Clark State Community College has been awarded a STEM Public-Private Pilot Program grant in the amount of $149,999 from the Ohio Department of Education. The grant supports the development of new partnerships between regional businesses, area school districts and Clark State.
Clark State proposed to develop a program with area businesses and three school districts to help improve Ohio’s workforce development capacity to strengthen business and educate future Ohio workers.
“This grant partnership is for Clark State and Yellow Springs School District, with other partners including SAS Automation, All A Cart Manufacturing, Yaskawa Motoman and Partnership for Innovation in Education,” said Taylor Bugglin, grants writer for Clark State.
Bugglin said through the grant program proposed by Clark State, students at Yellow Springs High School and the other involved partners will work with manufacturing and engineering as they design food trikes with robotic components.
“Students will gain hands-on experience at SAS Automation. They will be participating in an Engineering Capstone/Internship course for high school, which includes hands-on internship experience while designing and creating the trikes,” Bugglin said.
Students will also take Clark State’s Introduction to Industrial Engineering Technology course through College Credit Plus, which will support the development of their manufacturing workplace skills. Clark State expects the project to encourage interest in manufacturing and engineering concepts.
“Manufacturing is an important industry in our region,” said Bugglin. “It is expected that over 50 percent of the manufacturing workforce will retire by 2025, and it is crucial to ensure that younger generations learn about the opportunities available in manufacturing and gain the advanced technical skills needed to fill the modern manufacturing positions that will be available over the next several years.”
As stated in the request for proposals, the Ohio Department of Education Public Private STEM Grant was created “to encourage public-private partnerships between high schools, colleges and the community to provide high school students the opportunity to receive education and training in a targeted industry as defined by JobsOhio, while simultaneously earning high school and college credit for the course(s).”
Five grants were available, one for each quadrant of the state plus central Ohio.
“Clark State is committed to working with our Greene County partners to increase the workforce,” said Dr. Jo Alice Blondin, president of Clark State. “Workforce is in our mission at Clark State. Workforce development is a particularly important partnership with secondary education. It's what we do every day.”