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Educators Get Window into Local Manufacturing Needs at Manufacturing Boot Camps

Educators visiting local manufactures
September 07, 2023

Two dozen educators from eight local school districts are staring the school year with new knowledge from two Manufacturing Boot Camps. These participants toured manufacturers, learned about smart manufacturing, and received a window into the constantly-changing needs of the local manufacturing industry. ArcelorMittal, Graphic Packaging, Mennell Milling, Nucor Steel, Ohio Health Biomedical Engineering, POET, RiAlto, Sakamura, STAR Turbine, Whirlpool and Wilson Bohannan opened their doors to give teachers, counselors and administrators information on their current and future hiring needs. In addition, Dr. Elizabeth Azhikannickal, director of Engineering Technologies, gave a tour of the engineering labs. Dr. Azhikannickal also educated on the demand for smart manufacturing and Marion Tech’s new micro certificate to align with Intel’s future needs.

“This was the most beneficial teacher education program in which I have ever participated! I learned so much about companies and opportunities in Marion that I did not even know existed! It really helps me to understand the links that must be made between K-12, OSUM/MTC/Tri-Rivers and manufacturing companies in order to have students who are ready to fill positions and grow within the companies. I recommend EVERY teacher and administrator participate in a teacher bootcamp!” said Dianne Shuring, teacher with Pleasant Local School District.

Educators talk to employees at STAR Turbine
Educators talk to employees at STAR Turbine.

“My experience at the Marion Manufacturing Bootcamp went beyond what I anticipated. It was fascinating to tour and talk with manufacturers in Marion County and look at it through the lens of an educator in order to better educate and build relevant skills to our students,” said Jill Rainey, a teacher at North Union Local Schools.

“This is just an energizing week. I go back to school and tell other teachers, ‘You should do it!’ Every year, I learn something new. We are creating tomorrow’s leaders,” said Lauren Seas, teacher of chemistry and physics at North Union.

Educators visit Graphic Packaging International

In addition, Marion Tech engineering students are graduates of many of these local high schools.

“As an educator, it was great to get feedback from the students at Marion Tech on how we can better prepare them for the next generation of careers,” said Tad Douce, director of technology at River Valley Local Schools.

Educators came from Elgin, Marion City, North Union, Pleasant, Ridgedale, River Valley, Tri-Rivers Career Center and Upper Sandusky Schools.

“The Manufacturing Bootcamp opened my eyes to the many diverse ways that teachers of all subjects, and all aged students, could help to prepare the future workforce with lessons in our own classrooms,” said Patricia Niederkohr, a teacher with Upper Sandusky Exempted Village Schools. “I am even more inspired to work with many of my coworkers to collaborate on these types on projects!”

“I absolutely loved spending a week doing teacher bootcamp. Not only did I learn a lot about the manufacturing in Marion, but I met some awesome teachers in our county and made some new connections. I am also able to take back what I learned to my colleagues, principals and students,” said Jonda Axthelm, a teacher at Taft Elementary in Marion City Schools. “The boot camp allowed me to experience Marion in a new way. It allowed me to see what is manufactured right here in our city. I am looking forward to partnering with these businesses to introduce my elementary aged students to the opportunities they can have right here in their hometown!”

“Attending the Teacher Manufacturing Boot Camp has been inspirational for me both personally and professionally. I highly recommend this camp to any teacher seeking to update their teaching practice and empower their students with 21st-century skills. It's an investment that will have a lasting impact on the career pathway of your students,” said Kristen Holden, computer science teacher at Marion City Schools. “What sets this camp apart is the exceptional personal mentorship and guidance from manufacturing industry professionals. They not only shared their expertise but also inspired us with their stories of success in the manufacturing field. The networking opportunities allowed me to connect with like-minded educators from different backgrounds, fostering a community of support and collaboration.”

Educators earned continuing education credit by attending these boot camps. Marion Tech was unique in the state to host the only Teachers’ Manufacturing Boot Camp 2.0 which included feedback from current college students and the window into the new Intel certificate. The boot camps were funded by Lt. Governor Jon Husted’s Office of Workforce Transformation.

“Marion has a wealth of opportunities for careers,” said Tami Galloway, Program Manager for America’s Workforce Development Capital. “When students find the right skills to land in-demand jobs, we all benefit. We couldn’t have hosted these camps without the strong collaboration from local manufacturers and educators.”

Galloway, manufacturing partners, employers and educators are hosting the annual Careers Made in Marion Expo at the Marion County Fairgrounds on Tuesday, Oct. 17 to show local high school seniors the myriad of career options in our community.  For more on the expo or why Marion is America’s Workforce Development Capital, go to or call Galloway at (740) 386-4236.

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