Eleven years, three dynamic employers, and opportunity for growth. That’s my career so far in a nutshell, and it’s all happening in and around one city – Lima, Ohio.
Like many others in this region, I lived my life in an active urban environment. Taking a chance on the Lima region led me to the life and career I have today. I had the opportunity to work for two of the region’s prominent educational hubs – The Ohio State University and Ohio Northern University – and am currently working at one of the most respected health-care institutions in the region – St. Rita’s Health Partners. Guess what, I wouldn’t trade these experiences for anything.
It’s true Lima has been affected by the economy and shift in industrial development. But we are not yesterday’s story of the good ol’ days; we are making an impact. The spirit of innovation, strength, and incomparable work ethic that defined the region’s boom will also characterize its resurgence. The truth is that Lima is a great place to jumpstart your career and establish yourself as a professional. There are many opportunities available for the young job seeker to the seasoned professional. Lima is a creative canvas – a place where entrepreneurs, professionals, and artists can thrive. Potential is all around.
A recent report from the Greater Ohio Policy Center, a Columbus-based policy think tank, shows that Lima is the only small city in Ohio with improvements in workforce participation rates from 2000 to 2015. This and other data clearly prove that Lima is growing and a great place for you to build your career.
How about the fact that the region has 1,812 available jobs? That’s right – according to Ohio Means Jobs, there are 1,812 available jobs in our region right now. Critics may say these positions are either entry-level or part-time, but they are making incorrect assumptions. Area businesses are actively recruiting for positions ranging from entry-level to senior management. In fact, data from Ohio Means jobs says there are 131 six-figure jobs available right now, as well as 500 jobs with salaries ranging from $50,000 to $80,000.
Healthcare, the largest industry in the region, has 100s of available positions open in the field. Doctors and nurses are absolutely in demand, but so too are chefs, mechanics, carpenters, and others to keep the whole operation running smoothly.
Contrary to popular belief, one of the biggest challenges facing employers is poaching their best talent. The need is so great for skilled workers that they move from company to company. There is not a lack of jobs; there is a shortage of talent to fill the need.
You don’t have to move to a big city or Silicon Valley to work for a name-brand company; there are many right here in our backyard. Ford, Proctor and Gamble, General Dynamics, Bob Evans, Husky Energy, Potash Corporation and more are proud to be in Lima.
These companies are not only global in reach and reputation; they are focused on growth. In 2015, Potash Corp invested $350M in capital and maintenance into its Lima operation. Ford recently re-upped its commitment to invest in US-based production, particularly in Ohio. In December 2016, the Obama Administration approved $1.2B in funding for two military vehicles built exclusively at the Joint Systems Manufacturing Center. And unlike similar jobs in other urban centers, we have the bonus of low cost-of-living and short commute times. You can’t beat that.
In addition to these perks, the Lima region – whether you’re in Bluffton, Delphos, or downtown Lima – has a very active community devoted to regional growth and prosperity.
For example, the Lima/Allen County Chamber of Commerce lives up to their promise of “helping to improve the economic vitality and quality of life for the region” by advocating for business-friendly legislation and connecting professionals in the area. Speaking from experience as a now thirty-something, the Chamber of Commerce is doing an excellent job creating positive experiences for young professionals.
In addition, MakerFest is a crucial part of the Lima region’s workforce development. A business is nothing without its people, and MakerFest is a pipeline for talent – both up and comers and experienced workers. Whether you’re a high school student testing the waters before deciding on your first job or a professional looking for the next opportunity, MakerFest has quickly solidified its reputation as a resource for businesses and job seekers alike.
Yes, we have experienced downturns, but there is ample evidence to support that we’re back on the upswing. Things are happening here, and it is time we start recognizing and harnessing the incredible energy our community has.
Sara Ambroza is the marketing manager at St. Rita’s Health Partners.