It’s a familiar complaint from manufacturing firms: We can’t find good people to hire.
Even with an outsized pool of unemployed workers, the National Association of Manufacturers has claimed their members have some 600,000 job openings they can’t fill because they can’t find people with the right skills.
Those concerns are repeated by work-force development officials, educators, and some economists. Even President Obama used part of his State of the Union address last month to call on Vice President Joe Biden to improve training programs so more people can get the skills they need for today’s economy.
But some academics have found strong evidence that the skills gap is not nearly as wide as many have claimed — if it exists at all. READ MORE
Carmen Williamson, 89, of Toledo’s Amazon Lodge can recall when church and lodge were the only places African-American men could socialize.
Carmen Williamson, 89, recalls the first time he visited the “best picture show house” in Toledo, the opulent, legendary Paramount Theater downtown.
He was 13 and handed the cashier some change, expecting to get a ticket to join his friends who were waiting on the third floor, which was reserved for “people of color,” he said. Instead, the theater employee turned hostile and discouraged him from entering.
“It was like that back then,” Mr. Williamson recalls. “There weren’t a lot of social opportunities for persons of color. For years all we had were the church and the Masons. There were some other places like the Cold Spot and the Elks clubs; those were places where you went to party and drink liquor. The Masons were a more stoic group.”
After more than 60 years with Toledo’s Amazon Lodge, Mr. Williamson is now the senior member of the Toledo lodge of the Prince Hall Grand Lodge of Ohio, Free and Accepted Masons. The black Masonic lodge, 638 N. University St. off Nebraska Avenue near Parkside Boulevard, is celebrating its 150th anniversary with public and private celebrations throughout the year. READ MORE
Leen Yassine, 13, left, Parker Caesar, 13, center, and Libby Stupica, 14, discuss stock prices while selecting companies to add to their portfolio at Toledo’s West Side Montessori school.
Boeing? Delta Air Lines? Spirit Airlines?
Which company’s stock will take off over the next three months?
That’s what four middle-school students at Toledo’s West Side Montessori were trying to figure out last week.
Libby Stupica, Parker Caesar, Leen Yassine, and Benjamin Theis were busy on their computers, trying to pick four stocks that would do well over the next three months.
They and their classmates are competing in The Blade’s annual School Stock Contest, which gets under way this week. READ MORE
American skier Gus Kenworthy said on his Twitter account: ‘puppy love is real to puppies’ and is bringing home a family of stray dogs from the Winter Olympics. The silver medalist will keep one and find homes for the others.
Of all the places in the cold and hardened world, what were the odds that this one — where stray dogs have allegedly been put down in the name of presenting a clean image — would be the spot where puppy love flourished on Valentine’s Day?
It could be a great kids movie. American skier wins an Olympic silver medal, adopts a mother dog and her four puppies, and brings them home to live out their days without fear. For a name, how about The Skier and the Strays? Or, From Russia, With Puppy Love?
With one heartwarming tweet earlier this week from the mountains of Krasnaya Polyana, where he was competing in the slopestyle skiing event, Gus Kenworthy practically melted all the snow from the region’s vast peaks, and the runoff could be felt all the way to Olympic Park and the Black Sea.
“puppy love is real to puppies,” Mr. Kenworthy said from his handle, @guskenworthy, and of course he included a photo of him with the dogs.
Before he even won a medal, he instantly became the hero of these Olympics, which have been largely devoid of great athletic exploits from the American contingent. READ MORE
The Nuclear Regulatory Commission is reviewing how FirstEnergy responds to the air pocket in Davis-Besse’s shield building.
Nobody knows why, but there apparently was a problem sealing up Davis-Besse nuclear power plant’s shield building after the plant’s worn-out reactor head was replaced in fall 2011.
FirstEnergy Corp. notified the Nuclear Regulatory Commission at 11:14 a.m. Friday that the utility discovered an extensive air pocket or gap of concrete in the shield building's inner wall late Thursday night. The discovery was made while the nuclear plant was offline and in the early stages of a $600 million project to replace the plant’s two original steam generators — major pieces of equipment that create steam so the plant’s turbine generator can spin and, thus, make electricity.
After cutting a hole through the shield building to move the new generators in and take the old ones out, workers noticed a large void on the building’s inner wall.
The flaw runs the 25-foot length of a cut made in fall 2011 when the new reactor head was brought in and the old one was removed, said Jennifer Young, a spokesman for FirstEnergy Nuclear Operating Co. READ MORE
Justin Schmeltz, left and Anthony Glorioso swallow live goldfish as part of a Perrysburg High School tradition during halftime of the Maumee basketball game.
An annual tradition of swallowing goldfish during halftime at a Perrysburg High School basketball game has caught the attention of officials with the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, who say the practice is against the law.
After receiving phone calls from local residents, PETA is reaching out to the police and health department about the student tradition in an attempt to stop it.
Once a year when basketball players from Perrysburg’s rival, Maumee High School, travel across the river, the seniors swallow live goldfish during halftime of the varsity boys basketball game — this year, it happened Dec. 19.
Jenna Vaughan, an animal cruelty case worker, said eating the fish is a violation of Ohio’s anti-cruelty laws and she is awaiting responses from the police and health departments. READ MORE