New Technology Provides Critical Training
Photography by Wes Battoclette
Highly technical jobs are in enormous demand. And the need for training is just as great. To address this growing shortage, a group of passionate educators recommended that Tri-Rivers Career Center in Marion, Ohio, take on this role. Tri-Rivers quickly became a leader in providing accreditation for high school and adult robotics manufacturing licensure.
Great Oaks Career Campuses are among eight additional Career Centers statewide opening identical training centers this fall. Funded by a $14.99 million Straight A Grant from the Ohio Department of Education, the new center will be located at Scarlet Oaks on Kemper Road.
“RAMTEC is really taking our engineering program to the next level,” explains Jim Wiles, RAMTEC program coordinator for Great Oaks. “When students are trained through our program, they will be certified on specific robots as well as other industrial equipment such as Hydraulics and Automation Controllers. This means they can walk out of here and get hired immediately making a living wage.”
With state of the industry equipment in a fully renovated facility, Scarlet Oaks will offer industry certifications to students for robotics, CNC machining, mechatronics, industrial maintenance, industrial automation and robotics welding. Modifications are being made to half of an entire wing to hold a large lab with all of the equipment and two classrooms.
In the past, Wiles explains, this kind of training was only available on the job. Working with an advisory group of local businesses in high-tech industries, RAMTEC is positioned to begin providing training for their employees, as well. “Working with industry will be our revenue stream, allowing us to not only sustain but grow the program,” Wiles notes. “We will continue to ask our industry partners what their training needs are, and work to fill those needs.”
Additionally, Wiles and his staff will be working to increase awareness of the program among elementary, middle and junior high school students to increase freshmen and sophomores entering career technical programs. “The grant paid for a trailer we can equip with several robots and other equipment for a road show to take to area schools,” Wiles says. “We hope to start getting kids excited about these kinds of jobs at an early age.” The trailer will also be used to provide on-site training for industry partners.
Each participating Career Center has been challenged to increase the number of ninth and tenth grade students by 20 percent. This is critical, Wiles says, because manufacturing is slowly coming back to the United States. “We are facing a major labor shortage driven by our aging workforce,” he explains. “We desperately need trained workers to replace them.”
For more information about the RAMTEC program, please call Jim Wiles at 513.612.5751.