News Releases


Posted on October 27th, 2020

PERRYSBURG TOWNSHIP, Ohio, Oct. 27, 2020 – The strong partnerships between Owens Community College, Haas Automation, Inc., HFO Midwest and the Gene Haas Foundation has been taken to the next level as the Gene Haas Foundation recently awarded a $250,000 grant for naming rights to the new Owens Dana Advanced Manufacturing Training Center’s Computer Numeric Control (CNC) Machining Lab. The 7,000-square-foot space will be known as the Gene Haas CNC Machining Lab and will feature several Haas CNC machine tools to prepare students for high-paying manufacturing jobs.

The Haas Foundation grant follows the 2019 gift from Dana Incorporated for which the advanced manufacturing training center is named.

“Our Dana Center, including the Gene Hass CNC Machining lab, demonstrates the college’s commitment to specialized training in advanced manufacturing and related fields,” said Bill Balzer, interim president, Owens Community College. “This generous grant from the Gene Haas Foundation enhances our strong, long-standing partnership to ensure meeting the region’s employment and training needs for many years to come.”

Students pursuing a mechanical major are instructed in drafting, machine design and repair and machining principles, which may include tool and die design and detailing, fluid power applications and CNC applications. In addition to theory and hands-on instruction, students will take courses such as communications, industrial psychology, management and applied statistical process control.

The Gene Haas CNC Machining lab is a premiere educational space for students, incumbent workers, individuals, and companies who seek hands-on training and advanced skills needed by Northwest Ohio’s regional manufacturing-based employers. Additionally, the lab will be dedicated to students pursuing many degrees and certificates, including Applied Engineering Technology, CAD Technology, Skilled Trades Mechanical, Industrial Mechanic Certificate, Tool & Die/Mold Making, Welding and more.

“I’m extremely proud of the evolution of our partnership with Owens Community College (OCC) and congratulate them on being awarded a $250,000 grant by the Gene Haas Foundation!” states Dave Tucker, president of HFO Midwest. “Owen’s Community College was one of our earliest Haas Technical Education Center (HTEC) success stories, going back more than 20 years. Our early adoption of the HTEC program has proven to be a winning proposition for all stakeholders, as well as the manufacturing communities we serve. I’m confident that the new Gene Haas CNC Machining Lab at Owens will prepare students for a great career in manufacturing by educating them on the most popular and advanced CNC machine tools currently in use.”

Owens regional business partners have expressed an urgent need for additional training to meet the predicted 2,118 new jobs in advanced manufacturing over the next five years. The Gene Haas Foundation’s continued investment in Owens will provide additional hands-on training to students and increase skilled personnel entering the workforce.

“Owens Community College is a known pillar in the region for delivering advanced manufacturing training opportunities,” Adds Toni Neary, director of education, Morris Group, Inc., Haas Tower Services. “We have fostered an amazing partnership with Owens Community College including housing our local showroom on campus, working pro-actively in the HTEC (Haas Technical Education Center) network and with annual grants for student scholarships from the Gene Haas Foundation. This takes our partnership to the next level.”

Approximately 200 to 300 credit and non-credit students utilize the CNC lab annually while completing Computer-Aided Manufacturing (CAM) courses.

The Dana Center focuses on expanding and preparing new and incumbent skilled workers in northwest Ohio and southeast Michigan. The 59,000-square-foot facility features six skilled technology labs, including computer-aided design (CAD), CNC and manual machining, electrical, heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) and alternative energy, mechanical and pneumatics, and robotics and programmable logic controller (PLC).

For more information on the Dana Center or the Gene Haas CNC Machining Lab, please visit

About the Gene Haas Foundation
Founded by Haas in 1999, the Gene Haas Foundation has awarded more than 50 million dollars to deserving charities and educational institutions. The Foundation was formed to fund the needs of the local community and to support manufacturing education. The foundation provides scholarship funds to community colleges and vocational schools for students entering technical training programs, especially machinist-based certificate and degree programs as well as supports youth programs that inspire young people to consider manufacturing careers.

 About HFO Midwest
Haas Factory Outlet ( a division of Midwest Manufacturing Resources, Inc., has been supporting the manufacturing community of Ohio, Kentucky and West Virginia for over 25 years as the exclusive distributor for Haas CNC machine tools, rotary products and automation. Offices are located in Springboro (Cincinnati-Dayton) and Twinsburg (Cleveland). Each facility offers showrooms for demonstrations, training and services.


Posted on October 16th, 2020

Participants Include Two from Owens Community College

PERRYSBURG TOWNSHIP, Ohio, Oct. 16, 2020 –  Two leaders from Owens Community College have graduated as fellows of the first Ohio Leadership Academy for Student Success.

OACC Recognition PhotoErica Parish, dean, Accreditation and Academic Support and David Shaffer, executive director, Student Services were among more than 40 leaders representing all of Ohio’s community colleges that graduated Oct. 2, 2020, as part of the academy, organized by the Ohio Association of Community Colleges (OACC). It is the first of its kind in the nation to gather mid-level administrators, faculty and staff for a year of leadership development, exchanging ideas and immersion in how to promote student success.

“The fellows learned how to more effectively lead the many changes underway at our colleges – transformational changes – to improve student success,” said Laura Rittner, executive director of the OACC’s Success Center for Ohio Community Colleges. “We brought together people who have different roles at colleges so they could have a deeper understanding of how college leaders can work together to usher in these student success models.”

The president of each of the state’s community colleges could nominate two employees as fellows. They met six times throughout the year for two-day meetings, first in person and then online as the pandemic took hold. Sessions were relevant to Ohio specifically and included aspects of the Aspen Institute’s presidential leadership curriculum. Fellows also worked on projects in small groups between sessions.

“The Ohio Leadership Academy gave me a greater understanding how the budget process and other decisions made at the state-level affect what happens on our campus and in turn affect the success of students,” said Parish. “This experience was worthwhile and something that I would highly recommend to other college leaders.”

The academy was funded by several national organizations, so colleges had minimal expenses to participate. Next year’s academy will begin early in 2021, Rittner said, in the hopes that some sessions can be held in person.

The OACC represents the presidents and trustees of the state’s 23 public two-year institutions that work to advance community colleges through policy advocacy and professional development. For more information, please visit www.OhioCommunityColleges.Org.


Posted on October 6th, 2020

PERRYSBURG TOWNSHIP, Ohio, Oct. 6, 2020 – Owens Community College’s Dana Advanced Manufacturing Training Center has been awarded the 2020 Annual Excellence in Workforce Development by the Ohio Economic Development Association (OEDA). This award recognizes unique approaches to any aspect of workforce development and acknowledges an organization that has developed innovative practices and programs.

“The Annual Excellence Awards showcase the best of the best in economic development and gives members of the profession the opportunity to collectively celebrate the success of the economic development profession,” Jennifer Price, OEDA Executive Director, said.

The Dana Center focuses on expanding and preparing new and incumbent skilled workers in northwest Ohio and southeast Michigan. The 59,000 square-foot facility features six skilled technology labs, including computer-aided design (CAD); computer numerical control (CNC) and manual machining; electrical; heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) and alternative energy; mechanical and pneumatics; and robotics and programmable logic controller (PLC).

“We are pleased to have been recognized by the OEDA for the College’s commitment to workforce development. The Dana Center represents the College’s latest significant investment to directly impact Northwest Ohio’s regional economy,” stated Bill Balzer, interim president, Owens Community College. “A skilled workforce is critical to fill thousands of new and existing jobs in manufacturing and aligned careers throughout our region and the state. The Dana Center was specifically designed to meet these needs now and well into the future. We thank Dana Incorporated and other supporters for joining us in meeting the region’s training needs for the new and incumbent workers for decades to come.”

Owens was nominated for the OEDA award by project architect Tim Swartz from SSOE Group. Headquartered in Toledo with a national and global footprint, SSOE is a leader in aligning education design with workforce needs.

For more information on the Dana Center, please visit


Posted on September 15th, 2020

PERRYSBURG TOWNSHIP, Ohio, Sept. 15, 2020 – Owens Community College is offering a new fast track program that puts students on an accelerated path to earning their degree. The program is designed to provide academic and personal support that aims to close the completion gap by helping students finish their degree or certificate in three years or less from the time they join the program.

“This is a small program designed to have a large impact on a specific population,” said James Jackson, director, Fast Track Program. “We want to help close the equity gap for students who come to Owens with few academic, economic and family resources and help them complete their degree as quickly as possible.”

Fast Track is based on a national model being used at several schools around the country, including in New York, New Jersey and California, to name a few.

Students are required to enroll full time (12 credits) and meet with a success coach twice a month, who will assist them with navigating their degree pathway, campus culture and learning to juggle their competing demands such as family responsibilities and work. Students participating in the program will have access to Fast Track Program activities, events and resources where they will meet fellow students and learn new skills. They will also receive a $50 a month incentive, as long as they remain eligible by meeting the program’s expectations.

Eligible Students must: 

  • Have accumulated less than 24 college credits
  • Be able to enroll in at least 12 credits per semester
  • Fill out a financial aid application (FAFSA)
  • Not currently be a participant in TRIO or other Student Support Services

Placement in the program is limited to 60 students for the 2020-21 academic year and the deadline to apply is Friday, Sept. 25. Interested students should fill out an application and email it to


Posted on March 3rd, 2020

PERRYSBURG TOWNSHIP, Ohio, March 3, 2020 – The presidents of The University of Toledo and Owens Community College will sign a dual-admission partnership for nursing students at 8:30 a.m., Thursday, March 5, in Heritage Hall, Room 123.

The new program — the first of its kind in northwest Ohio — allows nursing students to jointly apply for admission at both Owens and UToledo, establishing a seamless pathway for students to earn an Associate in Applied Science degree in registered nursing from Owens followed by a Bachelor of Science degree in nursing from UToledo.

“Creating pathways for student success is an important part of Owens’ strategic plan and we are excited for what this dual enrollment agreement with the University of Toledo means for our nursing students,” said Steve Robinson, Ph.D., president of Owens Community College. “This seamless pathway from an associate to bachelor’s degree will help remove another barrier to student success and we are proud to partner with The University of Toledo to make that happen.”

“This is a wonderful way to strengthen our relationship with Owens and provide even more opportunities for students in our region, ensuring their success in the workplace,” UToledo President Sharon L. Gaber said. “Having a baccalaureate degree increases opportunities for nurses, and it is important that we establish these types of partnerships to ensure individuals in our community have the strong educational foundation they need for a successful nursing career.”

The new dual-admission program is designed to give students a sense of belonging at both institutions, while providing unique opportunities and support throughout their education.

Advisers from both Owens and UToledo will work with students from the start to ensure they are taking the courses needed to complete both degrees. Students also will have the ability to participate in UToledo events and programming, and to take courses at UToledo while working toward their associate’s degree at Owens.

Upon completion of their associate’s degree from Owens, students have a guaranteed spot in the UToledo College of Nursing’s online R.N. to B.S.N. program, with no additional application or admission fee.

While a B.S.N. isn’t necessary for licensure, recent surveys from the American Association of Colleges of Nursing have found that more than 80% of employers strongly prefer job candidates with a bachelor’s degree. A number of studies also have shown patients who are cared for by nurses with higher levels of education have more positive outcomes.

The dual-admission program is open to new and continuing students at Owens. The institutions will begin taking applications on May 1.


Posted on February 12th, 2020

PERRYSBURG TOWNSHIP, Ohio, Feb. 12, 2020 – Owens Community College has received notification from the Higher Learning Commission (HLC) that the academic institution’s accreditation has been reaffirmed through 2030. Owens has been accredited continuously through the Higher Learning Commission since 1976.

“Achieving continued accreditation through the Higher Learning Commission takes hard work and dedication. I am very proud and appreciative of all of our faculty and staff,” said Steve Robinson, Ph.D., president of Owens Community College. This acknowledgment reaffirms our longstanding educational commitment to serving our students and the surrounding communities.”

The HLC is an independent corporation that was founded in 1895 as one of six regional institutional accreditors in the United States. HLC accredits degree-granting post-secondary educational institutions in the North Central region, accounting for 19 states. By law, the U.S. Department of Education (ED) relies in part on accrediting agencies to determine eligibility for U.S. government assistance under certain legislation. HLC is among these governmentally recognized authorities and seeks renewal of ED recognition at least every five years.

For more information about Owens Community College, please visit


Posted on December 9th, 2019

PERRYSBURG TOWNSHIP, Ohio, Dec. 9, 2019 – Venezuelan native, Maria Guadalupe Lopez Davila has been selected as the Owens Community College class representative and will address the 398 graduates during the 39th Fall Commencement ceremony Friday, Dec. 13. She is graduating with an Associate of Arts degree in Communication Studies and Cum Laude honors.

The ceremony begins at 6:30 p.m. in the Student Health and Activities Center. Admission is free. Wade Kapszukiewicz, Toledo Mayor, will serve as the commencement keynote speaker.

Lopez Davila came to the United States on an F1 student visa following her 2017 graduation from Juan XXIII High School in Valencia, the third-largest city in Venezuela with a population of approximately 1.8 million. She currently resides in Findlay.

She sought an opportunity to learn and grow away from her native country’s struggles. Civil unrest began in Venezuela in 2013 and has continued to present day due to high levels of urban violence, inflation and chronic shortages of basic goods and services, such as food and water. Widespread political corruption is blamed for much of the country’s problems.

“Maria is a humbly bright individual. Every goal that she sets for herself, she goes beyond it,” Lyndsay Dimick, International Students Advisor, said.

Despite taking English classes since first grade, she said her time at Owens has taught her how to communicate daily in English as she focuses on a Spanish-English communications career in business, journalism or social media. She said she is now beginning to dream in English as well.

Her mother, Dr. Morella Davila, OBGYN, and father, Rostin Lopez, a statistician and broadcaster for the Magellan Navigators professional baseball team in Valencia, hoped to attend the ceremony.

“I was raised in an environment with strong family values. I wanted to make my family proud, to show my mom and dad they did a good job with me,” Lopez Davila said.

After graduation, Lopez Davila has applied for an Optional Practical Training (OPT) extension to her student visa that would allow her to work for a year in a job related to her major before attending a 4-year university.

“I want to be the best of me so that I represent Venezuela and the Latino culture in what I do,” she said. “I have the duty and responsibility to talk about the good that comes from my country.”

Kapszukiewicz was elected mayor Nov. 7, 2017 and took the oath of office on January 2, 2018, becoming the 58th mayor of Toledo.

He received a bachelor’s degree in journalism and political science from Marquette University in 1994 and was named the valedictorian of the College of Communication, Journalism, and Performing Arts. He received a master’s degree in public policy from the University of Michigan in 1996.

Kapszukiewicz is an adjunct professor at Lourdes University, where he teaches a night course in urban policy. An avid baseball fan, Kapszukiewicz had his research published in the Spring 2016 edition of the Society for American Baseball Research journal.

A resident of Toledo since 1973, Kapszukiewicz was born in San Diego on October 30, 1972. He and his wife, Sarah, celebrated their 18th wedding anniversary in 2019. They live in the Old Orchard neighborhood of Toledo and have two children, Emma and Will.

For more information about the ceremony, please visit


Posted on October 18th, 2019

PERRYSBURG TOWNSHIP, Ohio, Oct. 18, 2019 – Owens Community College announced today a second major gift of $100,000 from the Owens Alumni Association for the new Dana Advanced Manufacturing Training Center, seven weeks after receiving a $1 million investment from Dana Incorporated (NYSE: DAN). The announcement was made at the Foundation and Alumni Association’s Annual Dinner Meeting, Thurs., Oct. 17. The gift will result in naming rights within the center and will help to establish the Owens Alumni Association Advanced Manufacturing Scholarship.

“The Alumni Association is excited to be part of the Dana Advanced Manufacturing Training Center through this significant investment, while also establishing an endowed scholarship to directly benefit those students seeking degrees and certificates in the manufacturing and skilled trades areas,” said Tom Daniels, president of the Owens Community College Alumni Association. “This facility will be a game-changer for Northwest Ohio, and we are doing our part to help advance the region.”

The modernized facility will transform the College’s ability to meet the region’s most critical economic challenges of developing and training a skilled workforce for manufacturing employers.

Labor data forecasts more than 2,100 advanced manufacturing job openings paying an average annual salary of $63,000 in Lucas, Wood and Hancock counties in the next five years.

Designed to provide highly technical and integrated training in a clean and safe environment conducive to learning, the Dana Center includes amenities such as large windows that allow more natural light, glass walls and polished floors. The facility will also provide corporate partners with access to offices and conference space close to technical labs, classrooms and faculty offices.

“The Owens Foundation greatly appreciates this gift in support of the Dana Advanced Manufacturing Training Center at Owens Community College,” said Philip J. Rudolph, Jr., Chair of the Owens Community College Foundation. “The Owens Alumni Association’s investment in the Dana Center is an investment in future alumni who will continue to power Northwest Ohio’s workforce.”

For more information about the new Dana Advanced Manufacturing Training Center, please visit


Posted on August 28th, 2019

Owens Embarks on Capital Fundraising Campaign for New $9.6 million, 59,000 Square-foot Facility to Promote Development of Skilled Workers in Northwest Ohio and Southeast Michigan

PERRYSBURG TOWNSHIP, Ohio, Aug. 28, 2019 – Owens Community College announced today it received a $1 million investment from Dana Incorporated (NYSE: DAN) for the new Dana Advanced Manufacturing Training Center. The new facility will help address the shortage in skilled workers throughout Northwest Ohio and Southeast Michigan. The announcement kicks off a capital fundraising campaign to support the initiative.

Focused on increasing training and development of skilled workers in northwest Ohio and southeast Michigan, the project will renovate a 59,000 square-foot existing facility, which will feature six skilled technology labs, including computer-aided design (CAD); computer numerical control (CNC) and manual machining; electrical; heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) and alternative energy; mechanical and pneumatics; and robotics and programmable logic controller (PLC).

“The skills gap is one of the single biggest constraints on growth in our industry and the economy as a whole.  According to estimates from the Manufacturing Institute, there will be more than 4.6 million manufacturing jobs in the U.S. to fill by 2028.  At current rates, we will only have 2.2 million skilled workers for these positions. That is a gap of over 2.4 million jobs,” said James Kamsickas, president and chief executive officer of Dana.  “Dana’s investment with Owens Community College will help to bridge that gap by offering critical training in advanced manufacturing and skilled trades to support the manufacturing base of northwest Ohio and southeast Michigan.”

The State of Ohio has approved $4 million in capital funding and Owens will invest up to $3.6 million of its local dollars to support the project. The capital campaign will focus on securing the remaining $2 million funding gap to complete the project.

“The new Advanced Manufacturing Training Center will house all of our advanced manufacturing and skilled trade programs in one building, offering our students a more conducive environment for learning current and advanced technologies that are critical for the workforce in our region,” said Steve Robinson, Ph.D., president, Owens Community College. “The generous support from a major corporation like Dana demonstrates the trust and confidence we have been able to cultivate through our many years as northwest Ohio’s leader in workforce training.”

The new facility will transform the College’s ability to meet the region’s most critical economic challenges of developing and training a skilled workforce for manufacturing employers.

“Toledo has more robots per capita than any metro area in America, but until today, the area did not have the training partnership between educators and the private sector that can supply the talent needed to grow the modern manufacturing sector of the economy,” said Lt. Governor Jon Husted. “The advanced manufacturing partnership between Owens and Dana is exactly what Northwest Ohio needs to compete educationally and economically.”

For more information about the new Dana Advanced Manufacturing Training Center, please visit

About Dana Incorporated  

Dana is a world leader in providing power-conveyance and energy-management solutions for vehicles and machinery.  The company’s portfolio improves the efficiency, performance, and sustainability of light vehicles, commercial vehicles, and off-highway equipment.  From axles, driveshafts, and transmissions to electrodynamic, thermal, sealing, and digital solutions, the company enables the propulsion of conventional, hybrid, and electric-powered vehicles by supplying nearly every vehicle and engine manufacturer in the world.  Founded in 1904, Dana employs more than 36,000 people who are committed to delivering long-term value to customers.  Based in Maumee, Ohio, USA, and with locations in 33 countries across six continents, the company reported sales of $8.1 billion in 2018.  Having established a dynamic, high-performance culture, the company has been recognized globally as a top employer, with significant honors in Asia, India, Italy, Mexico, and the United States.  Learn more at


Posted on August 5th, 2019

PERRYSBURG TOWNSHIP, Ohio, Aug. 5, 2019 – According to LinkedIn’s 2018 Workforce Learning Report, 93 percent of employees would stay at a company longer if it invested in their careers. For 19 First Solar employees, this statistic became more of a reality when they earned a state certificate at a special ceremony Friday at Owens Community College after completing customized training made possible through a partnership with Owens Community College and First Solar.

The First Solar employees earned the 34-credit hour Industrial Maintenance Certificate in accelerated time, covering the 13 classes from January to July. A typical student may spend up to 18 months earning this certificate.

Owens customized the educational makeup and delivery of the certificate so First Solar employees attended classes Mondays and Wednesdays in two 12-hour shifts, 6 a.m. – 6 p.m. or 6 p.m. – 6 a.m.

Additional examples of the customized training included utilizing First Solar blueprints in the Mechanical Print Reading class and starting an Electrical Principles class at 2:30 a.m.

First Solar began partnership talks with Owens officials in the spring of 2018, immediately after announcing its building expansion in Lake Township and the need for additional employees.

“When First Solar could not find new, qualified employees, they sent their existing employees to us to upgrade their skills. We were excited to provide career growth opportunities for their manufacturing operators and technicians,” said Rob Kraus, executive director of Owens Workforce Training. “What we did with First Solar, we can do with other companies. We offer multiple pathways to train incumbent and future workers and help them earn valuable knowledge and skills to succeed on the job.”

First Solar has already moved forward with another customized training opportunity, enrolling manufacturing operators in Manufacturing Engineer Technician classes leading to a certificate of completion.

“First and foremost, we would like to congratulate our First Solar associates on this wonderful accomplishment.  As we move forward with our vision to lead the world’s sustainable energy future it will be critical to have the most highly skilled associates on the front lines in our manufacturing facilities,” said Jay Lake, manufacturing workforce development and community relations manager, First Solar. “Training programs such as the one that First Solar and Owens Community College have developed will be paramount in bringing this vision to fruition.  We are confident that we will be able to provide cost-advantaged solar technology through innovation, customer engagement, industry leadership and operational excellence with the help of our talented workforce.”

Approximately 50 people attended the graduation ceremony in College Hall.

For more information on customized workforce training, please visit or call (567) 661-7357.