will allow manufacturers to send their engineers, operations leaders, etc. to become familiar with Industry 4.0 technology and contribute to the implementation strategy for this critical revolution in manufacturing. Keep an eye out for more details in 2021!

Ohio To Work

Through an investment and partnership with JobsOhio, the Ohio To Work initiative was launched in Greater Cleveland in late 2020. Focused on the redeployment and reskilling of displaced and at-risk workers, this program is a radical collaboration between partners in the workforce, education, and employer engagement segments. Just so far in the initiative, our partnership with OhioMeansJobs CLE/CUY, the Urban League of Greater Cleveland, and Goodwill have already:

  • Served over 9,000 jobseekers
  • Placed over 800 jobseekers in employment (across all industries)
  • Enrolled over 200 jobseekers in reskilling training programs (in mfg, tech, and healthcare)

ACCESS (Re-entry)

ACCESS re-entry has accomplished tremendous things in the engagement of individuals that have a background in the criminal justice system. There are huge wins in the collaboration with our workforce partners, as well as the employers that are shaping their processes to be more inclusive for this target population:

  • 2 cohorts full executed
  • 24 graduates of the program
  • 71% placement rate
  • 81% of graduates are people of color
  • 13 workforce agency partners collaborating on recruitment
  • 20 companies engaged in training delivery, interviewing, and hiring

ACCESS (Young-Adult)

One of our community’s toughest populations to engage, the manufacturers are passionate about engaging opportunity youth. The ability to connect, engage, and inspire young people to learn about manufacturing and enter rewarding career paths in our sector is a highly rewarding outcome of this program.


  • 1 cohort fully executed
  • 8 graduates of the program
  • 5 graduates placed in employment

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

The manufacturers have identified DE&I as a key element of the solutions that they are implementing in other workstreams. There have also become specific projects and efforts within the sector partnership companies that they are engaging in collaboratively:


  • 11 companies participate in GCP’s annual Equity & Inclusion Assessment
  • 15 manufacturing leaders have attended REI Groundwater training
  • The manufacturers are collaboratively building and launching the MSP Scholars program, focused on recruiting and retaining black students in engineering undergraduate programs