As Northeast Ohio continues to reopen after a year spent grappling with COVID-19, local workers affected by pandemic-related layoffs and slowdowns are anxious to rejoin the workforce. Frank Brickner, interim executive director and CEO of Ohio Means Jobs Cleveland-Cuyahoga County, updates us on three areas of the local economy with particularly bright employment prospects.
Health Care: The frontline heroes of COVID-19 are hiring. Health care took on increased significance in all of our lives over the past year, leaving this field in desperate need of new employees ranging from nurses to home health aides. “Hospital systems are screaming out for more RNs and medical assistants,” says Brickner, “and, with a graying population, that demand will only increase in the future.”
Information Technology: No sector benefits more from the work-from-home craze than IT. Whether it’s coding new software, providing technical support or even helping safeguard against cyberattacks, these critical services can all be performed remotely. “Strong demand in IT opens up opportunities for those who might not be able to work under normal circumstances,” says Brickner. “It benefits individuals with young children or other family needs that require them to work from home.”
Manufacturing: Expect a “Made in America” boom after months of sellouts and shortages during the pandemic. Growing Northeast Ohio’s manufacturing base not only fuels local job growth, but also lessens our vulnerability to more overseas supply chain disruptions. “There are lots of open jobs in manufacturing,” says Brickner. “Our challenge is to convince people that this sector has changed a lot in the last 20 years. It’s not dirty, grimy work anymore.”