UA to host program on Ohio job growth


“Fueling Ohio’s New Job Growth,” a half-day symposium on biomedical sciences, advanced energy, and polymers and coatings  — three industries significant to Ohio’s economic growth potential — will take place in the Goodyear Auditorium in the Goodyear Polymer Center, home to UA’s College of Polymer Science and Polymer Engineering. Scheduled for Wednesday, June 23, 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m., the program, which is sponsored by the Akron Beacon Journal and, is designed to help companies benefit from the next phase of job creation in Ohio.

"The college's role in the development of new technologies is critical to job creation, enhanced economic development and the overall vitality of the region," says Dr. Stephen Z. Cheng, dean of the UA College of Polymer Science and Polymer Engineering.

Moderated by Deborah Cummings, assistant director, Technology and Innovation Division of the Ohio Department of Development, the discussion will feature panelists Dennis Barber of Ohio Polymer Strategy Council, Christopher Coburn of the Cleveland Clinic, John Dearborn of JumpStart Ventures, Joel Domino of Kent Displays, Dave Karpinski of NorTech, Baiju Shah of BioEnterprise and Ron Shuck of Sherwin Williams. Summit County Executive Russ Pry will introduce these panelists and their discussion on the impact of the economic downturn on Ohio’s business landscape in recent years. The panelists will share their thoughts about the direction businesses need to take to attract talent and expand operations in Ohio’s developing industries.

Support for emerging job growth areas

“We feel that the ‘Fueling Ohio's New Job Growth’ symposium that is being hosted by the College of Polymer Science and Polymer Engineering will be an informative event for leaders in emerging job growth areas to come together and engage the community at large,” says Dr. Matthew Becker, UA associate professor of polymer science and event coordinator. “The University of Akron is committed to assisting these efforts by providing highly trained graduates and growing research activities in these areas.”

Becker adds that during the event, the University will announce both a technical workshop and the launching of the Akron Functional Materials Center, which is a joint research center between the College of Polymer Science and Polymer Engineering and the Austen Bioinnovation Institute in Akron.

College of Polymer Science and Polymer Engineering

The University of Akron’s College of Polymer Science and Polymer Engineering is the world’s first, and the nation’s largest, academic program devoted to the study of polymers. With 34 faculty members, five endowed professorships and chairs, and 300 graduate and post-doctoral students, the college's distinguished faculty and student body represent one of the world’s largest concentrations of polymer expertise. In late 2010, the college will open its fifth campus facility, the 43,00-sq.-ft. National Polymer Innovation Center.

Media contact: Denise Henry, 330-972-6477 or