Stark State College has announced that the Stark County Educational Service Center (ESC) will be its new partner at the Advanced Technology Center on its main campus at 6200 Frank Ave. NW in North Canton.
Stark State’s Advanced Technology Center (ATC) was built in the early 1990s with funding from Diebold Inc. and the State of Ohio. It was widely hailed as a model public-private partnership, housing Diebold’s worldwide training headquarters and Stark State’s noncredit, continuing education classes and business and industry contract training programs.
“Both the College’s and Diebold’s needs changed over the last 25 years, and Stark State has been seeking an appropriate, strategic partnership in keeping with the ATC’s purpose and the College’s mission,” said Stark State College President Para M. Jones, who was part of the ATC’s original planning and Diebold partnership. “The ESC is an ideal partner because of our longtime collaboration and work with the ESC and school districts to provide expanded educational opportunities to all students.”
“The ESC partnership is Phase II of the Advanced Technology Center’s service as a partnership center,” Jones said. “The partnership aligns K-12 and higher education in a more direct way, creates efficiencies and saves taxpayer money by using existing space.”
“The move will provide us with space that is more conducive to the trainings and opportunities we want to provide our Stark County educators,” said ESC Superintendent Joe Chaddock, “and also allows us to better partner and align with Stark State and other higher education partners.”
The Advanced Technology Center houses the College’s world-class W.R. Timken Advanced Manufacturing Laboratory, high-demand culinary program, advanced biotechnology laboratory and a few classrooms that will remain when the ESC moves in. The College’s Education, Human and Social Services, Ohio Peace Officers Training Academy and noncredit classes and laboratories will be moved to other available space at the College.
Joint use of academic facilities with business and educational partners is not new to Stark State, with examples such as the Stark State College/Timken Test and Technology Center, on Shuffel Street just north of campus, and the LG Fuel Cell Center, located adjacent to the ATC.
One example of the ESC and Stark State College alignment and partnership is the College’s new Learn to Earn program, also unveiled on Thursday. Learn to Earn links high school students with in-demand careers through College Credit Plus/certificate pathways that lead to further education (associate degree and beyond) and industry-recognized credentials that meet 2018 high school graduation requirements. Stark State developed the Learn to Earn certificates in collaboration with the ESC, school districts, employers and the Ohio Department of Education (ODE).
The College is launching pilot Learn to Earn certificates in several Stark County high schools and Akron Public Schools in information technology; heating, ventilation, air conditioning and refrigeration; automotive; and welding. These certificate pathways also are aligned with the ODE’s current industry credential and workforce readiness graduation pathway and will be offered to all of Stark State’s high school partners.