(1-20-22) The course, held at the Fostoria Learning Center, provided entry-level manufacturing skills to the learners through online learning and hands-on training. The Certified Manufacturing Associate and the OSHA 10-hour course are both short-term industry-recognized credentialing programs.

Jim Drewes, VP of Workforce Development at Northwest State Community College believes these short-term programs are a great pathway to employment.

“Our main goal is providing skills that will lead to employment. We do this by listening to the needs of employers and the learners we serve. This program particularly meets those needs, and allows for the learner to potentially go from training to employment in less than a month. This partnership with OhioMeansJobs-Hancock County, The City Mission, and Fostoria Learning Center is not only producing skilled entry-level employees, but is showing these learners they can succeed in these courses.”

Ohio Means Jobs-Hancock County not only provides funding for this program, but walks hand in hand with the learners on their journey to employment.

Randall Galbraith, Hancock County Jobs & Family Services Director

“The staff of OhioMeansJobs-Hancock County are very proud of these graduates. They have taken a big step forward on the road to making a better life for themselves. Our job at OMJ is to offer support, both financial and educational, as well as encouragement to people looking to improve themselves”.

That encouragement is being noticed by Kathryn Bausman, City Mission Executive Director.

“The difference in the guests that are involved in our workforce classes is evident. There is a sense of accomplishment and purpose that begins to show. You can see it in the way they show up for classes, even their advocacy meetings are different, there is anticipation about the future, I guess you can call it hope.”

These classes continue to be housed at the Fostoria Learning Center. The state-of-the-art facility provided these learners access to their mechatronic lab and computer lab three days per week. Renee Smith, Executive Director of the Fostoria Economic Development Corporation, is excited to see these programs provide an opportunity for both the learners and local employers.

“These innovative workforce programs and partnerships are providing our local employers the opportunity to engage with a new and underutilized faction of employees. This is a unique opportunity for everyone involved and we, at the Fostoria Learning Center, are excited to be an active participant. These workforce programs are designed to have long term benefits for the participants who are being trained and the employers who are gaining new trained employees.”