COLUMBUS, Ohio — It’s no secret that health care is a major draw for the Columbus, Ohio, metropolitan area.
More than three-quarters of all jobs in the region are at risk of being lost if health care costs continue to skyrocket.
But for many of the job opportunities that are out there, a career in the chemical industry may be just the ticket.
“We know that it’s not only for people who need to stay in the industry,” said Andrew Reiner, senior director of research and analytics at the Columbus-based Center for Health and Industrial Research.
“There are a lot of people that want to do it, but it’s a high-risk, high-pay, high risk business.”
So what’s the job that has the most potential for health care jobs?
According to a new report, a chemical industry is a must.
“Healthcare is one of the fastest growing industries in America,” said Robert Gartman, a vice president at the Ohio Chamber of Commerce.
“In fact, it’s the third-largest industry in America.”
He added that the state’s job growth in the past three years has been “more than double” the national average.
Gartmans report, which looked at job growth data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, found that more than 90 percent of the jobs in chemical industries are at least 10 years old.
The jobs are mostly located in the Greater Columbus region.
Nationwide, jobs in manufacturing are expected to grow at an average rate of 2.3 percent over the next five years.
But that’s not enough for some workers who want to start their careers in the field of chemical manufacturing.
“They have the opportunity to go into a new career and have a great experience,” said Chris Lein, president of the Greater Cleveland Chamber of Business.
“It’s a good opportunity.”
He cited a recent survey that found that 42 percent of those who are employed in chemical manufacturing said they want to go back to their previous positions.
“People need a job that’s rewarding, it has a high quality of life and it can be in a community where they’re comfortable,” Lein said.
Lein added that chemical manufacturing is a high tech industry and there are always opportunities to make new connections.
“You don’t have to be a rocket scientist or a lawyer or an engineer to do the job,” Leins comments.
“What people are doing now is creating the next generation of chemists and engineers.”
With the job growth coming from all over the country, it may seem like the industry is ripe for a comeback.
But it’s just not happening right now.
“With all the changes in health care, it would take an incredible amount of jobs to fill them all,” Gartma said.
That’s why he said the Ohio Chemical Industry Association has been working hard to get people into positions where they can make the most out of their opportunities.
He added, “If you’re looking for a job right now, you’ve got to be prepared to work overtime.”
The problem is, that overtime is becoming more difficult for many workers.
According to the Bureau, the average worker in Ohio made an average of $33,700 in overtime last year.
That was a drop from the $38,200 average worker earned in 2016.
It’s not surprising, considering that more people are working at a time when they are paying the bills.
“If we are going to keep our economy vibrant, it will require more people to do more,” Gartsman said.
“And that means we have to have more people doing the job, and that means more jobs in our industry.”
If you or anyone you know needs health care or has health care related questions, call the CDC at 1-800-CDC-INFO.