America’s Workforce Development Capital

Marion is an innovative and evolving community composed of multiple educational institutions and organizations collaborating to make Marion, Ohio America’s Workforce Development Capital.

Why Marion, Ohio is America’s Workforce Development Capital

Marion has a number of assets and programs designed to attract, develop and retain qualified workers for its diverse base of employers and prospective employers. From innovative workforce development programming to a track record of economic development success, Marion is dedicated to connecting employers with the resources they need to expand or relocate their business. Below are a few of the many reasons why Marion, Ohio is America’s Workforce Development Capital!

Innovative Educational Resources

Marion is home to an “educational corridor” comprising The Ohio State University at Marion, Marion Technical College, Tri-Rivers Career Center and the RAMTEC robotics automation training center — all within a square mile of one another. Marion City Schools also pioneered the Graduate Pathways to Success program, which enables students to choose one of three curriculum pathways to achieve a two-year degree or certification by the time they graduate high school. The program has been recognized by the Governor’s Office of Workforce Transformation and the Ohio Department of Education.

Unique Workforce Development Options

Marion offers customized training programs to help develop skilled workers suited to an employer’s unique needs. With the help of JobsOhio, Marion Technical College received a $500,000 mobile training lab to teach new skills to a developing workforce. With the capacity to train hundreds of workers every year, the 400-square-foot simulator can provide onsite training to local manufacturers, thereby reducing costs and time for companies and employees.

The Workforce Acceleration Collaborative

The Marion Area Workforce Acceleration Collaborative (MAWAC) formed in 2018 to ensure students and adult learners throughout Marion County have increased access to workforce development opportunities. MAWAC membership includes an equal number of Marion County secondary and higher education leaders as well as workforce development and business leaders. Together, they are focused on combining resources to shape programs that meet today’s in-demand jobs.

A Top 100 U.S. Micropolitan for Project Development

For the second straight year, Marion was recognized as one of the nation’s Top 100 Micropolitans by Site Selection Magazine. Marion continues to attract interest from top employers throughout the world, and workforce development is one of the main reasons why.

Part of a Growing Region

As part of the greater Columbus, Ohio metropolitan statistical area, Marion benefits from its proximity to one of the nation’s fastest growing and vibrant cities. Columbus is one of 20 finalists for Amazon’s HQ2 headquarters and is expected to grow by more than one million people by the year 2050. This helps Marion attract a diverse set of employers and workers who benefit from the many quality of life attributes the greater Columbus region has to offer.

Manufacturing Heritage with Skilled Workers

The community has a rich manufacturing heritage, from the invention of the revolving hay rake in the late 1800s to the engineering of a highly sophisticated “crawler” that carried Apollo Saturn V rockets and space shuttles to the launch pad for NASA. Marion’s Whirlpool plant produces millions of dryers a year, and the community is home to a number of industrial employers including divisions of Andersen Windows, ArcelorMittal Tubular Products, Bradley Corporation, Graphic Packaging International, Nucor Steel, Piston Automotive, POET Biorefining – Marion, Sakamura USA, Sika, Union Tank Car, Wyandot Snacks, and many others. It is also corporate headquarters to Nachurs Alpine Solutions and Wilson Bohannan Lock Company.


In 2016, a marketing blueprint for economic development success, funded by a grant from the Marion Community Foundation, was created by Frazier Heiby, a public relations firm in Columbus, who’s CEO, Bryan Haviland, is originally from Marion. The result of an in-depth study conducted by Frazier Heiby, which included input from many local business leaders, was the creation of Marion’s compelling claim as “America’s Workforce Development Capital.” Thanks to Marion’s many outstanding educational institutions, along with Ohio Means Jobs: Marion County, Marion has proved time and time again that we have the best resources to train and develop a targeted workforce to fit the needs of local companies. This capability makes us more competitive and attractive to prospective and existing companies looking to expand or move their operation to Marion. America’s Workforce Development Capital is registered to CANDO by the US Patent and Trade Office… Registration Number 5,930,194. 

Marion Technical College was awarded a grant in 2017 to take the concept of America’s Workforce Development Capital (AWDC) and turn it into a tangible site that current and potential businesses could use to find out about workforce development and other resources in the community.