The first group of OH FAME apprentices graduated in a ceremony held at the Marathon Center for the Performing Arts.
OH FAME stands for Ohio Federation for Advanced Manufacturing Education.
The apprentices spent the last two years working for their companies while also earning an Associate of Technical Studies in Applied Engineering from Owens Community College.
Tricia Valasek, Executive Director of Raise the Bar – Hancock County says the “earn while you learn” program brings local manufacturers and educators together to create a skilled workforce pipeline to area jobs.
We caught up with Tricia at MCPA on the night of the graduation and she talks more about the program and the graduates in the audio below.
More details on the graduation are in the following news release from Raise the Bar – Hancock County.
The first graduates of the region’s Manufacturing Technician Apprenticeship program, formerly known as the Ohio Federation for Advanced Manufacturing Education (OH FAME), were honored Thursday evening during a graduation ceremony at the Marathon Center for the Performing Arts. The apprentices spent the past two years working for their companies while also earning an Associate of Technical Studies in Applied Engineering from Owens Community College.
Apprenticeship graduates and their respective companies included: Justin J. Bennett, Simona-PMC; Alexander R. Dahms, ZF Active Safety; Amy Deeter, GSW Manufacturing; Jay Lopez, Jr., Cooper Tire & Rubber (Mold Operations); Ridge McGirr, Hitachi Astemo Findlay; Brendan Miller, ZF Active Safety; Andrew Michael Smith, Ball Corporation; Taylor Stanforth, GSW Manufacturing; Lucas Wank, Hitachi Astemo Findlay; and Troy Ward, Rowmark.
Ridge McGirr reflected on his experience during the ceremony stating, “My current mentor is Bob Green…to him Id like to say thank you because hes taught me a ton. He actually taught me a ton about taking pride in my work, and now I take pride in everything I do.” Ridge further added, “I thank [Hitachi Astemo Findlay] for giving me the opportunity that they gave me because I didnt have anything to show when I first started this and they really gave me the opportunity to grow and become something.”
Graduates received notes of congratulations from Owens Community Colleges Board of Trustees Chair and Provost; Raise the Bar’s Board President; and Senator Sherrod Brown and Ohio Lt. Governor Jon Husted. Julie Baker and Tracy Campbell from Owens Community College awarded each graduate a Certificate of Completion for satisfactorily finishing the non-registered apprenticeship program – recognized by the Ohio Manufacturers Association as a superior earn-while-you-learn model.
Each year the Manufacturing Technician Apprenticeship program welcomes new candidates. Companies seeking to sponsor a new and/or incumbent worker for the 2022 Cohort will begin accepting applications in December 2021. Additional details on the program are available at www.raisethebarhancock.org/apprenticeships.