U.S. Department of Labor Press Release


Media Coverage

LCCC receives grant to provide apprenticeships – Chronicle Telegram

DOL’s proposed IRAP structure – Community College Daily

Portman, Brown Applaud Dept. of Labor Grant to Lorain County Community College to Address Workforce Skills Gaphttp://www.portman.sentate.gov


LCCC Press Release

Posted June 24, 2019

Lorain County Community College (LCCC), in collaboration with The Ohio Manufacturers’ Association (OMA), received word today that LCCC is one of 23 recipients nationally of a U.S. Department of Labor (USDOL) grant to prepare workers through new apprenticeship programs and the only one in Ohio focused on advanced manufacturing.  

LCCC, as lead applicant for the statewide initiative, will manage the $12 million award from the USDOL’s Scaling Apprenticeship through Sector-Based Strategies to help upskill 5,000 Ohioans over the next four years through Industry Recognized Apprenticeship Programs (IRAP), an innovative earn-and-learn model recently authorized by the USDOL. In addition to collaborating with OMA, this statewide initiative includes 28 higher education partners who are part of Ohio TechNet, a statewide manufacturing talent consortium LCCC has led since 2014 as well as several regional and national workforce organizations and leading industry professional associations.  Together, these partners make up the Ohio Manufacturing Workforce Partnership (OMWP). Of the $12 million award, LCCC will receive approximately $500,000 a year for four years to work with employers to expand apprenticeships in the region and to serve in the statewide management role.

Marcia J. Ballinger, Ph.D., president of LCCC, affirmed the importance of new forms of industry-educational collaboration.

“This is an opportunity to transform workforce development strategies to meet the needs of advanced manufacturers – in Ohio and right here in our own backyard.  We couldn’t be more pleased to have this opportunity to deepen our work with The Ohio Manufacturers’ Association to ensure Lorain County and Ohio remains a leader in manufacturing talent innovation,” Ballinger said. “Scaling apprenticeships in new and different ways is an innovation that works by providing opportunities for employers to build a workforce to spec, provide blended earn-and-learn models for individuals and fosters redesign of programs at higher education institutions to reduce time and cost to earn a degree and credential.”

“This initiative directly advances LCCC’s recently adopted strategic plan, 10,000 Degrees of Impact,” said Benjamin Fligner, Chairman of the LCCC District Board of Trustees. “Two major components of LCCC’s plan are in the areas of Work and Future Focused; to expand earn and learn models like apprenticeships with employers and elevate skills of our community’s workforce.  This award supports the direction our community envisioned LCCC to lead.”

In addition to the statewide leadership role for the initiative, LCCC will work with local and regional manufacturers to increase the pool of trained employees through new apprenticeship programs that will be funded by a U.S. Department of Labor (USDOL) grant. One local company partnering with LCCC in this work is Thogus, a family-owned custom plastic injection molding company headquartered in Avon Lake.

“It’s critical to local manufacturers that we build our workforce,” said Larry Sansom, president of Thogus. “We look forward to being engaged as local and statewide manufacturers determine the best way to leverage both traditional and new forms of apprenticeship to build the manufacturing talent pipeline and prepare our workers with skills needed for an increasingly high-tech environment.  We are excited that LCCC and the Ohio Manufacturing Workforce Partnership has been chosen to receive this apprenticeship grant.”

“Ohio manufacturers understand that it’s time to change the way we develop talent,” said OMA President Eric L. Burkland. “Industry Recognized Apprenticeship Programs take the best of traditional, registered apprenticeship – structured on-the-job training, with related classroom instruction, and regularly increasing wages – and give manufacturers the flexibility to determine which skills and outcomes are most important to their long-term success. To ensure that these flexible apprenticeships provide high-quality training, each will be tied to a specific Industry Recognized Credential.”

Burkland noted that the USDOL opportunity came at the perfect time for Ohio manufacturers. “For the last two years, we have been building a system of regional Industry Sector Partnerships to foster collaboration and resource sharing among manufacturers and their education and workforce partners. It was this systems-level work that prepared us to submit a compelling proposal to the Department of Labor,” he said.

“Leaders across Ohio’s institutions of higher education, including community colleges, universities, and Ohio Technical Centers, understand that we need new ways to partner with industry to ensure that our communities are ready for both the jobs of today and those of tomorrow,” said Ohio Department of Higher Education Chancellor Randy Gardner. “Scaling apprenticeships through this new investment will offer expanded opportunities for meeting talent needs of Ohio’s manufacturers.”

The stated goals of the USDOL’s initiative are to: (a) accelerate the expansion of apprenticeships to new industry sectors reliant on H-1B visas; (b) promote the large-scale expansion of apprenticeships; and (c) increase apprenticeship opportunities for all Americans.

The project will focus on career pathways in advanced manufacturing with an eye toward technological advances, including Industry 4.0 and cybersecurity. To date, the partnership has secured commitments from Ohio manufacturers to train 2,315 apprentices. OMA and its industry sector partnership network will be conducting outreach and education to bring industry-recognized apprenticeship opportunities to additional Ohio manufacturers while LCCC through its leadership with Ohio TechNet continues to develop innovative and accelerated training models at community colleges, universities and Ohio Technical Centers.

The proposal received wide bi-partisan support from Ohio’s U.S. Senators and members of the U.S. House of Representatives.  “I want to especially thank Senators Brown and Portman along with Congressman Gibbs, Congressman Jordan and Congresswoman Kaptur for their ongoing support of manufacturing and education in Ohio.  Their efforts have helped make this win for Ohio possible,” said Ballinger.

“I applaud the Labor Department for awarding this grant to Lorain County Community College (LCCC) in partnership with NAM’s Manufacturing Skills Institute and the Ohio Manufacturers’ Association (OMA). I often hear from Ohio employers about their workforce challenges, and community colleges like LCCC play an important role working with employers to create a workforce that meets the needs of today’s economy. We can build on this success by passing legislation I’ve introduced called the JOBS Act to help close the skills gap further by making students in shorter-term CTE programs eligible for federal Pell Grants. Working together, we can ensure that all Ohioans have the skills they need to fill the jobs of today and tomorrow,” said US Senator Rob Portman.

“When we talk about respecting the dignity of work that has to mean making sure our students have the opportunity to pursue jobs that pay well, that are fulfilling, and where they can build careers that lead to middle-class life. By investing in programs like LCCC’s, we can introduce students to the many opportunities available to them, whether they choose to pursue additional workforce training or get a job. I’m glad to join Senator Portman to support this effort,” said US Senator Sherrod Brown.

National partners that are part of this grant include the National Association of Manufacturers, the National Institute of Metalworking Skills, the American Welding Society, and Jobs For the Future.

Manufacturers interested in learning more about working with LCCC and OMA to develop and deliver apprenticeship programs at your company are encouraged to call LCCC at 440-366-4215.


About OTN (http://www.ohiotechnet.org)

We are a consortium of education and training institutions developing innovative new education and training strategies. By promoting efficiency and creativity through collaboration, Ohio TechNet has sparked the development of dozens of new or enhanced programs that have trained thousands. Ohio TechNet launched in 2014 through a U.S. Department of Labor Trade Adjustment Assistance Community College and Career Training (TAACCCT) grant to Lorain County Community College on behalf of a statewide consortium of 11 community colleges. Since then, the consortium has grown to represent over 28 Ohio institutions of higher education as well as industry and state partners, with a shared focus on meeting Ohio’s manufacturing workforce needs.