When the COVID-19 pandemic overtook our “normal” way of life, it also greatly impacted the manufacturing industry. In today’s WAM Podcast episode, Frances Brunelle welcomes our exciting guest, Kathryn Kelley, who is the Executive Director of Ohio Manufacturing Institute. Kathryn brings with her over 20 years of experience in program leadership and strategic communications at industry-oriented higher education, economic development, and statewide technology organization. In this episode, Kathryn dives into the biggest challenges the manufacturing workforce faced as a direct result of the pandemic — from the upfront health and safety concerns to the struggles of finding skilled workforce and sourcing products that faced supply chain shortages. To help small and medium-sized manufacturing firms solve some of these issues, she explains the importance of strategizing for the long-term and utilizing local Manufacturing Extension Partnerships (MEPs). In closing out the podcast, Kathryn shared her views on women in the manufacturing industry and how she is working, every day, to build a community in which they can thrive.
Meet Our Guest, Kathryn Kelly
Kathryn Kelley serves as executive director of OMI; she has more than 20 years’ experience in program leadership and strategic communications at industry-oriented higher education, economic development and statewide technology organizations. She collaborates with state and national partners to develop regional and national public policy to support manufacturing innovation, advocate for small- and medium-sized manufacturing needs within the supply chains and remove barriers between academia and industry. She is dedicated to researching and issuing action-provoking reports on advanced manufacturing trends, workforce development and disruptive technologies.