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Barbco Senior Executive to Lead Stark County Manufacturing Program

East Canton, Ohio-based Barbco Inc. has announced that Thomas Schmidt, vice president of business development, will help lead a coalition to attract and develop manufacturing workers in Ohio.

Barbco Thomas Schmidt
Thomas Schmidt

Schmidt will join fellow manufacturing veteran James Batchelder of The M.K. Morse Co. in leading the newly formed Stark County Manufacturing Workforce Development Partnership (SCMWDP). In this new coalition, Batchelder will serve as president and Schmidt will serve as vice president.

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The SCMWDP is the latest addition to the Ohio Manufacturers’ Association (OMA) and its network of industry sector partnerships (ISPs), which are transforming how the Buckeye State attracts and develops manufacturing workers by fostering collaboration and resource-sharing among manufacturers. There are currently 18 ISPs statewide, covering 65 counties.

The SCMWDP is an industry-led coalition of manufacturers and other stakeholders that have come together to address the county’s manufacturing talent shortage in Canton, Massillon, Alliance, Louisville and other communities.

Schmidt has been with Barbco since 2019 and is a seasoned manufacturing veteran with many years of leadership in numerous local plants including Harrison Paint, Heinemann Saw Co. and Georgia Pacific.

Interested manufacturers and those who work with them on workforce matters are invited to participate in a no-charge virtual meeting Thursday, March 11, at 8:30 a.m. ET via Zoom as the SCMWDP shares its mission, vision, and priorities with the community. Contact the OMA at oma@ohiomfg.com or (800) 662-4463 to register.

Increasing the number of counties served by manufacturing sector partnerships is a key goal in the OMA’s workforce strategies for the post-COVID-19 recovery. All Ohio manufacturers are encouraged to get involved with their local sector partnership to address their workforce challenges. For information on how to become directly involved with the OMA’s workforce services, email Sara Tracey at stracey@ohiomfg.com.

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