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As published in Toledo Business Journal - June 1, 2017

EHOVE Career Center receives grant

EHOVE Career Center in Milan Township has received a $500,000 Straight A grant from Ohio’s Robotics and Advanced Manufacturing Technology Education Collaborative (RAMTEC) to expand the training it offers students in robotics, engineering, STEM, and manufacturing career tech programs.

Local dollars will be used to add an additional 2,750 square feet of training space for the machine trades lab and a welding area, and to provide involved instructors with high-tech training to become certified to teach the new curriculum.

“We are adding space to our machine trades and welding labs to provide additional instructional space to implement a Straight A grant we received from the State,” said Dave Jenkins, director of operations. “We will be adding advanced manufacturing equipment under the RAMTEC program. The grant equipment includes, FANUC and Motoman robots, FANUC CNC equipment, Allen Bradley PLCs, Parker hydraulic trainers, as well as a Lincoln virtual welder.”

According to Jenkins, construction is expected to begin at the beginning of April. The EHOVE Board of Education recently approved Janotta & Herner, Inc., from Monroeville, as the design/build firm for the project.

According to EHOVE, future high school and adult education students who are accepted into the upcoming RAMTEC programs will focus on designing, inventing, creating, and troubleshooting concepts and tools with the advanced technology tools and software that will be available to them. They will also have the opportunity to earn industry-recognized certifications that will apply to a manufacturing career with partner companies locally and beyond.

Several area manufacturers will partner with EHOVE in the RAMTEC program to provide students with relevant, up-to-date training and a channel for employment after graduation from high school or college.

These same manufacturers have been active in establishing high-level training for the students to fill the large number of open jobs in the field. Several area manufacturers – including Pepperidge Farm, MetalTek International, CertainTeed, Humanetics, Bettcher Industries, MTD Products, and Norwalk Furniture – came together to participate in EHOVE’s FutureMakers event last fall, a manufacturing showcase for area 9th graders.

Through interactive, hands-on activities like welding, electrical systems, CNC and robotics simulators, manufacturers connected with the students to show that manufacturing provides viable, in-demand career pathways, incorporates skill and technology, and although the work is hands-on, can still be a high wage career in a good environment.

According to EHOVE, in addition to enhancing high school and adult education programs, customized training will be available through RAMTEC for area manufacturers to strengthen the workforce by training new employees and enhancing current employees’ skillsets.