The second annual Ottawa County Business Advisory Council (BAC) Graduation Ceremony for the Ottawa County Skilled Trades Academy was held recently at the Ottawa County Resource Center in Oak Harbor. The eight graduates, their parents and family, local high school administrators, representatives from OhioMeansJobs Ottawa County, Northwest State Community College administration and instructors and, of course, members of the Ottawa County BAC were in attendance.
Ken Williams, President of the Ottawa County BAC, welcomed everyone and introduced Albert Lewis Jr., Executive Vice President of Northwest State Community College. Lewis congratulated the students and spoke on the importance of training and education in today’s workforce.
Instructor Bill Hutchisson spoke about the program year and the hurdles the students have endured due to Covid-19 lockdowns and absences. The students had a lot of material to go through in a short timeframe. Hutchisson spoke to the students and mentioned the importance of being present and to give yourself the opportunity to experience all of it, as they didn’t get that opportunity this year.
The students participated in CPR Training, off-site and on-site business visits with local employers and Forklift Training. Some of the students also completed the 2-week long Marine Trades Certificate Training that provided students with entry-level skills and training needed to begin a Marine Service Technician career. The Marine Trades Certificate Training will be part of the Skilled Trades Academy curriculum this coming school year.
Lu Cooke, liaison to Lt. Governor Jon Husted, congratulated this years’ class and read aloud a letter each student received from Lt. Governor Jon Husted.
“To have this (Skilled Trades Academy) in your county is such an asset,” said Cooke. “Congratulations on everything you’ve accomplished this school year.”
Prior to the graduation ceremony, local business representatives from LEWCO and Northern Manufacturing met with the students to talk about career opportunities.
The graduates were called up by name to receive their certificates they completed throughout the program year, including the Marine Trades Certificate. Congratulations to the following students: Camden Bloomer, Oak Harbor High School; Colin Brazelton, Genoa High School; Keegan Durdel, Oak Harbor High School; Emmett Gillman, Port Clinton High School; Dylan Green, Genoa High School; Andrew Pautz, Woodmore High School; Ben Sage, Oak Harbor High School; and Lukas Schaub, Woodmore High School. Students who also earned their Marine Trades Certificate were Oak Harbor High School’s Robbie Jacobson, Samuel Sensmeier and Ripley St. Clair.
This BAC initiative is funded through a collaborative approach between an Ohio Department of Education Industry-Recognized Credentials grant, an Industry Sector Partnership grant from Governor Mike DeWine’s Office of Workforce Transformation, and the Ottawa County Improvement Corporation. It was made possible by the ongoing support from the Ottawa County Community Foundation and local Ottawa County employers.
The BAC believes Ottawa County students should graduate from high school with a plan for their future. The BAC aims to educate and expose Ottawa County students to the skills and continuing education needed to fill in-demand jobs here in Ottawa County. For more information about the Ottawa County Skilled Trades Academy, visit www.ocic.biz/ocbac.