Wright-Patt facing potential workforce crisis

Local News

DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) – The Government Affairs Breakfast Tuesday morning focused on the future of innovation and economic development in Ohio. 

One of the biggest issues facing the state is an aging workforce.

“People are living longer, our families are (smaller). I’m one of nine. We don’t have families like that anymore,” said Jeff Hoagland, president and CEO of the Dayton Development Coalition.

Lieutenant Governor Jon Husted made an appearance at the breakfast. He said that shortage needs to be addressed before it impedes the state’s economic growth. 

“Making sure that we have the best trained high quality workforce for the future so that people have the skills that they need to be able to earn more. And if we do that, businesses will come here, people will prosper,” Husted said.

Hoagland said workforce shortage is happening across a number of industries. Wright Patterson Air Force Base’s aging workforce could be crippling as the state’s largest employer. About half of the base’s employees are eligible for retirement meanwhile the base is experiencing large job growth.

“Scientists, engineers, lawyers, logicians, project managers, that’s the workforce that Wright-Patt has to focus on,” Hoagland said.

Wright Patterson, JobsOhio and the Dayton Development Coalition are planning a Workforce We Need Summit for the spring to address the issue. 

“Let’s talk to the businesses, figure out what they need and then work with the education institutions, high school, colleges, and then deliver those students,” Hoagland said.

He said for 15 years, the base has added 100 jobs a year and needs to continue to do so to keep up with future projects. 

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