The goal is to recruit veteran workers and train them to instruct the next generation’s workforce.
Mahoning County Career and Technical Center has developed a free educational 25-hour course and is currently engaged in an instructor recruitment program.
Specialized areas such as robotics are of interest to employers, specifically in training its workforce — an ongoing discussion between MCCTC and the Mahoning Valley Manufacturers Coalition, Mihalopoulos says.
Concern stems from the shortage of instructors and demand for classes. Attracting potential part-time instructors currently in the workforce or those ready to retire are what schools like MCCTC and others need to continue servicing manufacturing, health care and other fields.
This training is not only for MCCTC needs, but for other schools such as Trumbull Career and Technical Center, Columbiana County Career and Technical Center, Eastern Gateway Community College, Youngstown State University and others, she says.
“There’s a need for additional training in the area and yet we want to be able to offer that,” Mihalopoulos says. “We have the facility, the equipment, but we need more instructors and that’s kind of really the bottom line.”
Having one location to train these prospective instructors is important for EGCC Senior Vice President Art Daly, adding the hook is it’s a Brain Gain for our teachers — keeping these instructors in the Mahoning Valley.
“We’re all going to benefit from this because it’s our ecosystem and how we want to work collaboratively together,” he says.
Prospective teachers will be paired with mentors as they learn the finer points of instruction — learning how to use Google classroom and other tools to properly teach different trades, Mihalopoulos says.
“It is about creating a course to meet the need, not just for us but throughout the community really, with other educational institutions,” she says.
Connecting the dots from the workplace to an educational setting is not always as simple as etching a straight line from Point A to B, says Jessica Borza, MVMC executive director. This class will train veteran workers on how to leverage their experience to connect with prospective students in high school or adult students.
“Someone who’s coming out of industry and has that technical expertise will, in a pretty short amount of time, be equipped with the things that they need to be successful in the classroom,” Borza says.
MCCTC Superintendent John Zehentbauer hopes to have at least 10 people interested in this first class in the hopes of getting them trained to help the collective educational institutions. Wages are anywhere from $20 to $30 an hour, he adds. As of April 22, there were about six interested in the program.
MVMC’s grant money for this program is helping with the advertising, he says. In addition, employers can receive up to $2,000 in TechCred grants to reimburse them for getting employees trained and credentialed in areas such as Fanuc robotic training, which costs about $1,500. MVMC is willing to provide some financial assistance for training in the future, Zehentbauer notes.
This is just the beginning of an ongoing process as mentors will keep working with prospective instructors, Mihalopoulos says.
“We would set them up with our lead instructors here and we would continue to train the trainer,” she says.
For anyone interested in this program can log on HERE or call 330 729 4100. MCCTC Home | Mahoning County CTC (mahoningctc.com) Pictured: Jason Moore, MCCTC advanced manufacturing automation coordinator, and John Zehentbauer, superintendent.