Skilled Trades Day

PC News Herald Local
Manufacturers Talk Labor Needs
With Students

On November 22, 2014, representatives from ARES, Inc. (Port Clinton), Century Tool & Die (Fremont), C Nelson Manufacturing (Oak Harbor), Materion-Brush, Inc. (Elmore), Whirlpool (Clyde) and Terra State Community College (Skilled Trades Dept.) met with more than 100 students at Oak Harbor High School to talk about skilled trades careers in local manufacturing operations, and the ability for high school students to explore and take advantage of apprenticeship programs, co-ops and certificate programs at local technical schools.

Each of the companies noted a rise in the demand for skilled trade jobs, and the quality of life those jobs provide for area families.  Jim Lippert, with Materion-Brush spoke to students about the affordability of a 2-year degree, as compared to many 4-year degrees, and that Materion-Brush has started an electrical co-op program to provide on-the-job training and experience to students in a 2-year program.  Materion-Brush is also looking at implementing a scholarship program to help pay for an employee’s education at the facility.

Kelly Smith, President of C Nelson Manufacturing, challenged students’ knowledge of basic industrial tools and pointed out one of the most useful features of everyone’s smart phones – the alarm clock – as a way to communicate the importance of taking responsibility for being on time to the job and for being a reliable employee.  Mark Moore with ARES, Inc. discussed his company’s need for electronics technicians and machinists, as he discussed the important military applications ARES is involved with every day.  Tim Myers, of Century Tool & Die shared his story of how he began with the company sweeping floors, and now is the co-owner.  He, like the other business representatives, encouraged students to participate in job shadow experiences to see the types of products being produced and the work involved in the creation.

The “Skilled Trades Day” was a great way to introduce our students to career opportunities available to them after graduation,” said Kim Coffman, Guidance Counselor at Oak Harbor High School.  “We were overwhelmed by the willingness and support of our local businesses to share information with our students and we hope to continue exposing them to the many opportunities available in our community.”

“Area businesses are engaged in some really cool projects, said Jamie Beier Grant, Director at the Ottawa County Improvement Corporation.  ARES, Inc. developed next generation cannon technology for the military’s Stryker vehicle; C Nelson Manufacturing makes the refrigerated carts that we get our ice cream out of when we go to Cedar Point or a NASCAR race; Materion-Brush makes components on the James Webb Space Telescope and their parts are in each one of your cell phones you use every day.  A little piece of our local businesses is in so much of the world’s coolest technologies.  We need to recognize this and get excited about being a part of developing their next generation of products."  The “Skilled Trades Day” was modeled after a similar event that was held in September at Terra Community College for area counselors.  The Ottawa County Improvement Corporation assisted B-C-S Schools in organizing the event for the Oak Harbor High School students

Ottawa County Improvement Corporation

8043 West State Route 163 Suite 100 | Oak Harbor, Ohio 43449

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