YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – On Tuesday afternoon in Youngstown, Ohio Lieutenant Governor Jon Husted stopped at a manufacturing plant that employs just 22 people to show how a new state program can help companies of all sizes.

Through the TechCred program, employers can be reimbursed up to $2,000 for paying for a worker to be credentialed.

Kiraly Tool and Die is located just off of the Madison Avenue Expressway on Crescent Street.

It supplies specially-made manufactured pieces for a half-dozen large companies. Ninety percent of its business is between Cleveland and Pittsburgh.

“Our machinists wear a lot of hats,” said designer Kyle Kiraly. “They receive the material, they program the machines, they run the machines. It’s a highly-skilled workforce.”

Kiraly led Husted on a tour of the facility. Most of Husted’s questions were centered on how employees are hired and advanced.

“In Ohio right now, we are creating jobs at a faster pace than we’re creating employees,” Husted said.

He talked with some of Kiraly’s employees. He also watched a piece being built that will become part of a loading ramp.

Husted hopes a company like Kiraly can use TechCred.

“In this facility, one of the credentials they need are NIM’s credentials,” Husted said. “Those are National Institute of Manufacturing credentials where it says that you’re able to do the computer-assisted design or the other types of technical skills that are necessary to grow in the manufacturing economy.”

TechCred has a maximum of $30,000 per employer and it’s not limited to manufacturing.

“Also could be operating a drone, it could be cyber-security, it could be any of these in-demand skills that employers say they need,” Husted said.

For employers considering applying for TechCred, there are some guidelines:
– It must be an industry-recognized credential that is technology-focused
– The program must be completed in 12 months or less with less than 30 credit hours
– The money will not be reimbursed until the credential is obtained
– The application deadline is short — October 31
– Who gets awarded will be competitive and not first-come, first-serve