Many of the business owners who attended were concerned about the manufacturing workforce. Specifically, they worried that the entire younger generation was being dissuaded from pursuing a career in manufacturing.
Roger Sustar of Fredon Corp. and Chuck Gehrisch of Roll-Kraft both echoed the same concerns. They said they had well-paid employees with stable jobs but they still perceived manufacturing as an industry with a negative stigma.
Christine Blake, the CEO of Cardinal Community Credit Union, said those prejudices are often reinforced by parents who insist their child go to a 4-year college.
Gehrisch also said it was difficult to get schools to participate in programs that encouraged students to look at careers in manufacturing.
Taylor replied that she knew from personal experience that college is not for every person.
Janet Dowling -- a Mentor councilwoman and the CFO of a local business that works with many manufacturers -- said that her customers have told her that they have enough employees for now. But, in the near future, they will need a younger generation to replace them and not enough people are there.