Ohio University-Southern spearheads technical degree center and partnerships

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Ohio University-Southern (OUS) has partnered with the Ohio Strategic Training Center and three higher education institutions to create more access to technical training with the opening of the Higher Education Regional Partnership and Training Center (RPTC).


The technical training center will be located in the former M&M Mailing building at The Point Industrial Park of Lawrence County, Ohio. Allocations from the state budget will provide more than $1 million dollars to support the facility operations and regional students.


The 15,000-square-foot facility housing RPTC is nearly three years old and is currently being renovated by the Economic Development Corporation. The newly renovated building will include five classrooms, two health labs and one computer center. In future years, the third floor of the RPTC will house a STEM-focused school. The RPTC facility will be capable of serving 500 students as well as the local community through an adjoining wellness facility. The wellness facility will be the first of its kind for the community.


The RPTC will be open to all Ohio colleges and universities and has already partnered with Shawnee State University, Southern State Community College, and the University of Rio Grande to provide educational courses and training that will bolster the region’s targeted industries such as health care, logistics, manufacturing, and safety and security.


A workforce analysis was completed prior to the announcement of RPTC and included an overview of labor markets, three driver industries near each regional campus, and a critique of the report by industry representatives. Overall, 15 panel groups convened and approximately 75 total business/industry leaders participated in the workforce analysis. Through the workforce analysis, curriculum at RPTC will emphasize healthcare, logistics and manufacturing. 


Partner institution Shawnee State University (SSU) is considering offering a number of its engineering technologies programs for RPTC. Paul Madden, dean of the College of Professional Studies at SSU, said, “we are continuing to assess the needs of regional employers to determine which technical courses or programs we will offer at RPTC.”


Cheryl Hay, deputy chancellor of higher education and workforce alignment at the Ohio Department of Higher Education, attended the ribbon cutting ceremony for RPTC and commended the campus leaders for taking the time to determine how their collective assets could best serve the community both in the economic development and workforce areas.


The Regional Partnership and Training Center will open in January 2016 and is expected to serve three to four cohorts of 15-20 students during the first year of operation.