Reviving the Manufacturing Sector, Starting in Middle School

Students Destini Williams and Amrose Bhujel test vehicles they’ve made from trash at Woodward Park Middle School in Columbus, Ohio.

By Benjamin Herold

Benjamin Herold Middle School

May 22, 2018

Today's Ohio teenagers were born into an era of manufacturing collapse.

Between 2000 and 2010, the state lost more than 40 percent of its jobs in the sector, according to federal labor-market data. Families and communities were scarred, creating an indelible impression among many that manufacturing is a dead-end field.

"Manufacturing is changing dramatically," said Emily DeRocco, the education and workforce director of Lightweight Innovations for Tomorrow, or LIFT. "We want young people to understand that there are actually a lot of manucfacturing jobs out there."