MOUNT VERNON, OH. – Throughout the last several years, manufacturers have faced a series of
challenges but one of the most pressing is an unprecedented workforce shortage. In response to their
search for talent, a coalition of Knox County manufacturers and the Knox County Workforce
Development Alliance (WorkDev) created a career readiness program called Knox ASPECT, which is
designed to prepare interested candidates for careers in manufacturing by teaching necessary skills for
The payoff for the participants is that any candidate who completes the program will have a guaranteed
job interview with 11 participating Knox County-based manufacturers, all of whom are seeking to hire
for open positions.
The program has run three times, and candidates from each round have started a manufacturing career.
The latest round of Knox ASPECT will focus on the Senior Class of 2023 from Knox County High Schools
who are weeks away from graduation and entering the workforce. Knox ASPECT for 2023 will begin on
April 13, 2023, and concludes on May 4, 2023. For more information and to apply for the program, visit
the Knox Area Development Foundation website: KnoxADF.com
The program will meet at Knox County Technical Center on Thursdays during the school day.
The program will focus on various topics ranging from technical skills and safety to soft skills. A critical
portion of the program is working with the candidates to sharpen their interviewing techniques which
the Knox County Ohio Means Jobs team will teach. Students will also take a strength-finding assessment
to learn about their unique strengths and how those can apply to their careers.
Holley Carter – Mauser Packaging Solutions: “Mauser Packaging Solutions is engaged with ASPECT not
only as a Manufacturing Employer but as a community member. Our goal is to help provide the greatest
experience possible for the youth preparing to enter the workforce! The interviews are an amazing
experience! The students come out of the ASPECT program confident and with job offers!”
The program’s final day is dedicated to in-person interviews with participating manufacturing
The eleven Knox County-based employers who will participate in the Spring of 2023 program are
● Beehive Engineered Solutions
● Burrows Packaging
● Coyne Graphics Finishing
● Diemaster, LLC
● Jeld Wen
● Mauser Packaging Solutions
● Owens Corning
● Schafer Driveline
● Ver-Mac Industries
High school seniors interested in applying should email the Knox County Career Navigator, Sean
McCutcheon – firstname.lastname@example.org
“Manufacturing is Knox County’s largest sector and provides the fuel for our local economy, said Jeff
Gottke, President of the Knox County Area Development Foundation. “Knox County is fortunate to have
forward-looking local businesses and groups like WorkDev, who are working to find creative solutions to
solve modern problems that will maintain our high standard of living.”
Knox County has hundreds of unfilled manufacturing jobs, drastically affecting an essential industry that
comprises nearly a quarter of the County’s economy. Across Ohio, manufacturing is the leading industry
sector accounting for over $110 billion and over $43 billion in payroll, more than any other industry.
ASPECT aims to connect Knox County residents to high-quality manufacturing careers close to home.
The Knox ASPECT program is supported by the Ohio Manufacturing Extension Partnership at Columbus
State Community College (MEP at CSCC). “The Ohio MEP program exists to support manufacturers as
they grow and face challenges,” said Jeff Spain, Director of the MEP at CSCC. “Workforce is a challenge
that every manufacturer is facing. The opportunity to support a program like Knox ASPECT and create a
talent pipeline for those manufacturers is exactly the kind of opportunity we were excited to support.”
Coordinated by the Area Development Foundation, WorkDev is a group of professionals in Knox County
that is committed to identifying workforce issues and actively creating solutions through
communication, education, and collaboration.
About Knox County Area Development Foundation
The Area Development Foundation acts as the central clearing house for all economic development in
Knox County. ADF’s mission is to create high-quality/good-paying jobs, match good employers to
job-ready workers, and advance efforts to support livable communities throughout Knox County.
Media Contact: Julia Suggs – Knox Area Development Foundation – (740) 393 – 3806 or