GREENVILLE — Local educators, industry representatives and other community leaders gathered to celebrate the opening of Greenville High School Career Tech Center’s Advanced Manufacturing lab.
The Advanced Manufacturing lab features a number of mechanical and electrical units, and will be used to train both current high school students as well as post-secondary adults seeking to improve their craft in the manufacturing field.
Opening of the half-million-dollar project comes almost five years after it was first proposed and two years after active efforts began to fund and construct the lab.
Darke County Economic Development Director Marc Saluk said, “I don’t think we can undersell what this means to the future of the county. A better-skilled and a better-trained workforce means a better opportunity to work to keep our companies, to accommodate their expansions, to bring in new companies, help workers upgrade their skills, which often times means increased salary and standard of living in our households, and most importantly of all, help assure that no Darke County company, or company looking at Darke County, never needs to say they can’t consider doing their project in Darke County because the workforce lacks skills.”
Greenville City Schools Superintendent Doug Fries said the district looks forward to using the new educational lab on several fronts — for the high school’s students, partnering with Edison State Community College and Wright State University for adult education, and partnering with local manufacturing companies.
“We hope the lab serves the entire Darke County, to train unemployed adults, to advanced employees that are with you to further their technical skills and to do higher levels of tasks, so our hope is to assist the entire county with increasing employees and capabilities to perform advanced manufacturing and engineering jobs,” he said.
Ohio Representative Jim Buchy said, “In the future, because of this combined effort…of the private sector, the manufacturing sector, generations of Darke Countians, local government, city government, state government, federal government, all working together, we are about to see the fruits of that labor that is going to produce the future for our citizens…to live and work and rear the next generation in Greenville and Darke County.”
Following the various speakers offering their thoughts, visitors were given a tour of the facility and were able to meet the lab’s students and instructors.
Advanced Manufacturing Instructor Chris Sykes said, “[It’s been] a long time coming. It’s good for the school, good for the community, the students are excited — a lot of positives.”
Instructor Adam Eberwein, himself a graduate of Greenville High School Career Tech, said, “I think today was a great day. The amount and scale of people here is essential for Darke County. It’s amazing how the industry is able to be a part of what we’re trying to do here at Greenville High School, and tie into everything that is going on in Darke County.”