Traci Kogut

JRNM 151 Student

“Technology and automation are going to be replacing more and more people every day,”  said Lorain County Commissioner Matt

Submitted photo Lorain County Commissioner Matt Lundy

Submitted photo
Lorain County Commissioner Matt Lundy

Lundy.

“There are some folks who are just aren’t willing to go through the training they need so that they can find a way to survive as automations start to replace jobs. The big concern is having enough jobs for people that aren’t upgrading their skills.”

Lundy discussed jobs and the skills gap with LCCC journalism students on Nov. 14 at the at the Lorain Board of Commissioners’ chambers in Elyria.

People say government is supposed to create jobs,” Lundy said. “I always say government creates an environment where people want to be. There are tens of thousands of jobs that never fill in Ohio every day because we don’t have the folks with the right skills that match up with what the employer is looking for to be able to work. The other harsh reality is that a lot of jobs don’t pay very well,” said Lundy.

A common belief is that jobs are scarce. However, as automation and technology become more prevalent in the workforce, the biggest concern is actually having enough jobs for people that aren’t upgrading their skills. LCCC is often a stepping stone for people to get a college education or return to school to increase or improve their skills for a new job.

“People have a tough time embracing change because they’re so used to their way of doing things. First you have to be willing to change and go to the workforce development office and take advantage of the programs that are there,” Lundy explained. “We work closely with the college when it comes to economic development efforts and the big part of that is that we’re fortunate enough to have a community college that helps with the skills gap issue,” he said.

“It’s that first stepping stone for people to get a college education or go back to school. I don’t know what the average age of the college student is now, but it seems to be getting older all the time because they’re trying to go back to school to and increase or improve their education for a new job,” said Lundy.

Lundy works closely with the college when it comes to economic development efforts and believes that LCCC helps with the skills gap issue.

“So, a community college plays an important role. A lot of people don’t realize that not every county has a community college. We are fortunate and blessed to have a community college, and I can honestly say that I probably would not have received a college degree had I not started at a community college because it was affordable for me. I worked my way through school and I take a lot of pride in that,” said Lundy.

“The sad part about the community college now is that Columbus is tying a lot of funding for performance, and you know as well as I do that a community college student is not like the guy or young lady who’s fortunate enough whose parents can send them off to school to live in a college dorm and enjoy the true college life; it’s just not the same,” Lundy explained.

“For a lot of college students in a community college system, it takes one hiccup in the family and you’re putting more time in at work than at school to help pay the bills. You’re paying your way through college so all of a sudden if money’s not going well, or the job’s not going well, you have to take time off away from school. You have family issues to take care of. So for the state to say they want this to be graduation-based, sorry but a community college student is probably not going to get through school in two years. And it may even be difficult to do it in three years,” said Lundy.

“Community college plays an important role with getting people into college in the first place.,” Lundy said, adding that anyone who anyone that doesn’t take advantage of the University Partnership is wasting an opportunity.

“It’s such a great way to go to make it affordable. We have to get our numbers up for us to be able to compete. Businesses that come in want to know how well educated and how skilled the workforce is. And that’s where the community college comes in.”