Manufacturers in Marion now have an easier way to train workers on the job site thanks to Marion Technical College’s (MTC) new $500,000 mobile training lab.
The 400-square-foot simulation center features 10 student computer stations, an instructor station, a miniature production-quality milling machine for creating quality, complex, precision parts and prototypes, and a small robot from RobotWorx.
The simulation lab was purchased with funds from the first round of the Regionally Aligned Priorities in Delivering Skills (RAPIDS) grant from the Ohio Department of Higher Education (ODHE). The focus of the grant is to increase workforce development across the state. In addition to the funding from ODHE, support came from JobsOhio, Honda, Union County – Marysville Economic Development Partnership, RobotWorx, Columbus 2020, Cardington Yutaka, and other manufacturers.
During the week of Ohio Governor John Kasich’s 2018 State of the State address, ODHE Chancellor John Carey and other staff members were able to take a tour of the simulation center, which was parked on the Delaware campus of Columbus State Community College. Before the tour, Chancellor Carey provided remarks during a short program about the RAPIDS initiative.
“It’s important that students learn on the proper equipment, instead of relying on older equipment. The RAPIDS grant addresses these needs,” Chancellor Carey said.
MTC is collaborating with local employers to help workers learn the skills they need to advance in their careers.
Gage Gorman, from Sakamura USA Inc., a manufacturing company in Marion, shared his company’s experience in utilizing MTC’s mobile training center.
“Before the mobile training lab, we would have to send our field technicians to our customer site and it was very inconvenient,” Gorman said. “The mobility of the training lab is very beneficial to our field technicians and helps with training and certifications.”
Scot McLemore, a representative from Honda, said, “Entering manufacturing with knowledge of computerized systems creates an individual versatility essential to manufacturing operations.”
Ryan Burgess, director of the Governor's Office of Workforce Transformation, spoke at the State of the State event about the importance of industry and postsecondary education collaboration.
“It’s amazing what we can do when we align the organizations of secondary education, postsecondary education, and business, what we can do at a local and regional level,” he said.
MTC President Ryan McCall closed the program by saying that working directly with industry partners to develop training programs was an integral part of designing the mobile training lab.
“One of the things we did was ask manufacturers, ‘What do you need?’ and work directly with them to develop training plans, instead of us developing the training on our own and delivering it to them,” President McCall said.
For more information on the mobile training lab, go to mtc.edu or call (740) 389-4636.