The newest piece of technology to put Scioto County Career Technical Center students in a position to “revitalize Portsmouth” was unveiled Tuesday at SCCTC’s Lucasville North Campus facility.
Milacron, a room-sized piece of equipment that, for all intents and purposes, creates through automation “anything plastic,” has been endowed to SCCTC from Shawnee State University.
The newly installed machinery is in line with the robotics and 3D modeling — and “anything in automation” — already on site at the new North Campus, explained Justin Tackett, director of the Robotic Advanced Manufacturing Technology Education Collaborative (RAMTEC) Center. Tackett describes the capabilities of Milacron as creating “anything plastic,” such as the injection-molding plastics found in automotive components, and much more.
The acquisition of the equipment enhances SCCTC’s mission to provide training for its students, which can lead to licensure in several different areas and equip graduates for immediate placement in the workforce.
“There’s nothing that would revitalize Portsmouth, Ohio, better than 1,500 good-paying jobs. That would change who we are,” said Stan Jennings, SCCTC superintendent.
“That’s part of the big challenge for organizations like ours, like our friends at SOMC, bringing those high-quality people in,” added Rick Kurtz, SSU president who was on hand for the announcement.
Both Jennings and Kurtz believe Portsmouth and Scioto County offer great opportunities, but also acknowledge the challenge to keep the best and the brightest.
“It’s like curb appeal,” Kurtz said. “They see those visuals. It’s really difficult to get somebody who’s very competitive to say, ‘Well, I want to come here, I want to bring my family here, and make things happen’.”
Kurtz admitted that, while there are many pluses for someone looking to move to Scioto County, there is also an aspect that “impacts us all negatively — it makes it hard to recruit” and then get them to stay, “because they have choices.”
But Jennings countered, “There’s good news. If you look at a lot of the groups [looking to move to Portsmouth], a lot of those are our classic 25 to 35 [age group] and maybe even 40 who seem to be shakers and movers, who aren’t putting up with the status quo. They’ve got lots of friends. They find the quality of life here good.”
And, as Jennings sees it, the quality of students SCCTC generates is key.
“Sometimes we’re not the finishing school. We’re simply a preliminary piece along the pathway,” Jennings says of the quality educational and training opportunities available at SCCTC, which often translates directly into employment. “We want it to be the best possible. We want businesses to come back and be repeat customers, and say ‘Do you have three more of these?’”
Reach Lynn Adams at 740-353-3101 ext. 1927