Where Manufacturing Matters

John Colm, WIRE-Net President and Executive Director

John Colm is the founding President and Executive Director of WIRE-Net, where he has worked since November 1986. WIRE-Net is a manufacturing based non-profit economic development organization supporting manufacturing leaders with services in manufacturing improvement, workforce development, and advocacy.
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Recent Posts


Posted by John Colm, WIRE-Net President and Executive Director on Dec 11, 2017 2:32:04 PM

Ubuntu is a Zulu phrase which, loosely translated, implies that you are a person because of other people.

Well, WIRE-Net's 2020 VISION Strategic Direction exists because of other people. WIRE-Net's Board of Directors undertook the plan in large part because of the tremendous changes – in demographics, economics, technology, and politics – taking place in our region and in manufacturing.

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Topics: Workforce Development, IoT, Internet of Things, 2020 Vision, Talent

Talent Is Job One . . . for WIRE-Net

Posted by John Colm, WIRE-Net President and Executive Director on Aug 10, 2017 9:04:07 AM

WIRE-Net is finalizing its 2020 VISION strategic direction for the next three years. We’ve researched the emerging issues confronting greater Cleveland’s manufacturing sector, interviewed dozens of Ohio and United States manufacturing experts, conducted a series of manufacturing focus groups with member and non-member firms, organized a four-hour Future Search to identify and prioritize the challenges, and have been digesting this information and more to set our future direction. Over 130 people have been engaged in our 2020 VISION plan so far.

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Topics: Workforce Development, Workforce, Strategic Planning, Swagelok

2020 VISION – Hope I'm Not Stumbling 'round Blind!

Posted by John Colm, WIRE-Net President and Executive Director on May 18, 2017 10:15:00 AM

(Sorry for the obscure reference to Charlie Haden's version of the Gene Autry song!)

WIRE-Net's last full overhaul of its strategic direction was in 2013. In Northeast Ohio, we were still clawing our way out of the Great Recession, particularly in manufacturing. The changes we see now in the manufacturing sector had their genesis years ago, but the pace of change sure seems like it has accelerated. This is one of the observations from WIRE-Net's Future Search, held on April 21st.

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Topics: 2020 Vision, Strategic Planning

Survey Says...

Posted by John Colm, WIRE-Net President and Executive Director on Feb 12, 2017 11:00:00 AM

It’s that time of year when many manufacturers are making plans for the new year, and organizations that work closely with manufacturers are doing likewise, while also trying to keep on top of changes in the manufacturing sector.

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Topics: Skoda Minotti, Manufacturing and Distribution Survey 2017

Cleveland Only Minimum Wage Proposal Dies

Posted by John Colm, WIRE-Net President and Executive Director on Jan 17, 2017 3:40:17 PM

An initiative proposing a Cleveland-only 85% minimum wage increase was brought forward months ago, which would have phased in a $15-an-hour minimum wage (starting with $12 an hour in January 2018) in Cleveland while the rest of the state remained at $8.15. WIRE-Net, The Greater Cleveland Partnership, Mayor Frank Jackson, Council President Kevin Kelley and others opposed this misguided local minimum wage ballot issue because it would place the City of Cleveland at a disadvantage, hinder job creation, business growth, and the overall momentum the city is now experiencing.

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Topics: Minimum Wage, Clevelanders Against Job Loss

Silly Season in CLE

Posted by John Colm, WIRE-Net President and Executive Director on Aug 31, 2016 11:54:10 AM

First, we’ve got a Columbus based, union-backed group stirring up Cleveland residents to press for a Cleveland-only 85% increase in the minimum wage (which is currently set under Ohio law at $8.10/hour). A noble objective, no doubt, to raise the minimum wage – but for Cleveland only?  There is still significant wrangling underway in Ohio courts about when this might appear on the ballot (and if it is even constitutional for cities to set their own minimum wage), but it seems very likely that it will be on the ballot within a few months, if not in November.

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Topics: Advocacy, Minimum Wage, Clevelanders Against Job Loss

Nothing to Negotiate on Cleveland-only 85% Increase in Minimum Wage

Posted by John Colm, WIRE-Net President and Executive Director on Jul 25, 2016 3:17:08 PM

The Cleveland Plain Dealer recently published an editorial concerning the proposed Cleveland-only 85% increase in the City’s minimum wage.

The editorial pointed out several flaws in the approach being proposed.  WIRE-Net’s survey of its Cleveland-based manufacturing stakeholders indicates that the proposal would push jobs and investment out of Cleveland. 

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Topics: Advocacy, Minimum Wage

Proposed Minimum Wage Law to Create Good Paying Jobs Will Not Be Achieved

Posted by John Colm, WIRE-Net President and Executive Director on Jun 8, 2016 12:52:55 PM

For the last 30 years, my work has focused on working with Cleveland based manufacturers and helping them compete, invest, grow and add jobs in the city.

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Topics: Membership, Manufacturing, City of Cleveland, Advocacy, Training, Good Paying Jobs, Minimum Wage, Economic Development

Manufacturing Multiplies, Pays, Exports, and Innovates

Posted by John Colm, WIRE-Net President and Executive Director on May 10, 2016 9:39:34 AM

At WIRE-Net, Manufacturing Matters, because, as we like to put it, manufacturing multiplies, manufacturing pays, exports, and innovates. 

What we mean by this is that every manufacturing job is the foundation for up to 5 additional jobs in other industry sectors, the highest employment multiplier of any industry.  Manufacturing pays 17% more in wages than other sectors.  52% of U.S. exports are in the manufacturing sector.  Finally, 75% of private sector research and development comes from the manufacturing sector, helping ensure that American manufacturing remains on the cutting edge of new products and technologies.

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Topics: Accelerate Cleveland Manufacturing, MAGNET, Annual Meeting, Annual Report, Max S. Hayes High School

Study Shows Ohio Leads Midwest in Clean Energy Manufacturing Jobs

Posted by John Colm, WIRE-Net President and Executive Director on Mar 25, 2016 11:13:22 AM

Over 28,000 Ohio clean energy jobs can be found in manufacturing, and of those, nearly 7,700 are in the solar sector and 1,138 are in wind.  This is the most manufacturing jobs of any of the states included in the Clean Jobs Midwest survey released today.  Nationally, each manufacturing job creates another 5.6 additional jobs, so NE Ohio’s Clean Energy sector drives a total of over 150,000 jobs. Ohio firms make everything from solar panels and wind turbine generators and fasteners, to roof and ground mounted solar racking systems and more.

Nearly 25% of Ohio’s 100,783 clean energy jobs are located in the 7 counties surrounding Cleveland. 

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Topics: Energy, Clean Energy, Ohio Renewables and Efficiency Standards, Clean Jobs Midwest, Renewable Energy Standards, Clean Energy Jobs

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