Sam Allard / Scene
The Schron tour bus; Schron has opted for orange and black -- a seasonal homage? -- for some unconventional campaign colors.
Republican County Executive hopeful Jack Schron kicked off an all-day bus tour Saturday morning by unveiling a new "Jobs 4 Unity" initiative which Schron said he would make a priority if elected. The initiative would seek to create a countywide mentoring program that pairs local businesses (specifically in high-growth and manufacturing sectors) with area high school students.
Strategies for home-growing talent are mentioned theoretically all the time
, but Schron seems to think that his initiative — complete with a county task force on which city councilman Zack Reed and state Senator Shirley Smith have already agreed to sit — can be an important step toward getting the business community more actively engaged.
Schron's sparsely attended a.m. press conference was flush with catchphrases. In a W. 65th St. parking lot across the street from the construction site of the new Max Hayes High School, Schron emphasized "Jack means jobs!" and "Taking Max Back!" during his prepared remarks.
Max Hayes — the Max to be taken back — is the only vocational high school in CMSD's portfolio. Both Schron and Nick Stipanovich, President of Turbo Machine & Tool and an instructor at Max Hayes, highlighted its value.
"This is the next generation of tool and dye, the next generation of folks working on automobiles. Anyone who's worked on cars knows that it's really a computer on four wheels. Everything is moving toward high-tech," Schron said.
He added that young people staying in school and getting jobs has an important side effect: crime mitigation.
Stipanovich said that it's realistic for students to go "immediately into employment" after courses in CNC (Computer Numerical Control) Machining.
"The jobs are there," he said. "The talent, right now, is not."
Sam Allard / Scene
Schron, preaching to his private choir.
Schron said, though, that people are beginning once again to recognize the allure of manufacturing jobs. "There's a waiting list for Max Hayes right now," Schron said, before announcing the continuation of the Jack Schron Sr. Memorial Scholarship. Schron is donating $15,000 for as many as 10 students at Max Hayes to pursue careers in manufacturing at Tri-C or CSU.
When asked about his "number one goal" in office, Schron said he had two:
"One is delivery of our services. The other part is to grow and develop jobs here in Northeast Ohio."
Schron and his Democratic challenger Armond Budish have both been emphasizing the intensity with which they'll pursue job creation and talent attraction. Schron, however, cites his track record of business leadership to give him the leg up over Budish, who's long had money on his side.
Schron said in his debate with Budish back in September that his staff at Jergens
"looks a lot like" the city of Cleveland, with employees from diverse racial and ethnic backgrounds and "work persuasions."
He certainly made it out to diverse crowds on Saturday: Schron and his cavalcade stopped at cites in Westlake, Berea, Brooklyn, Brecksville, dowtown Cleveland, Cleveland's east side, and Lyndhurst.