Manufacturing Apprenticeship Program Graduation

Several apprentices in Raise the Bar’s Manufacturing Apprenticeship (formerly known as the Ohio Federation for Advanced Manufacturing Education [OH FAME]) were honored during a graduation ceremony at the University of Findlay’s Winebrenner TLB Auditorium.

The ceremony marked the cohort’s completion of the two-year “learn while-you-earn” program.

Apprentices also received their Associate of Technical Studies in Applied Engineering during Owens Community College’s commencement the following evening.

Apprentices and their respective employers included: Lincoln Bockbrader, Simona-PMC; Ryder Egbert, Molten; Gabe Heilman, Molten; Brendon Iliff, Ball Corporation; Conner Klaft, ZF Active Safety; Clay Santos, Simona-PMC; and Cory Warnecke, Hitachi Astemo Findlay.

Upon graduation, the apprentices have been offered full-time employment at their apprenticeship locations.

Graduates in Raise the Bar’s ceremony received notes of congratulations from Raise the Bar’s Board President, City of Findlay Mayor Christina Muryn; Owens Community College’s President, Dr. Dione Somerville.

“Apprenticeships are becoming more prevalent in the manufacturing industry for outstanding reasons,” said Tricia Valasek, Raise the Bar Executive Director.

“Apprenticeships intentionally provide simultaneous high-quality instruction, mentorship, and on-the-job training for individuals to retain knowledge and skills as well as gain confidence. Employers know the importance of this purposeful development, and they are willing to invest the time and resources necessary to fill their workforce gaps.”



Each year the Manufacturing Apprenticeship program welcomes a new cohort of apprentices.

Companies currently seeking apprentices for the August 2022 cohort include Kalmbach Feeds, Hitachi Astemo Findlay, and Cooper Tire and Rubber (Mold Operations – Tall Timbers).

Applicants must hold a high school diploma or GED and be at least 18 years of age.

Additional program details and an application are available at

Raise the Bar also recently held its Manufacturing Week at Owens and you can get more on that by clicking here.