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Published 2/16/2004
Owens Community College Provides Leadership In Ohio's Workforce Training Efforts

Christa Adams, Ph.D. In today's rapidly changing job market the need for area residents to continually upgrade and advance their educational training is great than ever. Owens Community College is at the forefront of such workforce training and recently was chosen by Ohio Governor Bob Taft to help lead a new initiative, which encourages working adults to enhance their education.

Owens Community College President, Christa Adams, Ph.D., is one of 10 community leaders statewide named to the National Governors' Association policy academy entitled "Pathways to Advancement: Expanding Post-Secondary Educational Opportunities for Working Adults". Other organizations involved are Aguila International, the Governor's Workforce Policy Board, the Ohio Board of Regents, the Auburn Career Center, the Ohio Department of Education, Lakeland Community College, the KnowledgeWorks Foundation and the Office of the Governor.

"Owens Community College has a long history of providing leading edge training," said President Adams. "The opportunity to serve in this capacity demonstrates the College's responsiveness in providing high quality programs to meet market demands. Owens is proud to play a critical part in Governor Taft's vision towards building a better tomorrow."

The National Governors' Association policy academy's main goal is to create effective pathways of postsecondary educational advancement for working adults through policy improvement. Such an initiative will foster alignment between and within its workforce education institutions - community and technical colleges and adult career-technical education institutions.

Organizations chosen for the unprecedented project were selected based upon overall leadership in workforce training and the ability to provide input and perspective into addressing the needs of working adults.

In Ohio, jobs that require an associate degree are expected to grow 26 percent over the next decade, more than double the average growth for all occupations. According to the Office of the Governor, workforce educational institutions - such as community and technical colleges, career-technical schools and other public providers of adult basic and workforce education - play a critical role in the state's infrastructure for workforce development. The aligning of workforce educational institutions will enable Ohio to better meet the particular needs of current and future workers.

Owens Community College has been a leader in providing customized training to Northwest Ohio residents and regional industries for over three decades. The College's Workforce and Community Services Division trains more than 18,000 credit and non- credit students annually pursuing careers in the areas of computer applications, allied health education, apprenticeship-related training and skilled trades.

The College's longstanding commitment to regional training includes in 2003 unveiling more than $1.17 million in state-of-the-art electrical, mechanical and electronic equipment for a new Integrated Systems Technology (IST) Certificate Program. President George W. Bush recently visited Owens to praise the program's results and urge fellow academic institutions to follow the College's lead in preparing a diverse population for the constantly changing economic landscape.

Requiring approximately 200 hours of coursework, the IST Program provides students with hands-on technical education, which incorporates mechanical, electrical, electronic and fluid power concepts used by several local and international companies. Among the companies utilizing such technology are Caterpillar Inc., Calphalon, Daimler-Chrysler, Dana Corporation and the Ford Motor Company.

The College presently has partnerships with more than 400 of the region's top companies to create a trained and experienced skilled workforce.

Dr. Christa Adams became the fourth president in the history of Owens Community College in July 2001. Since taking this position, she has focused on strengthening the College's relationships within its many communities throughout Northwest Ohio. The results have been continuous increase in enrollment; further expansion of academic programs to meet business and industry needs; advocacy at the state and federal levels to insure that the College continues to receive funding support, and various capital improvement projects to include the Center for Fine and Performing Arts, the new Findlay- area Campus and the Fire and Police Training Center for Professional Development and Homeland Security.

Previously, Dr. Adams served a five-year period as president of St. Clair County Community College in Port Huron, Michigan. Active in the state and Northwest Ohio community, she serves on a number of local, regional and national boards to include the American Association of Community Colleges and the Regional Growth Partnership of Northwest Ohio Executive Committee.

Dr. Adams earned her doctorate in community college administration/vocational education from Colorado State University. A resident of Perrysburg, she holds master's and bachelor's degrees in English from the University of Northern Colorado.

Owens Community College is the fastest-growing higher educational institution in Ohio with 27 consecutive semesters of enrollment increases. On the Toledo-area and Findlay- area Campuses, Owens serves more than 44,000 credit and non-credit students making it the number one choice for Northwest Ohio college students. Owens is committed to providing small classes, personal attention and unmatched affordability. Owens Community College offers over 130 program areas in Agriculture, Business, Fine and Performing Arts, Health, Public Service, Skilled Trades, Industrial and Engineering Technologies. Owens students also can earn the first two years of a bachelor's degree with a smooth transfer to any area four-year college or university.


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