Eight Ottawa Co. students graduate from Skills Trades Academy

Press Staff Writer

        The Ottawa County Business Advisory Council (BAC) held its second graduation ceremony for the Ottawa County Skilled Trades Academy on May 12 at the Ottawa County Resource Center in Oak Harbor.
        The eight graduates were joined by their parents and family, local high school administrators, representatives from OhioMeansJobs Ottawa County, Northwest State Community College administration and instructors, and members of the Ottawa County BAC.
        Ken Williams, president of the Ottawa County BAC, offered a welcome and introduced Albert Lewis Jr., executive vice president of Northwest State Community College. Lewis congratulated the students and spoke on the importance of training and education in today’s workforce.
        Instructor Bill Hutchisson spoke about the program year and recognized the challenges the students faced due to COVID-19 lockdowns and absences.
        The Skilled Trades Academy students participated in CPR training, off-site and on-site business visits with local employers, and forklift training. Some of the students also completed the two-week long Marine Trades Certificate Training. which provides entry-level skills and training needed to begin a Marine Service Technician career. The Marine Trades Certificate Training will be part of the Skilled Trades Academy curriculum this coming school year.
        Lu Cooke, liaison to Lt. Governor Jon Husted, congratulated this year’s class and read aloud a letter from Lt. Governor Jon Husted.
        “To have this (Skilled Trades Academy) in your county is such an asset,” Cooke said. “Congratulations on everything you’ve accomplished this school year.”
        The graduates were called by name to receive their certificates, which they completed throughout the program year, including the Marine Trades Certificate. They included:
        • Camden Bloomer, Keegan Durdel and Ben Sage, Oak Harbor High School.
        • Colin Brazelton and Dylan Green, Genoa High School.
        • Andrew Pautz and Lukas Schaub, Woodmore High School.
        • Emmett Gillman, Port Clinton High School.
        Students who also earned their Marine Trades Certificate were Robbie Jacobson, Samuel Sensmeier and Ripley St. Clair, Oak Harbor High School.
        Prior to the graduation ceremony, local business representatives from LEWCO, Inc., and Northern Manufacturing met with the students to talk about career opportunities.
        This BAC initiative is funded through a collaboration among an Ohio Department of Education Industry-Recognized Credentials grant, an Industry Sector Partnership grant from Gov. DeWine’s Office of Workforce Transformation and the Ottawa County Improvement Corporation.
        “None of this would be possible without the ongoing support from the Ottawa County Community Foundation and our local employers,” Williams said.
        The BAC aims to educate and expose Ottawa County students to the skills and continuing education needed to fill in-demand jobs in Ottawa County. For more information about the Ottawa County Skilled Trades Academy, visit www.ocic.biz/ocbac.


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