(Marion) From popcorn to snacks to padlocks to dryers to robots to ethanol, Marion has many world-class manufacturers who employ more than a third of local residents. To show off those products and pride, area companies are invited to the first Made in Marion Expo on October 22 at the Veterans Memorial Coliseum at the Marion Fairgrounds from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.
“This event serves as a catalyst for educating and building our workforce in advanced manufacturing, design, engineering, and the skilled trades, all vital to Marion’s and Ohio’s economic future,” declared the Marion County Commissioners in a proclamation.
A cross-section of public, private, and other entities planned this unique event. They include:
• Marion CANDO!
• Marion Area Chamber of Commerce
• Marion City and County Schools
• Marion Public Library
• Marion Technical College
• Ohio Means Jobs – Marion
• RiAlto Manufacturing
• U.S. Yachiyo
• Sakamura U.S.A.
• Tri-Rivers Career Center & RAMTEC
• Whirlpool Corporation
• Wilson Bohannan Lock Company
In addition to the planning committees, attendees include: Aqua Ohio Inc., International Paper, Marion Industrial Center, The Ohio State University at Marion, Pleasant Schools, POET Biorefining, The Royal Group and UTLX Marion 2.
“This is a great opportunity for students, community members and job seekers to learn more about local employers and career options!” declared Ron Meade, administrator of Ohio Means Jobs – Marion County.
Local manufacturers can reserve their table by Tuesday, October 8 for just $25. The event is free and open to the public.
“Many people have driven by local companies for years and never knew what is made inside,” said Tami Galloway, Job Development Coordinator with MTC’s Workforce Solutions. “I hope the public takes a moment to learn more about what is Made in Marion.”
In addition to strong local manufacturers, Marion is also adept at training the local workforce to keep up with the changing industry demands. At least 1,300 local middle and high school students are expected to attend, thanks to strong support from area schools.
“Wilson Bohannan Lock Company looks forward to showcasing at the Made in Marion Expo,” said Catrina Easterday, Human Resources/Safety Manager for Wilson Bohannan. “This is a great opportunity for students and future workforce to learn about Marion manufacturers that make a great economic impact locally, nationally, and globally. “
“Marion is America’s Workforce Development Capital,” proclaimed Gus Comstock with Marion CAN DO! “This is an opportunity to see how the workforce is changing and inspire the next generation of manufacturers. This is a great opportunity to connect high schools and colleges with manufacturers.”
Local companies will shine at the expo as well as on the MarionMade! YouTube channel.
“Not only can manufacturers show their products, but they can also show what’s going on behind the scenes in their plants,” said Vicky Branson with MarionMade! “Today’s high-tech manufacturers are remarkable. This is not your father’s manufacturing.”
The idea for the Made in Marion Expo has sparked a tremendous response from the local community.
“I strongly encourage local manufacturers to participate,” said Matt Carbary, president of the Marion Area Chamber of Commerce. “You don’t want to miss this opportunity! You never know what collaborations may be sparked when our local companies come together.”