A lesson in math adds up for manufacturing - 21 News Now, More Local News for Youngstown, Ohio -

A lesson in math adds up for manufacturing

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YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio - In the President's State of the Union Address, he laid out the importance of manufacturing and education. One key component: math.

On Thursday, Youngstown State University hosted the annual MATHCOUNTS competition. The local event consists of about 200 middle school students competing for a chance to advance to the national competition in Washington D.C.

"Math is just one of the basics, you're going to have to do it your whole life," said Poland Middle School student Seth Hammond. "So, just stick with it, study hard and keep it up."

According to the MATHCOUNTS Foundation, students who don't develop strong problem-solving skills in middle school will later face an uphill battle in life. That's if they decide to have a career in medicine, science, engineering or technology.

"To be able to solve problems you need more than just a calculator, you need to use your mind," said MATHCOUNTS Coordinator Jeff Ritter.

According to the Youngstown/Warren Regional Chamber, manufacturing jobs making their way back into The Valley are no longer the labor intensive jobs we once thought of.

"People are walking around with iPads monitoring the performance of a piece of machinery that is turning out some metal product or turning out some assembled product," explained Eric Planey with the Chamber. "You have to have skill sets that are just leaps and bounds ahead of what was required 20 years ago."

The Valley has added about 1,000 jobs directly associated with manufacturing in the past couple of years. According to the Chamber,  understanding math and science will only increase your odds of getting those positions.





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