Thursday December 13, 2012

A Path to Ohio Jobs

A quarter-million-dollar grant will provide engineering students more real-world work opportunities with Ohio tech companies.

The University of Dayton School of Engineering will be able to provide more real-world work opportunities for University of Dayton and Sinclair Community College students with a $253,995 grant from the state of Ohio.

The award, announced Thursday, Dec. 13, will fund up to 20 new engineering co-op positions with aerospace, additive manufacturing and energy companies among JobsOhio target industries, according to Nancy Forthofer, director of the School of Engineering's cooperative education office.

"Our students have expressed a high interest in working in these areas and this grant allows us to expand those opportunities," Forthofer said. "We hope these lead to full-time jobs. The initiative is to get students working in Ohio and staying in Ohio."

The University of Dayton already has commitments for new positions from Dayton-based Innovative Scientific Solutions Inc.; CACI and ATK in Beavercreek; Midmark in Versailles; PolyOne in Avon Lake; and PC Krause and Associates in Farmersville.

The School of Engineering hopes to add co-op positions with other industry partners, according to John Weber, associate dean of the School of Engineering. The program also includes students from Sinclair Community College's Engineering University Transfer Program, which allows students to transfer to the University of Dayton after two years at Sinclair.

"We emphasize innovation and entrepreneurship, a strong technical foundation and global and experiential learning in educating the complete engineer of the future," School of Engineering Dean Tony Saliba said. "This award will certainly connect us further to industry partners, develop a workforce for Ohio industry and provide our students great experiential learning opportunities."

University of Dayton engineering students are already in demand by some of the nation's top companies with a presence in Ohio.

General Electric Co. named the University one of its 45 executive schools based in part on how well graduates serve the needs of GE businesses and leadership programs and fit with GE's culture. The strength of the University's engineering research also earned it a spot on the Boeing Co.'s list of preferred universities. Boeing supports University research in areas where the two have a common interest.

According to University System of Ohio officials, the grants are projected to create nearly 3,500 co-op and internship positions at 13 universities and 10 community colleges. 

The grants are part of Gov. John Kasich's workforce development strategies to align Ohio's higher education curriculum with skills that are in demand by Ohio's businesses. The state funding comes from casino license fees earmarked for this purpose.

"These awards are meant to provide Ohio employers with opportunities to benefit from the talents of Ohio's college and career technical students," said Ohio Board of Regents Chancellor Jim Petro. "And they'll provide students with valuable internship or co-op experience."

The allocation is contingent on approval by the State of Ohio Controlling Board in January.

For more information, contact Shawn Robinson, associate director of news and communications, at 937-229-3391 or