Stark County is at the heart of manufacturing in northeastern Ohio.  Five-hundred and fifty manufacturers work with 26,000 employees to provide the most wages of any industry category in the County, according to MAGNET’s 2019 NEO Manufacturing Survey.  The Survey also concludes that in Northeast Ohio manufacturing drives more than 45% of our economy.  Every one manufacturing job drives 3.6 other jobs.  Manufacturing is our lifeblood whether we realize it or not.  

Unfortunately, manufacturers are experiencing bridled growth because they are finding it very difficult to add qualified people to their teams.  A core group of manufacturers located in Canton, Massillon, Alliance, Louisville and other Stark County communities has worked together to form the Stark County Manufacturing Workforce Development Partnership (Partnership).  The Partnership is one of 18 industry sector partnerships that make up a statewide network of manufacturing workforce development stakeholders coordinated by the Ohio Manufacturers’ Association.  The Partnership was formed by the founding manufacturers through the cooperative efforts of Barb Bennett at the Canton Regional Chamber of Commerce, John McLaughlin at the Stark Economic Development Board and Janelle Lee at MAGNET.  

The goal of the Partnership is to support Stark County manufacturers’ expansion by growing the manufacturing labor force, offering career pathways, delivering training and education and sharing best practices within the manufacturing workforce development community. The first priority is to promote manufacturing careers to job seekers and students.  The second priority is to reach out to students, parents, educators, and guidance counselors to encourage students to consider careers in manufacturing.      

Participating member manufacturers are finding the Stark County community to be full of resources among workforce development professionals, economic development organizations, educators, and community-based organizations.  Strengthening Stark is one of the organizations that the Partnership is working with to achieve our goals.  These organizations round out the Partnership and will be key players to getting more people interested in manufacturing careers and helping to solve the labor shortage that is bridling manufacturers’ growth.


Stark County Manufacturing Workforce Development Partnership

Founding Members

Barbco, Inc   Tom Schmidt

HP Products  Allen Green

Lindsay Precast  Mike Hoffman

The M. K. Morse Company  Jim Batchelder


Biery Cheese



Gregory Industries

Harrison Paints

Hendrickson International

Howmet Aerospace


Midlake Products & Manufacturing

MT Systems

Ohio Gratings

Old Wood, LTD

Omniety Innovations, Inc.

Professional Detailing Products


Shearer’s Snacks

Stark Industrial

Tesla Nanocoatings

V&S Schuler

Wheeling and Lake Erie Railroad