7 Northwest Ohio firms obtain worker training grantsWritten by Duane Ramsey | | firstname.lastname@example.org
Seven of the 10 companies selected to receive a total of $1.1 million in Energizing Careers Program grants for work force training from the Ohio Department of Development (DOD) are located in Northwest Ohio.
Owens Community College worked with six of the seven local companies to write and submit applications for those grants, which are funded through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act and U.S. Department of Labor.
A total of $989,571 was awarded to those companies to train 290 workers in this region. The program reimburses companies for the cost of training up to $6,000 for each full-time employee.
“The future of our economy is advanced energy manufacturing and our workforce must keep up with the demands of the marketplace. These training dollars will benefit incumbent workers as well as new employees to be hired,” Christiane Schmenk, director of the Ohio DOD, stated in a news release.
The Workforce and Talent Division of the DOD administers the Energizing Careers Program in Ohio to assist companies that are manufacturing components for the solar, wind and biomass industries.
Owens will work with the six companies to develop and provide customized work force training programs for new and existing employees funded by the grants.
“Owens is pleased to collaborate with Northwest Ohio business and industry to provide leading-edge training, enabling our region to remain competitive in today’s ever-changing global economy. It’s a win-win situation for everyone involved,” said Michael Bankey, vice president of Workforce and Community Services at Owens.
The seven local companies awarded grants are Applied Energy Technologies and Pro-Pak Industries of Maumee, TecnoSunSolar of Toledo, ARGO-HYTOS and Marathon Special Products of Bowling Green, POET Biorefining of Fostoria, and AP Alternatives of Ridgeville Corners in Henry County.
Applied Energy Technologies (AET) received an $180,000 grant to train 35 new employees for the design, engineering and manufacturing of mounting solutions for solar installations. AET is making racks for solar panels in its new 43,100 square-foot manufacturing and warehouse facility opened in Maumee in April.
Craig Winn, president of AET, said the company customized hand and machine assemblies for developers and installers of solar panels. It has provided mounting solutions to 400 customers nationally from the East Coast to the U.S. Navy in Hawaii.
Winn said the company would not have known about the training grants if Bankey had not reached out to the company about the program.
Rex Reimer, director of operations at AET, said AET will conduct ergonomic training to provide an optimum workplace for all employees and technical training on automated systems for production workers over the next 12 months.
AP Alternatives received a $210,000 grant to train 20 new and 15 current employees to modify products, purchased from Alex Products, used to assemble and install solar mounting systems. Both AP Alternatives and Alex Products are owned and operated by the David Von Deylen family.
Argo-Hytus is the recipient of a $100,200 grant to train two new and 17 current employees in the design and production of customized manifolds, valve assemblies and power packs for filtration and hydraulic tank solutions for the wind energy market.
Marathon Special Products received a $250,600 grant for training 120 current employees for the design and production of electrical devices. The company is developing solar power integration components, wind power connections and wind circuit protection devices.
POET Biorefining is the recipient of a $43,371 grant to train 43 current employees at its ethanol production facility, which consumes 22 million bushels of locally grown corn to produce 68 million gallons of ethanol annually. POET is working on training programs with Terra Community College in Fremont.
TecnoSunSolar received a grant for $49,400 to train one current employee and 12 new employees in the production of its patented dual axis tracking systems for solar installations. The tracking systems are designed to follow the movement of the sun and increase solar panel output by 20 to 40 percent.
Greg Knudson, CEO of TecnoSunSolar USA, said Owens will develop four training courses for its employees to be conducted in the next 12 months.
Pro-Pak Industries received a $156,000 grant for training three new and 23 current employees on the design, manufacturing and assembly of packaging for First Solar and Willard & Kelsey, two of the largest manufacturers of solar panels in Northwest Ohio. Pro-Pak is working with AET to provide packaging for shipment of its solar racks.
Owens is already collaborating with First Solar Inc. and the Willard & Kelsey Solar Group, both of Perrysburg, and The Dow Chemical Company branch in Findlay on worker training from recent Energizing Careers Program grants totaling more than $1.8 million.
Tags: AP Alternatives, Applied Energy Technologies, ARGO-HYTOS, Bowling Green, Fostoria, Henry County, Marathon Special Products, Maumee, Ohio Department of Development, POET Biorefining, Pro-Pak Industries, Ridgeville Corners, TecnoSunSolar