The Importance of Upskilling and Reskilling for Manufacturers: Ohio TechCred Can Help

Date March 11, 2024
Authors Amy M. Reynallt

Successful manufacturers must balance countless initiatives and priorities. Customer satisfaction, vendor dependability, production efficiency, employee fulfillment, waste reduction, and profitability are only a few initiatives that manufacturing leaders face. Over the past several years, the alignment of employee skills with company needs has become increasingly important. As manufacturers adopt more advanced technologies, the need for new skill sets from laborers has surfaced. Instead of recruiting new hires, an increasingly challenging endeavor in the current labor market, many manufacturers are choosing to upskill or reskill their current employees.  

What is the difference between upskilling and reskilling? Upskilling improves an employee’s current skillset and knowledge by providing updates or advancements in their knowledge. For instance, a CNC operator may be upskilled by obtaining a CNC certificate. Reskilling allows an employee to learn new skills. This may be critical if a manufacturer is replacing a labor-intensive process with equipment that performs the same job in an automated way. 

For example, someone who manually packaged parts from a production line may be reskilled to learn how to operate and maintain a machine that performs the packaging function.  

In addition to supporting the business’s needs, upskilling and reskilling employees can help a manufacturer maintain their workforce, despite the evolution of the business. Many studies show that investments in employees and their skills can help manufacturers keep employees engaged, thereby reducing turnover.  

Consider the following steps to determine if upskilling or reskilling is right for your manufacturing business:

  1. Evaluate the needs of the business. Consider upcoming needs of the business as well, especially those that may require different skill sets.  
  2. Align the needs of the business with the skills offered by your current employees.  
  3. Consider gaps between skillsets needed and skillsets demonstrated by your employees.  
  4. Work with employees to determine where there is interest in upskilling or reskilling to fill these gaps.  
  5. Consider programs from which employees can obtain upskilling or reskilling.  
  6. Enroll employees in selected programs and monitor their progress.  

For employers in Ohio, the state’s TechCred program offers eligible Ohio employers reimbursement of up to $2,000 per credential (and $30,000 per funding round) for short-term, industry-recognized, technology-focused credentials or certificates. 

Applications for the current round of funding will be accepted through March 29, 2024, at 3:00 PM.

Employers must have an OH|ID and apply online at The Ohio Department of Development will score applications and award funding. Considerations for applications include the level of economic distress in the applicant’s region, the balance of awards provided to the region, and the amount that an employer is contributing towards the certificate or certification. 

Employers are encouraged to review eligibility criteria, allowable credentials, training providers, and more information regarding the program by visiting

For more information about Ohio TechCred or to learn about other resources that may help your manufacturing business with upskilling or reskilling employees, contact a member of HBK Manufacturing Solutions at or 330-758-8613.

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