The Ohio Manufacturing Institute (OMI) today announced the appointment of an executive director to manage its operations fulltime, and a $150,000 grant from the Ohio Department of Development (ODOD). The grant will be used to develop a process to allow Ohio manufacturers easier access to technical services from a wider range of public and private resources throughout the state.
OMI serves as an entry point for connecting Ohio manufacturers with the state’s vast array of technical resources. Housed on the campus of The Ohio State University (OSU), OMI meets customer needs by providing manufacturers with a quick and cost-effective mechanism for research, development and process support utilizing OSU faculty, student and researcher expertise.
Rich Spivey, a senior manager at Honda of America Mfg., responsible for strategic planning, cost control, and supply chain sustainability in Honda’s North American Purchasing Division, is on loan to The Ohio State University to lead OMI as its first full-time executive director for the next two years. Since joining Honda in 1990, Spivey has been involved in the sourcing and localization of parts with suppliers in North America, including assessing their capabilities and ways to improve their operations.
“Rich brings a high level of experience to OMI that will be essential as we work with manufacturers to match and solve their technical needs with the exceptional resources available in the state of Ohio,” said Glenn Daehn, who previously headed OMI, among other duties at OSUthat include his role as the OSU-Honda Partnership Executive Director. “We very much appreciate that Honda is loaning such a talented leader to head OMI at this important time.”
For two years, OMI has operated as an arm of the OSU College of Engineering to make the university’s technical resources available to the broad range of Ohio manufacturers, including aerospace and aviation, polymers and chemicals, energy components, as well as automobile and automotive parts manufacturing.
“Glenn did a great job positioning OMI to provide important technical services through engineering service contracts, technical internships with OSU engineering students, technical training and a seminar / lecture series,” Spivey said. “The grant through the Department of Development will be used in part to identify additional solution providers in Ohio, and establish ways to quickly and efficiently connect manufacturers with appropriate technical resources.”
ODOD is working through the Ohio Manufacturing Extension Partnership, or Ohio MEP, to provide the $150,000 in funding for the grant from the Edison Funds. The ODOD grant will help to expand access to a wide range of manufacturing expertise available through The Ohio State University and other Ohio universities and community colleges, manufacturing extension partnerships, the Thomas Edison Centers, and public and private research facilities.
“Honda’s role with OMI demonstrates a solid commitment of support to manufacturing, the backbone of our state’s economy,” said Christiane Schmenk, Director of the Ohio Department of Development. “Ohio is proud to have one of the top MEP programs in the country, but it is not well-known to our smaller manufacturers. I am encouraged by this collaboration that will allow us to better connect them to the resources available through our universities, research centers, and our MEP partners such as MAGNET in Cleveland, the Edison Welding Institute, PolymerOhio and BioOhio in central Ohio, the Center for Innovative Food Technology in Toledo, and TechSolve in Cincinnati.”
Honda has worked in partnership with the OSU College of Engineering for 24 years on a variety of initiatives to advance product and manufacturing technologies, ergonomics research and encourage talented mathematical and technical students to consider careers in engineering. More recent efforts are focused on the vitality of manufacturing in the region and economic development.
In addition, Honda has supported the development of OMI as a valuable conduit to bring technical expertise to a growing number of Ohio manufacturers. “As a manufacturer with approximately 150 suppliers in the state, Honda recognizes the value of sharing technical expertise from our colleges and universities, and from both private and public research organizations,” said Rick Schostek, senior vice president at Honda of America.
“Along with our support providing Rich’s valuable expertise, we appreciate the grant from the Ohio Department of Development that will be used to broaden the scope of OMI activities,” Schostek added. “By working together, we are taking important steps to strengthen the capabilities of the full range of manufacturers in the state, large and small.”