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 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 September 1st, 2020

PERRYSBURG TOWNSHIP, Ohio, Sept. 1, 2020 – Owens Community College is offering members of the Class of 2020 the unique opportunity to continue their academic path at Owens with the Spring Start: High School Class of 2020 Scholarship. This scholarship is a $500 non-need-based award intended to provide new graduates whose educational plans may have changed due to the COVID-19 pandemic the assistance they need to start their journey in the spring and keep their education on track. Eligible students would be awarded a scholarship for the 2021 Spring Semester. An additional $250 scholarship would be awarded for the 2021 Summer semester to those Spring 2021 scholarship recipients who continue to meet eligibility requirements.

“With this unique initiative Owens hopes to demonstrate to our area high schools and community the College’s ongoing commitment to increasing college enrollment and student success as part of our strategic plan and our critical role in the northwest Ohio higher education ecosystem,” stated Amy K. Giordano, vice president, Enrollment Management and Student Services.

A recent survey by Junior Achievement and Citizens Bank (COVID Impact Survey) found that nearly half of high school juniors and seniors (44%) say COVID-19 has impacted their plans to pay for college. The survey also found that 30% say that COVID-19 is impacting their expected college start date.

Owens own enrollment trends show that these uncertainties especially affect the direct from high school students from the larger, public urban high schools with these student numbers behind prior year enrollment trends. With this new scholarship, Owens provides students who delayed their college career this additional financial assistance and wrap around support services to help ensure they don’t find themselves falling behind in their educational journey.

“This scholarship, open to all eligible students regardless of need, will reduce Owens already low cost for the 2021 Spring Semester,” said Giordano.

Requirements for the new scholarship are:

  • Must be a member of the Class of 2020 from our legal service district (Lucas, Wood, Hancock and parts of Ottawa and Sandusky counties) who have not yet enrolled in college or university post-graduation
  • Must be enrolled in 12 credit hours as of Spring 2021 census date
  • Must be degree or certificate-seeking
  • Must have completed FAFSA on file
  • For Summer 2021 students must be enrolled in six credit hours, and maintaining a 2.0 GPA

If you are interested in this scholarship and would like to learn more, please contact Amy K. Giordano at


Posted on August 18th, 2020

Federal Student Support Services grant awarded every five years

PERRYSBURG TOWNSHIP, Ohio, Aug.18, 2020 – The U.S. Department of Education announced that Owens Community College will receive a federal Student Support Services (SSS) grant to help more students succeed in and graduate from college. TRIO SSS has been at Owens Community College since September 2015 and has served over 200 students.

SSS helps college students who are low income, first-generation (those whose parents do not have a four-year college degree) or students with disabilities. The array of services the grant will provide are comprehensive and will include academic tutoring, financial aid advice, career and college mentoring, help in choosing courses, and other forms of assistance. Such services enhance academic success and make it more likely that students will graduate or transfer with the lowest possible debt. Many Student Support Services alumni have gone on to great success, among them Emmy, Tony and Academy-Award winning actress Viola Davis, U.S. Rep. Gwendolyn Moore of Wisconsin’s 4th District and Franklin Chang-Diaz, the first Hispanic astronaut.

SSS began in 1968 and is one of the eight federal “TRIO” programs authorized by the Higher Education Act to help college students succeed in higher education. It recognizes that students whose parents do not have a college degree have more difficulties navigating the complexity of decisions that college requires for success; it bolsters students from low-income families who have not had the academic opportunities that their college peers have had and helps students with disabilities remove obstacles preventing them from thriving academically.

We are excited about the opportunity to continue to serve students at Owens Community College. The grant proposal team consisted of members from across the Owens community: Heidi Altomare, Director of Grants; Dr. Denise Smith, Vice President of Academic Affairs/ Provost; Dr. Anne Fulkerson, Director of Institutional Research and Institutional Effectiveness; Erica Parish, Dean of Accreditation and Academic Support Services; David Shaffer, Executive Director of Student Services and Enrollment Services; and Brandon Gaddy, Director of TRIO Student Support Services. Their input and collaborative work were essential to the grant writing and submission process.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has worsened the systemic inequality and financial hardship which keep promising students from succeeding in college. Student Support Services is needed now more than ever,” said Maureen Hoyler. Hoyler is the president of the non-profit Council for Opportunity in Education in Washington, D.C., dedicated to furthering the expansion of college opportunities for low-income, first-generation students, and students with disabilities.

For more than 50 years, the Student Support Services program has made important contributions to individuals and society as a whole by providing a broad range of services to help students succeed. This vital program can and does make all the difference.


Posted on August 4th, 2020

PERRYSBURG TOWNSHIP, Ohio, Aug. 4, 2020 – Owens Community College Board of Trustees has selected William K. Balzer, Ph.D. to serve as interim president. Balzer will formally assume the interim president position on Aug. 10 following the departure of Steve Robinson, Ph.D. on July 17 to serve as president of Lansing Community College. Robinson served as the seventh president of the College since 2018 after serving as provost and vice president of academic affairs.

“We are very excited to bring Dr. Balzer’s depth of experience to Owens as we search for our next president,” stated Mary Beth Hammond, chair, Owens Board of Trustees. “We will benefit greatly not only from that experience but also the relationships of mutual respect he has built with his colleagues at BGSU and the other four-year institutions that Owens has built partnerships with over the years.”

Balzer has more than 35 years of experience in higher education. Prior to joining Owens, he served as vice president for Faculty Affairs and Strategic Initiatives at Bowling Green State University (BGSU). His responsibilities included providing leadership in the implementation of the collective bargaining agreement with the BGSU Faculty Association, representing the Administration on issues related to the contract, and supporting the professional development of Department Chairs and School Directors at the University. In addition, he had the responsibility of helping support strategic planning and implementation and other strategic initiatives to advance the University.

Following his selection to the interim president position, Balzer said:

“I want to thank the Board of Trustees for both their confidence and the privilege to serve as interim president at Owens Community College. I look forward to working closely over the coming year with the leadership team, faculty, and staff to continue to advance the college’s success in providing students with an affordable and high-quality education to meet their professional and personal goals and enrich the economic vitality of northwest Ohio.”

He earned a Ph.D. in Industrial-Organizational Psychology from New York University, a Master of Science in Industrial-Organizational Psychology from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from the State University of New York at Stony Brook.

Balzer is a member of the Association of Academic Personnel Administrators, the Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology and the American Psychological Society. He has also served as a member of several community boards.

The Board of Trustees is in the process of conducting a search to name a permanent president of Owens Community College.


Posted on February 18th, 2020

PERRYSBURG TOWNSHIP, Ohio, Feb. 18, 2020 – Owens Community College has named Mary Beth Hammond and Dr. Srini Hejeebu to serve as the chair and vice-chair for the College’s board of trustees. Hammond and Hejeebu were elected to their positions by their fellow colleagues during a recent Owens board of trustees meeting and will serve one-year terms.

“My time serving on the Board of Trustees has been personally rewarding for me. As a community college graduate, I take pride in my contributions to the College and hope that I am making a difference in the lives of our students through thoughtful leadership,” said Hammond. “Our Owens Leadership team is stronger than ever, and I look forward to continuing my commitment along with the rest of the Board and President Dr. Robinson to help power northwest Ohio with skilled, competent leaders for years to come.”

Initially appointed to the board in Dec. 2013, Hammond, currently serves as senior private banker at Fifth Third Bank in Findlay and has more than 30-years of financial experience. She supports multiple non-profit organizations, is a past president of the Bowling Green Chamber of Commerce and a graduate of The Jo Ann Davidson Ohio Leadership Institute. Additionally, Hammond is an Athena recipient in Wood and Hancock Counties.

Hejeebu, a Sylvania resident, was also appointed to the board of trustees in Dec. 2013. He is currently a professor of Medicine at the University of Toledo and an internist at the University of Toledo Medical Center.

“I am honored to work with Owens Community College to promote education in our community. I look forward to working with President Robinson and the rest of the Owens board of trustees to help Northwest Ohio train and develop outstanding students in our community,” stated Hejeebu.

The College’s board of trustees is currently comprised of nine community leaders from Lucas, Wood and Hancock Counties who are appointed by the Governor of Ohio for six-year terms.

In addition to Hammond and Hejeebu, board members include Charles L. Bills of Findlay, Jason W. Johnson of Toledo, Karil M. Morrissey of Perrysburg, Edwin J. Nagle of Perrysburg, Richard Rowe Jr. of Findlay, Rita L. Russell of Toledo and Diana H. (Dee) Talmage of Toledo.

For more information on Owens Community College, please visit


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 November 19th, 2019

PERRYSBURG TOWNSHIP, Ohio, Nov. 19, 2019 – In partnership with United Way of Greater Toledo, Owens staff, students and alumni will gather with community volunteers on Saturday, Dec. 7, 9 a.m. – 3 p.m. at the Owens Learning Center Downtown Toledo to donate their time and skills to create memorable professional portraits for those in need. Walk-ins are welcome on a first come, first served basis from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Photographers, make-up artists, hair stylists and volunteers will gather to take part in this event to mark the tenth annual Help-Portrait worldwide event. In 2008, Help-Portrait began as an idea that transformed into a movement in just three months.  The idea behind Help-Portrait is simple: 1. Find someone in need 2. Take their portrait 3. Print their portrait and 4. Deliver their portrait.

Celebrity photographer Jeremy Cowart formed Help-Portrait, a non-profit organization, in 2008 as he contemplated using his skills and expertise to give back to those who may not have the opportunity for a professional photo.  The idea is that a photographer has the unique ability to help someone smile, laugh and return their dignity.  It is a movement, a shift in photography.

In the last ten years, more than 75,442 volunteers have given more than 381,856 portraits. Help-Portrait is a global movement in more than 2803 locations in 67 countries. The annual Help-Portrait event takes place on the first Saturday of December each year in addition to special events.

This event is made possible through generous contributions made to the Owens Community College Foundation.

The Owens Learning Center Downtown Toledo is located at 1301 Monroe St., Toledo. For additional information or questions, please contact Krista Kiessling at