Chamber hears about manufacturer’s council

Published: Thursday, October 17, 2013 at 10:50 AM.

As an example of one benefit of having a manufacturers council, local businesses are now eligible for grants to reimburse them for training expenses up to $3,500 for each new job added, Grove said. “Normally, you have to add 10 jobs to be eligible for this reimbursement, but through the council, you can now be eligible for even one job due to this grant,” she said.

Nationally, 70 percent of Americans think manufacturing is the most important industry as far as impact to the national economy, yet only 30 percent of those polled would want their children to work in manufacturing.

“The days when you graduated high school, went to college, then lived happily ever after are over,” Grove said. “If you look at the state unemployment statistics, and see the number of baccalaureate degree holders who are unemployed, you realize just having a college degree isn’t enough any more.”

Grove said parents need to be talking to children about what type of career they want to have and begin learning skills as early as middle school.

“You have to know what you want to do, and then you have to develop those skills needed for that career to be successful,” Grove said.

“This is why manufacturing is so important to our rural counties,” said Terry Ellis, who manages WestPoint Home in Chipley and also serves on the board of directors for the manufacturers council. “So many of our young people are having to go find work somewhere else, it’s important we create an atmosphere where they can stay close to home.”

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