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Earn $69,000 a Year
Positions that used to require wrenches and hammers now require computers and the programming skills that go along with them. The nature of my industry is that today's skilled workers will need much more education than their predecessors did.

So we at University of Akron continually strive to recruit students with the best skill sets. Some of our best and brightest students have come from Cuyahoga Valley Career Center. My experiences with them have consistently been very positive. 

With the wide breadth of knowledge and hands-on experience CVCC students exhibit, having them in the classroom is a game changer. They add so much to the dynamic. Many of them have worked with the same equipment they would encounter in the workplace. And they have better-developed tools to succeed in the classroom.

One and Done Program
We created the One and Don Program as a recruiting tool to serve students, especially those who are getting that strong educational foundation from career technical schools.

The goal is to articulate manufacturing experience into college credit. We are working together to make our curricula more closely aligned. 

The specifics of the One and Done Program include an accelerated career path for students to earn a two-year associate degree, a paid internship, and a job starting above $20 an hour before they turn 20.

Though the program doesn't officially kick off until fall of 2016, several of the students currently enrolled at UA from CVCC are reaping the benefits, getting the opportunity to articulate some of the courses.

Students will be assured that the coursework they complete at CVCC will not have to be repeated when they come here. Examples of some of the classes range from Machine Tools to Machining with Industrial Mills, Engineering Design and Manufacturing Operations.

One of the factors that led us to partner with CVCC is the soon-to-open RAMTEC (Robotics & Advanced Manufacturing Technology Education Collaborative) facility. CVCC students will be working with mind-blowing, state-of-the-art equipment that we don't even have here.

Changing Perceptions
In the past, students in the manufacturing workforce weren't necessarily targeted toward college. We are hopeful that the future holds a change in the perception that factory jobs are not desirable, high-paying jobs.

Nowadays, well-paying jobs are waiting for students upon graduation. About 35 percent of Ohio's manufacturing jobs - 680,000 - are within 50 miles of Akron. The average salary of a skilled manufacturing job is $69,000 per year.

By Daniel Kandray
Professor at University of Akron
Article posted on 
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Brecksville, OH 44141
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