Expanding apprenticeships


PIQUA – Edison State Community College was selected as one of 56 individual community colleges across the nation to receive the Expanding Community College Apprenticeships (ECCA) grant. The ECCA initiative is led by the American Association of Community Colleges (AACC) with funding from the U.S. Department of Labor.

The purpose of the ECCA initiative is to provide direct support to community colleges to effectively expand registered apprenticeship opportunities across the country. The ECCA project will be conducted for over three years and will train 16,000 apprentices.

Edison State was selected to receive $140,000 in grant funding based on its success in increasing apprentice participants, along with creating new sector partnerships for registered apprenticeship opportunities. Edison State has a proven track record in providing relevant career and technical education in support of registered apprenticeship initiatives serving the unique labor market needs and target industries of Miami, Darke, Shelby, and Preble Counties.

Since its inception in April 2017, Edison State’s Registered Apprenticeship program has become a proven model to address the skills gap, providing continuous talent for employers. Edison State has been able to create awareness, on campus and in the region, about the benefits of registered apprenticeship programs.

Edison State currently works with regional employers including Brethren Retirement Community, Derby Fabricating Solutions, Mama Rosa’s, Logoplaste, Ply Gem Industries, Reliable Castings, Spectracam, Stolle Machinery, Stillwater Technologies, and Raymath to coordinate registered apprenticeship positions. Recently, Edison State partnered with the City of Troy Fire Department to offer a Registered Apprentice program for Firefighters and Paramedics.

Edison State’s Registered Apprenticeship program received recognition from Apprentice Ohio for creating apprenticeship opportunities for veterans. Edison State’s Director of Apprenticeships and Work-Based Learning was relentless in her efforts to secure this option for Ohio veterans. This idea has allowed community colleges to verify veterans’ educational benefits for on-the-job training hours.

Dr. Doreen Larson, president of Edison State, serves as the Chair of the Edison State ECCA Leadership team. In spring of 2019, Dr. Larson was named to the AACC Advisory Board on Community College Apprenticeships. The role of the Advisory Board on Community College Apprenticeships is to identify, validate, and promote highly successful apprenticeship models and work-based learning programs that can be rapidly ramped up into full apprenticeship programs across multiple sectors and regions which already exist in the community college sector. The task force may be asked to serve as incubators for testing models, programs, and metrics.

With this grant, Edison State aims to increase the number and locations of apprenticeship embedded work experiences throughout the region; provide a simplified college-based point of entry process for employers to engage in registered apprenticeship programs to offer highly reliable and effective talent pipelines to industry partners; and expand apprenticeship opportunities for non-traditional and underrepresented student populations including veterans, individuals with disabilities, incumbent workers, second chance individuals, and adult learners.

These objectives will be reached by increased marketing efforts, increased employer-student engagement opportunities, tuition assistance through scholarships, equipment enhancements to align coursework associated with apprenticeships, providing training for staff and faculty regarding apprenticeship programs and opportunities, provide the opportunity for staff to gain insight regarding employer needs and occupations relating to the program, and recruitment of underrepresented student populations and in geographic areas of high unemployment.

The State of Ohio recognizes Edison State Community College as a Registered Apprenticeship Sponsor. For more information regarding the registered apprenticeship program at Edison State, contact Brandi Olberding, director of Apprenticeships and Work-Based Learning, at 937-381-1533 or [email protected].

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