CMT recognizes workers on National Skilled Trades Day – Business Journal Daily


YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio — If Michael Kovach, president of City Machine Technologies Inc., was successful, he would hire 20 more employees, as would Ryan Swanson.

Swanson, a 24-year-old welder employed by CMT, stands out because most of those working around him – including his father Kevin, a machinist – are much older, with decades of experience in skilled trades.

“My grandfather was a welder,” Swanson said. “He passed me some books and told me how great a career as a welder could be. I’ve been welding since I was 14.

After graduating from high school at Trumbull County Career and Technical Center, Swanson then worked at TMK Ipsco in Brookfield before landing his job at CMT three years ago. “I just got my certifications in all positions,” he said.

Swanson represents the next generation of skilled workers who aren’t afraid to tackle manufacturing jobs. The challenge for manufacturers is that young craftsmen like Swanson are harder to find as many experienced employees leave the workforce.

“COVID scared a lot of our retired guys,” Kovach said. The pandemic, he expanded, led to at least a dozen traders quitting their jobs at CMT. “We are now hiring guys who are in their 50s – not that it’s bad, but we would like to involve more young people.”

The company has also rehired some of those who recently retired as part-time employees, he said.

On Wednesday, those working in industrial trades were honored as part of National Skilled Trades Day, a recognition offered for the first time by CMT.

“We need to celebrate those who roll up their sleeves and have a sweat on their foreheads because for so long everyone said you had to go to college,” said Claudia Kovach, vice president and daughter of Michael Kovach.

Claudia Kovach initiated the process of establishing National Skilled Trades Day through the National Days Calendar Registry. It was first celebrated in 2019 and is now celebrated annually on the first Wednesday in May.

“We need the truckers, the machinists, the mechanics – you can’t overlook the sweat during the day, because those are the jobs that will always stay in Youngtown and in the United States,” she said. . “They will never be outsourced.”

The day also recognizes medical technicians, hearing/ventilation/air conditioning specialists, electricians and other skilled trades positions.

On Wednesday, the company provided lunch for all of its 65 employees.

Among the goals of National Skilled Trades Day is to raise awareness of the importance for young people to consider manufacturing and the skilled trades as a career, says Claudia Kovach.

Highlighting this is CMT’s creation of a free, downloadable coloring book to teach children about careers in machining, she says. After the child has colored it, she offers to staple it like a book and read it with the child. Those interested can download and print the 2022 coloring book and past years at:

The company also encourages others to spread awareness of the benefits of skilled trades through social media using the hashtag #NationalSkilledTradesDay.

CMT refurbishes and reconditions components for a variety of industries, including steel, power generation, rail docks, wastewater treatment, nuclear, machine shops, and food manufacturing – any operation that requires equipment to run their business, said Michael Kovach.

The company president says he could use 20 more employees and reactivate CMT’s third shift due to business. “We’ve hired five people in the last three months,” he said. “We can train them.

Geno DiFabio, a truck driver for CMT, says the company is often called upon to do on-site work and finding employees is difficult.

“There’s a lot of money to be made here,” he said. “We fix things for just about every industry and we need the next generation.”

State Senator Sandra O’Brien, R-32 Ashtabula, who toured CMT’s operations on Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard on Wednesday, said the trades provide an option for young people who may not be prepared for the job. ‘university.

“If you like working with your hands, there are other opportunities where you could get away with a lot less debt,” she said. “You will find a job more quickly and you will be able to start your career. »

Winders, welders, machinists, truck drivers, field service technicians, electricians and industrial maintenance positions are among the positions CMT is trying to fill now, Michael Kovach said. “We need the range.”

Often, potential employees are hesitant to work at a company that requires random drug testing, Kovach found. Others simply don’t have the interest or skills for these jobs.

“Kids don’t fix their bikes or build their go-karts anymore like we used to,” he said. “We are looking for these shade tree mechanics. From there, the sky is the limit.

Welder Ryan Swanson has been with CMT for three years.

Copyright 2022 The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.


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