The event was planned by the North Central Workforce Alliance (NCWA) of Ohio, a group of business persons committed to addressing the lack of local, young, qualified workers. The day included a panel discussion on "Skilled Workforce Shortages" plus breakout sessions on "Soft Skills/Manufacturing Readiness," "Credentials/Career Pathways," "Hot Jobs/Attraction and Recruitment," "and "Work-based Learning."
The breakout sessions were led by NCWA members.
Jim Tressel, former coach of the Buckeyes and current president of Youngstown University, was the keynote speaker and he encouraged businesses to focus their goal while recognizing the need for creativity, innovation, and connected-ness. Tressel cited the success that is being enjoyed by Youngstown's Business Incubator which has been recognized as the world's best incubator associated with a university.
Tressel presented the first NCWA Community Service Award to Dick Schafrath, well known in the area as a former Ohio State Senator, a member of the Cleveland Browns, and local businessman, who is known for endless stunts and dares in his younger days.
Schrafrath tearfully accepted the award and talked about the importance of work ethic in achieving success.