MAGNET helps YSU impact manufacturing

Youngstown State University announced a partnership with the Manufacturing Advocacy & Growth Network on Wednesday.

On Wednesday morning, members of MAGNET met with YSU President Cynthia Anderson and professors from the College of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics in Williamson Hall to discuss the partnership benefits.

MAGNET is an economic development organization located in Cleveland. The organization plans to help YSU connect with small to midsize manufacturing companies throughout the Mahoning Valley.

Michael Hripko, director of research and technology-based economic development for the STEM College, said collaborating with MAGNET expands the territory for university students.

“The first thing we’re going to see is more co-op opportunities — more companies here for career day, more academic work that involves real-life problem solving throughout Ohio,” Hripko said.

He said that companies will have the chance to take advantage of YSU’s recourses.

John Schober, MAGNET’s director of innovation, said manufacturers in Ohio approach MAGNET hoping to have a better interaction with the region’s colleges and universities.

“Sometimes, they find it difficult to work with universities, to talk with the right people, to know what assets are there and how to work with those assets,” he said. “There are 7,000 to 8,000 small manufacturers around Northeast Ohio. MAGNET wants the university to interact with as many as possible.”

Schober said interns may overlook smaller manufacturers and focus on bigger names like Delphi and V&M Star, and that small companies can give students work experience.

“We want to have a bigger impact on the economy, and this is the vehicle for us to do it,” Schober said.

MAGNET has collaboration agreements with YSU, Kent State University, Cleveland State University, Case Western Reserve University, Lorain County Community College and the University of Akron.