Owens Community College Alumni Association

   Profile of Excellence


Jerry Isch
Jerry Isch, PHR
Manager of Training
Mid-Continent Refining
Sunoco Refining and Supply
1994 Owens Graduate

"Whether educating students or serving business clients, Owens Community College stands well above other institutions."

Studies Link:
Industrial and Engineering Technologies
Workforce and Community Services

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Profile of Excellence: Jerry Isch
Owens Community College Alumnus
Jerry Isch's experience with Owens Community College has come full circle. In 1994 he graduated with an Associate of Technical Studies Degree, majoring in Industrial Trades. Today, the Manager of Training for Sunoco Refining and Supply utilizes the educational expertise and services of Owens' Workforce and Community Services Division. In both cases, Jerry rates Owens' quality as exceptional. "Whether educating students or serving business clients," says Jerry, "Owens Community College stands well above other institutions."

After high school, Jerry hired into the Apprenticeship Program at Sunoco. When he completed on-the-job and classroom instruction, he became a Journeyman Refinery Operator. While in this position, his training talent surfaced. He started providing on-the-job and apprentice instruction, all while working in the field.

Jerry learned through his employer that Owens Community College offered individualized Associate Degree programs that accepted the credits earned during the apprenticeship program. Owens evaluated the block credit and then developed a two-year degreed program to meet Jerry's professional aspirations. His goal was to expand his technical expertise and shift into human resources or training full time for Sunoco. He graduated with honors from Owens.

Shortly thereafter, he was promoted to Refinery Operations Specialist and in 2000 became the Training Coordinator for Toledo. In this position, Jerry was responsible for all aspects of the apprenticeship program. Through Jerry's effort, along with strong Union mentoring, this program has enjoyed a 99% graduation rate over the last 20 years.

Earlier this year, Jerry was named to the managerial training position for Sunoco's Mid-Continent Refining, which covers Toledo and Tulsa, Oklahoma plants. His staff of six, supplemented with additional personnel in the field, provides training to over 800 of Sunoco's employees. Faced with the dramatic shift in this industry to complex and technical, Jerry is redesigning programs to meet this change. "The job used to require a strong back and good work ethic," says Jerry. "Today that is still true, but the mix now includes technical ability."

Jerry found an effective resource to partner and assist with his training needs-Owens Community College. The reputation of excellent instruction Jerry experienced first hand as a student continues with the College's Workforce and Community Services Division. Jerry calls them his "problem solvers" and recommends their services highly. "When I am faced with a training issue," he tells, "I call Dave Siravo at Owens and he has great suggestions and effective solutions."

One example was when Sunoco's employees needed to obtain commercial driving licenses. Jerry contacted driving schools for rates, considered doing it in house and contacted Owens. The end result-Owens was able to provide the training at a better rate, convenient locations and flexible schedules. Another example is currently evolving. Sunoco and BP are teaming with Owens to investigate offering a two-year degree for Process Technology to better prepare new hires for their apprentice refinery programs, thus strengthening their competitive advantages.

Jerry Isch thinks Owens Community College certainly makes the grade. "Owens' Workforce and Community Services Division offers creative solutions with great results. They are a huge resource for our area businesses."

Join Owens Community College's Alumni Association today!
Contact Laura Moore at (567) 661-7410 or alumni@owens.edu
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