The Ottawa County Business Advisory Council (BAC) has held its inaugural Graduation Ceremony for the Ottawa County Skilled Trades Academy (STA) at the Ottawa County Resource Center in Oak Harbor. The 10 graduates, their parents and family, local high school administrators, representatives from OhioMeansJobs-Ottawa County, Northwest State Community College administration and instructors were on hand to congratulate members of the Ottawa County BAC.
President Ken Williams of the Ottawa County BAC introduced Dr. Todd Hernandez, President of Northwest State Community College. Dr. Hernandez emphasized why the skilled trades are an important piece of our workforce and spoke about Custom Training Solutions (CTS), a division of Northwest State Community College. CTS specializes in multi-craft, which is where students learn how to do a little bit of everything. The reason for this method is to expose students to as much information as possible.
Bill Hutchisson, STA Instructor, outlined the program year and all that the students had accomplished. This included virtual classroom instruction from Northwest State Community College’s Core Manufacturing & Logistics Skills (CMLS) Program curriculum and in-person hands-on lab activities. The students participated in team building exercises, learned common measurement systems and precision measurement tools, performed safety inspections, equipment setup and performed preventive maintenance and repair.
Local business representatives from Ohler & Holzhauer, Gill Construction, Port Clinton Manufacturing, LEWCO and Northern Manufacturing met with STA students to talk about career opportunities in the skilled trades and what employers are looking for from potential candidates.
“This student group was so phenomenal, they finished their lecture portion weeks ahead of schedule. I have been teaching for a while and I have not had that happen before,” chuckled Hutchisson. “They went through their work very fast and very efficiently. This was a great class and each one of you should be proud of what you have accomplished.” Hutchisson is a certified MSSC CPT instructor and is an Advanced Manufacturing Training Coordinator for Custom Training Solutions.
The STA students received MSSC CPT certificates they completed throughout the program year, as well as additional certifications in an OSHA-10 Hour course and CPR/AED training.
This year’s graduates are: Hunter Caskey, Cole Shortridge and Will Tibbels, Danbury High School; Trevor Wasserman, Genoa High School; Parker Audiano, Caleb Rains and Marc Spindler III, Oak Harbor High School; William Brooks and Adrianna Hummel, Port Clinton High School; and Colby Pendleton, Woodmore High School.
The MSSC CPT Certification addresses the core technical competencies of higher skilled production technicians in all sectors of manufacturing. The four Production Modules are: Safety; Quality Practices & Measurement; Manufacturing Processes & Production; and Maintenance Awareness. The MSSC is a non-profit, industry-led training, assessment and certification system focused on the core skills and knowledge needed by the nation’s front-line technicians.
During the ceremony, Hutchisson had student Caleb Rains complete one of the STA activities so that everyone could get a glimpse into what the students participated in during the program year.
Rains demonstrated the operation of a FANUC robot while completing the final exercise for material handling. Rains was planning to go into the electrical trades after high school, but after having the opportunity to experiment with robotics, he may be leaning in a different direction. There were multiple days where Rains would come to class and go straight to the FANUC robot. He would even stay a little late just finish up what he was working on.
“Each one of these students worked very hard this school year,” said Williams. “Some were attending school and participating in the skilled trades academy, all while working another job. We could not be prouder.”
The Ottawa County BAC initiative is funded through the support of the Ottawa County Community Foundation. The BAC believes that 100% of 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 in Ohio, with an emphasis on Ottawa County.
For more information about the Ottawa County Skilled Trades Academy, visit www.ocic.biz/ocbac.