Capstone project for high school seniors marks first company-sponsored hands-on program of its kind in the state of Ohio aims to increase the skilled manufacturing labor pool in neighboring counties.
[BATAVIA, OH] October 25, 2023 – Cincinnati-based Milacron®, a leading manufacturer in the global plastics technology and processing industry, has joined forces with Grant Career Center to establish the Advanced Manufacturing Academy (AMA), a groundbreaking work-based learning placement that provides high school seniors with comprehensive training in advanced manufacturing.
This unique academy, located at the technical school in Bethel, OH is specifically designed to create an employee pipeline, offering students the opportunity to secure future employment in advanced manufacturing, without the need for them to leave campus. According to the Clermont Country Chamber of Commerce, no other technical school in the state of Ohio has an in-house company-sponsored program of this kind.
The Grant Career Center team of educators manages the AMA student selection process that begins the Spring before senior year. Junior-year students within the school’s relevant existing programs of Information Technology, Engineering, Metal Fabrication, Construction, and Auto Technology with an interest in advanced plastics manufacturing are encouraged to apply for the senior-year AMA capstone project.
“The ultimate goal of this academy program is to provide hands-on manufacturing experience for students that delivers relevant real-world support for their future career decisions,” said Lindsay Niedzwiedski, Lean Enterprise Leader for Milacron. “Students have an opportunity for work placement that can lead to full-time employment within Milacron’s manufacturing operations function upon graduation.”
By integrating classroom instruction with hands-on training, this work-based learning experience equips students with the technical expertise and industry-specific competencies required for success in the field. Grant students follow a curriculum in their core program of study, core studies requirements for graduation, as well as the manufacturing-based classwork and hands-on lab with the machine. “It’s rigorous, but fulfilling, and very functional for post-graduate application,” said Niedzwiedski.
Milacron’s partnership with Grant commenced nearly a decade ago with the goal of educating area students in manufacturing and the trades through plant tours at the company, job shadowing opportunities, and much more. Then, last year the opportunity to advance their partnership through a yearlong capstone project was agreed upon when the program/lab space became vacant.
Given the importance of critical skilled workforce experience in the trade industry and manufacturing more specifically, Milacron moved quickly to get the necessary specifics for the program placed in the pipeline for Grant, including the Q-Series plastics processing machine for training in the lab space, as well as other equipment the students would need for a well-rounded curriculum build.
Milacron has a legacy in the Greater Cincinnati area of being a lifelong employer. Between its Batavia headquarters facility and the Mount Orab manufacturing site, the plastics processing solutions leader employs nearly 1,000 associates in the Tristate area that range from construction and welding tradespeople to machining experts and engineers. Many of these employees are approaching retirement, some after upwards of 40 or even 50 years of service to the company. In fact, just two months ago the Batavia headquarters facility celebrated the retirement of three employees who had a collective tenure of more than 150 years of manufacturing service. The AMA is just one example of how Milacron has adopted non-traditional initiatives to help offset gaps with qualified skilled labor.
“Our purpose at Milacron, to shape what matters for tomorrow, is executed with intention through our Grant Career Center partnership,” said Mac Jones, President of Milacron, at the recent ribbon-cutting celebration of the new lab space at Grant Career Center. “You, the AMA students, are the Milacron employees that will shape our plastics processing of the future.”
The ribbon-cutting ceremony held on Friday, October 20th brought together the inaugural AMA class, educators, representatives from Milacron, Clermont County Chamber of Commerce, representatives of local and state government, and other relevant members of the community. This partnership signifies Milacron’s and Grant Career Center’s shared dedication to equipping students with the tools they need to succeed in their future careers. Together, they will strive to provide a seamless pathway for high school seniors interested in the manufacturing industry.
Milacron (www.milacron.com) is a global industry and technology leader in the manufacturing of injection molding and extrusion systems. Milacron also produces and provides machinery, auxiliaries and components that complement its plastics processing machines and systems. The company’s 1,900 associates worldwide collaborate to provide a diverse range of products across various plastics applications in industries such as automotive, construction, medical, telecommunications, material handling, packaging, and much more. Milacron holds longstanding relationships with more than 27,000 global customers across North America and India, as well as coverage in Europe and in many emerging markets, including Central/South America. Milacron is an Operating Company of Hillenbrand (NYSE: HI), an industrial company operating in over 100 countries serving a wide variety of industries across the world. www.hillenbrand.com
About Grant Career Center
Grant Career Center, located in Bethel, Ohio, is a leading educational institution that prepares students for success in the workforce and for further education in college. With a rich history of over 50 years, Grant Career Center has been providing high-quality training to students from Clermont County. Grant Career Center takes pride in its innovative partnerships with prominent organizations such as Milacron, Child-Focus, University of Cincinnati, and the Brown Clermont Adult Career Campus. These partnerships provide students with unique opportunities for hands-on learning, internships, and real-world experience in their chosen fields. By combining academic rigor with practical skills training, Grant Career Center equips students with the knowledge, skills, and experiences necessary for success in today’s ever-changing job market. Graduates of Grant Career Center are well-prepared for both immediate employment and continued education at the college level. Grant Career Center is committed to fostering a supportive and inclusive learning environment where students can thrive academically, professionally, and personally. Through its comprehensive programs, partnerships, and dedication to excellence, Grant Career Center continues to shape the future of Clermont County’s workforce. Grant Career Center, where Clermont County’s Students “Choose to be Great!”
The inaugural Milacron Advanced Manufacturing Academy class will visit the Milacron global headquarters site in Batavia, OH multiple times throughout the course of their yearlong capstone project at Grant Career Center.
AMA student, Jhace Pryor, receives direction from program instructor, Daryll Martin on the Milacron Q-Series machine located in the lab space at Grant Career Center.
Fourteen Grant Career Center seniors are members of the inaugural Milacron Advanced Manufacturing Academy from various existing core programs at the school, including Engineering & Design, Industrial Academy, Information Technology and Auto Fabrication.
Milacron President, Mac Jones, enjoys conversation and collaboration with AMA students that he hopes will one day be full-time employees at either Clermont or Brown Country Milacron locations upon their graduation in May 2024.
Employees from Milacron, Grant Career Center, the Clermont County Chamber of Commerce, and the students from the inaugural AMA capstone project class conducted a ribbon cutting in the new lab space at the career center on Friday, October 20th.
Derek Chancellor, Southwest Ohio Regional Liaison for the Office of Lt. Governor Jon Husted (pictured center) helped Milacron President, Mac Jones (left), and Grant Career Center Superintendent, Mike Parry (right) dedicate the new lab space on Friday, October 20th.
Milacron President, Mac Jones, declares continued commitment to increasing manufacturing skilled workforce knowledge with the Milacron Advanced Manufacturing Academy at neighboring Grant Career Center.
Melanie Murray, Communications Specialist
[email protected] / 513.300.6020