Career center cancels recent technology program

Career center cancels recent technology program

Engineering tech students were moved into RAMTEC because the curriculum overlaps. The RAMTEC Center provides students with daily experiences and opportunities to work with advanced equipment.


The Ashland County-West Holmes Career Center board of education has decided not to continue one of its most recent technology programs. The board voted at its regular meeting on Thursday, May 16 to abolish the engineering and design technology program at the end of the current school year.

Superintendent Rod Cheyney said the decision was a matter of numbers. “Enrollment has been low, and then with everything that happened earlier in the year, we decided to abolish it and move forward.”

The board accepted the resignation of the program instructor late last year.

Cheyney said the engineering tech students were moved into the robotics and advanced manufacturing technology education collaborative program because a lot of the curriculum overlaps. He credited RAMTEC instructor Jim Simmering with helping engineering students finish the program this year.

“Jim’s done a great job for us this year, picking up the slack and helping those kids on and getting them through. I can’t commend him enough for all the effort he’s put in this year,” Cheyney said.

He added that most of the junior engineering students have indicated they will come back to the career center for the 2019-20 school year and indicated the program could re-emerge later on as something a little different that would meet area manufacturing business needs.

On a separate issue, the career center board voted to create full-time, nonbargaining administrative support positions for marketing and satellite program and testing. The marketing person will promote school programs and help with student recruitment while the satellite coordinator will help oversee career tech programs conducted at home schools and make sure end course and certification testing is done and recorded according to state requirements.

Communication, marketing and recruitment were several of the areas that were identified as needing improvement, according to a performance review that was part of a strategic planning process that began last fall in an effort to keep the school and its curriculum relevant. Another area that was identified was condition of facilities, which the board took an opportunity also to address during the meeting.

The career center board accepted the lone bid from Barefoot Floors of Ashland to replace the carpeting on the school’s first-floor hallways and commons area with a vinyl covering. However, a contract will not be signed until June after officials learn whether or not the school will receive a grant from the Ohio Bureau of Workers Compensation to pay for the cost, which is just over $94,000.

Cheyney said it is time to replace the 14-year-old carpeting. “The carpet has been shampooed and cleaned so many times it’s wrinkling,” he said. “We’ve had it stretched, and they’ve come out several times and reglued and those kinds of things, and there really isn’t any more we can do.”

Hillsdale School District representative Jason Chio reminded officials that the floor needs to be protected if the strategic plan later determines other renovations are needed. “I fully understand the project: that the carpet needs to be replaced because it’s rolling and has gaps at the seams,” he said. “My only concern is if we’re going to talk about renovation, we really have to protect that floor because it’s a $100,000 floor.”

Treasurer Julie Smith said the bidder has been told the school is committed to the project, whether the grant is received or not, because there is money in the capital improvement fund this year to pay for the work. Officials also will replace the table and chairs in the commons area as part of the commons upgrade.

During the spring update of the school’s five-year financial forecast, Smith said the document has changed little since the fall update in October other than an increase in property tax revenue from the Rover pipeline, which will total about $180,000 annually. She also reported salary costs are down slightly this year while supplies and capital outlay are the same as they were in October. Salaries, retirement costs and insurance benefits are expected to be up during the entire five-year period.

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