ELYRIA RESIDENT FINDS VALUE IN LIFE LONG LEARNING; EARNS DEGREE FROM UNIVERSITY PARTNERSHIP
John Sabo, 44, of Elyria, is receiving his Bachelor of Science in computer science and engineering, through the University of Toledo and Lorain County Community College’s University Partnership program.
No stranger to balancing work and studies, Sabo first enrolled at LCCC just after high school, earning an associate degree, while apprenticing with the Ridge Tool Company. With a Journeyman’s card as an electrician, he knew even back then that his degree from LCCC was paying off. In 1994, Sabo landed a position as an electrician with the Ford Motor Co.
Moving through the ranks, Sabo eventually became a trainer/instructor at Ford, teaching employees about programmable logic controllers, a computerized system that replaces old mechanical relay switches. In 2008, when buy outs were being handed out at many automotive plants, Sabo decided to ensure his future with the company, by pursuing a second degree through LCCC.
“Education is the key,” Sabo said. “I’ve never stopped learning.” And with Ford’s educational program that covers $5K of college costs per year, he took advantage of the opportunity. “In 2007, I enrolled in an online motorcycle repair course,” said Sabo, who hinted he might be in the market for a new Harley.
As the electrical trade, like most, has expanded into the computer age over the past two decades, Sabo realized an advanced degree was once again the key. “I was looking for a program that aligned with what I do at work,” said Sabo.
Working with the hardware and software of control systems, he found the labs at LCCC to be state of the art. “It’s a really good program. It didn’t hurt that I live just a few blocks from campus either.”
In the future, Sabo would like to be a controls engineer or software designer, and help design new products for Ford. But that would involve a move to California or Michigan, so for now, he’ll remain at the Brookpark EcoBoost Plant.
“The University Partnership program at LCCC has given me the skills and preparation needed to be a more productive employee,” said Sabo. When asked what one factor led to the successful completion of his second degree, his answer is simple. “The drive inside myself to be the best I could be.”