Business Advisory Council helping high schoolers plan for the future
By JESSICA E. KOWALSKI
Ottawa County Improvement Corp.
The Ottawa County Business Advisory Council held an Open House on Monday, Aug. 26, for 16 high school seniors who were selected to participate in the first Ottawa County Skilled Trades Academy class. Students and parents had the opportunity to check out the workshop area and program curriculum and meet with the instructor as well as members of the Business Advisory Council.
In an effort to continue building value and measurable career-focused impact in the lives of Ottawa County students, the BAC sought to expand the CEO Internship Program and add depth to the student experience. In doing this, the BAC designed a comprehensive, credit-based skilled trades program for high school seniors for the 2019-2020 school year. High school seniors are required to apply to the program and are accepted into the program by a panel of Ottawa County school and business representatives.
The Ottawa County Skilled Trades Academy has been certified by the Manufacturing Skill Standards Council and will be teaching the MSSC Certified Production Technician curriculum. The MSSC is a national 501(c)3 non-profit and is an industry-led training, assessment and certification system focused on the core skills and knowledge needed by the nation’s frontline workers. The MSSC System is based upon industry-defined and federally endorsed standards and offers workers the opportunity to demonstrate that they have acquired the skills increasingly needed in the technology-intensive jobs of the 21st century.
In addition to the MSSC CPT curriculum, students will complete an OSHA 10-Hour course and receive an OSHA 10-Hour card (industry credential), along with entrepreneurship and ethics components. Additional credentials will also be offered to students throughout the year, such as forklift training and certification.
The Ottawa County Skilled Trades Academy includes classroom instruction of the MSSC CPT curriculum and hands-on lab activities in the designated workshop area. The lab activities are designed and led by local businesses including Catawba Island Club (service), Materion Brush Inc. (production), Ohler & Holzhauer (HVAC) and Northern Manufacturing (welding). Davis Besse Nuclear Power Station will also provide four training labs at the plant site for tours and simulation activities. Training labs at Davis Besse include Electrical, Instruments & Controls, Maintenance and Mechanical.
This BAC initiative is funded through the generous support of the Ottawa County Community Foundation. The BAC believes that 100 percent of Ottawa County students should graduate from high school with a plan for their future. While Ottawa County school graduation rates are above the state average, the BAC believes that every student should graduate from high school with a solid foundation and plan for future career, college, military and/or vocational employment. The BAC aims to educate and expose Ottawa County students to the skills and continuing education needed to fill in-demand jobs in Ohio, with an emphasis on Ottawa County. For information about the Ottawa County Skilled Trades Academy, visit www.ocic.biz/ocbac.
Jessica E. Kowalski is program and office coordinator for Ottawa County Improvement Corp., ocic.biz.