The Press Newspaper

Toledo, Ohio & Lake Erie

The Press Newspaper

The Press Newspaper

In a survey of Clay High School sophomores, over 83 percent of the 276 students indicated they intend on enrolling in a career technical program.

Steve Bialorucki, director of career and technical education at Oregon Schools, says that tells anyone paying attention that education is in a state of change.

Bialorucki says traditional enrollment in what used to be called “vocational education” included programs like machine trades, auto tech and drafting. The image of vocational education was perceived to be unappealing to the majority of students and parents were told that “success” was tied to a college degree – any college degree.

Not anymore. The jobs are going back to the trades — and it’s a different world of trades than it was in the 1980s and 1990s.

In May, Penta Career Center celebrated its 50th birthday, but the school is perhaps more valuable now to its member schools and students than ever before.

The only problem is, Penta can’t keep up with the demand to train students in trades, but they are working on it.

“I think part of it is there are job openings. In print, radio, and TV, you are hearing in conversation the need for skilled workers. That has been going on for several years,” said Penta Superintendent Ron Matter.

“You couple that with, look at the return on investment of a four-year degree. A student comes in, and the parent says, ‘You know, the only way to success is the four-year degree. But, wait a minute, I just read the Wall Street Journal article about the $140,000 a year welder.’

A resolution to proceed with placing a renewal levy request on the November ballot has been approved by the Woodmore school board but one member says the board is premature in going back to voters.

During a special meeting Tuesday, the board voted 4-1 to begin the process to again put a 5-year property tax that generates $600,000 annually on the ballot.

The levy was rejected by voters in the May special election in which the district also asked for approval of a 0.75 percent tax on earned income for 10 years. That too was rejected as the board was grappling to explain discrepancies in its financial statements.

Since May, the board has been able to restore most of the spending cuts that were proposed if the levies failed but Joe Liszak, a member of the board’s finance committee, said after Tuesday’s meeting he remains opposed for seeking renewal of the property tax in November.

Oregon City Council on Monday approved the purchase of three city vehicles from Mathews Ford.

The city bought from Mathews two 2015 Ford F150 extended cab trucks for the city’s Building and Zoning Department for $55,876, and a 2015 Ford F150 extended cab truck for the Department of Public Service for $27,938.

Mathews Ford provided a quote that was $3,826.50 lower than the U.S. General Services Administration purchase program of $31,764.50 for each vehicle purchased for the Building and Zoning Department, according to James Gilmore, commissioner of building and zoning. The vehicles will replace two 2008 Chevy Colorado pick-up trucks that will be offered to other city departments, on the city’s auction site or traded in, according to Gilmore. Funds to pay for the vehicles were included in the city’s 2015 budget.

“Mathews beat the state bid price,” said Mayor Mike Seferian. “It was something we had foreseen in the budget.”

Whether or not the plaintiffs in a lawsuit against the Eastwood school board have legal standing in the case is one of the first issues being addressed in the suit filed in April.

Wood County Common Pleas Court Judge Alan Mayberry is expected to rule soon on the matter, Andrew Mayle, attorney for Victor and Eileen Schuerman and Karl Offerman, all of Pemberville, said last week.

The residents are challenging a decision by the school board to proceed with a construction agreement for a new elementary school building on the district’s main campus. The board entered into an agreement with the Ohio School Facilities Commission in March to fund construction costs - with Eastwood obligated to provide about $12.5 million and the OSFC to pay about $7 million.

The OSFC is also named as a defendant in the lawsuit, which asks for an injunction to stop the project, contending the agreement circumvents state law.

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