Northwest State Community College was pleased to welcome Cheryl Rice, associate vice chancellor, higher education workforce alignment; John Magill, assistant deputy chancellor, economic advancement; and Eli Faes, assistant director of workforce engagement all from the Ohio Department of Higher Education, along with Senator Rob McColley and others yesterday. During the meeting, Dr. Dan Burklo, dean of Northwest State’s STEM Division, presented a showcase of the College’s public and private partnerships with area high schools and industry.
The partnerships, which include Automatic Feed in Napoleon; Defiance Metal Products and B&B Molded Products in Defiance; AP Tool in Hicksville; and area high schools, provide primarily high school juniors and seniors awareness of a modern manufacturing facility and the opportunity to learn about engineering technology careers in manufacturing. Students benefit from classes that include hands-on experiences and manufacturing facility tours. The program has served over 100 students to date, including participation from the Ayersville, Defiance, Hicksville, Holgate, Liberty Center, Napoleon, Patrick Henry, Tinora and Wauseon school districts.
The NSCC program is particularly vital, given the growing skills gap in the area. According to the Ohio Manufacturers’ Association, state manufacturing is responsible for 18% of Ohio’s gross domestic product, accounts for about 700,000 jobs across the state, and is the largest of the 20 sectors of Ohio’s economy, including government. The average annual earning of an Ohio worker on a manufacturing payroll in 2015 was $58,190. (Source: Ohiomfg.com)
Following the presentation, Dr. Burklo led the group on a tour of the College’s ‘E’ Building, where engineering technology courses and labs are utilized to educate and prepare students for their next steps: career or transfer. The tour included the synchronous classroom where students continue with Miami University to attain their bachelor of science degree in engineering technology.
“We are proud to have established partnerships with some great local businesses and high schools,” Burklo said. “The flexibility of all the partners involved allows us to deliver this hands-on education to keep northwest Ohio running strong and strengthen our communities.”