As advances in automation, manufacturing and artificial intelligence continue, businesses across Ohio are wrestling with what it all means for their workforce and the economy.
“The use of artificial intelligence, digitalization, mechanization, automation, robotics – all of that – will conspire to change the nature of the workforce and have some potential social changes come out of it,” said Jim Robey, director of regional and economic planning services at the W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research in Michigan.
In our latest episode of The State of Business podcast, “The impact of automation on manufacturing and distribution industries,” we spoke with panelists at a May roundtable held by Gilmore Jasion Mahler titled, “Automation Nation: A Panel Discussion on Robotics in Manufacturing.”
For areas like Findlay, where the roundtable was held, it’s important to capture large companies when there’s a possibility one could invest in the region. Tim Mayle, director at Findlay Hancock Economic Development, said automation is a critical part of that.
“We need to be sure we’re putting our community in a position to make those companies make investments that will help us keep those jobs here,” he said. “The last thing we need is a company making a decision to move equipment or take a new business and put it somewhere else because we weren’t prepared to do what we needed to do.”
To be in that opportune position, Mayle said communities need workers in the area who understand how to use the necessary specialized equipment, and utilities and infrastructure that can offer the space and power a manufacturing plant will need.
Listen to the podcast now to learn what this means for unemployment, middle skills and more.