Workforce Partnership celebrates students at signing event


by Kimberly Pistone

[email protected]

SIDNEY – Lt. Gov. Jon Husted spoke at the Workforce Partnership Signing Event held at the Historic Sidney Theatre on May 17. Husted was there to celebrate and honor the 32 recent graduates who have signed with local employers to begin their careers in Shelby County. Additionally, students who received scholarships were recognized.

This event is a celebration of the partnerships between private industry and education in Shelby County, focused on workforce development to prepare students for local careers.

“You celebrate what you value,” Husted said as he addressed the crowd of students, families and Shelby County employers. Speaking directly to the graduates, he added, “You have a level of independence and freedom that comes with a job. As I often say, a good job is the best social program ever created. It doesn’t solve every problem, but it sure shortens the list when you have a good education and a good job. And you are embarking on that pathway. And that is worth celebrating. You should smile about it. You should feel good about it.”

Husted concluded by saying, “sometimes the world celebrates the noise and glamour, we don’t celebrate what we truly value. The news covers it when some five star recruit puts on a Buckeye hat, signs a paper to play football. But I tell you what, more and more Americans recognize when somebody signs a piece of paper that says they that are going to go to work as their plumber or welder or robotics technician or the nurse that might save their lives when they are in the hospital, caring for them or someone they love – celebrating that is just as important as anything. As long as in America we celebrate – we understand that the dignity and value and purpose of growing lives – that America will continue to be a great country.”

Husted’s remarks were followed by signing ceremonies for the 2023 graduates who have chosen employment in Shelby County. Deb McDermott, executive director of the Workforce Partnership of Shelby County, announced each of the following student – employer partnerships.

Graduates who have chosen employment with one of the 45 partner companies include: Logan Basil, Jackson Center, UVCC and Cole Sibert, Fairlawn, UVCC – Lincoln Electric Automation; Wyatt Biddle, Sidney, UVCC Satellite – Hemmelgarn Services; Augustus Henry, Sidney, UVCC and Trey Vogler, Houston, UVCC – Kirk National Lease; Estin Perry, Sidney, UVCC and Chace Wita, Sidney, UVCC – Slagle Mechanical Contractors; Dakota McCoy, Sidney – Cargill; Cameron McClung, Jackson Center, UVCC and Dallas Tucker, Sidney, UVCC – Detailed Machining Inc.; Wyatt Bisbee, Sidney, UVCC – Panel Control, Inc.; Allison Shroyer, Jackson Center and Ryan North, Sidney, Opportunity School – Ferguson Construction Company; Nolan Fark, Jackson Center, UVCC and Tayshaun Warner, Sidney, Opportunity School – Lochard Inc. Nolan Fox, Anna, UVCC, Mitch Holscher, Houston, UVCC, Max Maksimov, Houston, UVCC, and Jarrett Miller, Houston, UVCC – Area Energy & Electric Inc.; Camdyn Reese, Jackson Center, UVCC – Wells Brothers Inc.; Colby Monnin, Russia – ARCH Cutting Tools; Jake Moorman, Houston – Shelby County Sheriff’s Office; Meredith Vulgamott, Anna, UVCC and Sarah Swiger, Jackson Center, UVCC – Wilson Health; Will Luthman, Fort Loramie – Superior Aluminum Products.

Kelly Edwards, the career coach with Workforce Partnership of Shelby County, then presented a 2024 work-study highlight student. Josalin Morris, a junior at Christian Academy, signed to work with Lochard through the summer and her senior year as an HVAC service tech.

The following Career Coach Alumni were also recognized: Owen Swartz – Cargill; Bryant Eilerman Yingst and Gage Eilerman – Francis Mfg.; Jordan Hatcher – Lochard Inc.; Addison Morris – Victory Machine & Fab Inc.; Jessica Ducat – Plastipak.

Next Brian Maloney recognized the students who were awarded ISP (Industry Sector Partnership) Grant scholarships as they continue their education. This grant is awarded through the Governor’s Office of Workforce Transformation, and was presented to students with a career goal that exists in Shelby County, with the hope that students come back to the area after they complete their training. A total of $6000 was given to these seven students as they prepare for either a tech school or university. Maloney said, “We hope you come back to Shelby County to join the workforce here upon your graduation.”

Recipients of the ISP Grant Scholarships include: Grant Carity, Anna – Hobart Institute of Welding Technology; Kyle Low, Houston/KNL Employee – University of Northwestern Ohio; Nolan Merickel, Houston – University of Northwestern Ohio; Colten Gasson, Fort Loramie – Purdue University; Colin Gasson, Fort Loramie – Purdue University; Katrina Berning, Fort Loramie – University of Cincinnati; and Lexee Brewer, Sidney – Ohio Northern University.

Finally, the STNA Certification Scholarship students were recognized. The scholarship is from an Ohio Grant for training for in-demand jobs, with the stipulation the training could not be done during school hours. These scholarships provide the funding to pay for all classes and the state test required to become a STNA (State Tested Nursing Assistant), plus one pair of scrubs and a gas incentive gift card. This grant focuses on skills training and removing barriers that may impact a student’s ability to participate. The students had to be recommended by the school administration based on their attendance, aptitude and desire to follow a career in the health fields.

STNA Certification Scholarship Recipients include: Kristen Knasel, from Fort Loramie; Vanessa Fitzgerald, from Jackson Center; Alicia Cavanaugh, Abby Lamm, Mark Moloney II, and AJ Newson from Lehman Catholic; Rocelyn Cathcart, Chloe Graber, Lily Miller, A’Mya Thornton and Tyler Toves from Sidney High School; Reyanna Bolin, Abigail Brookhart, Kimberly Burton, Amie Burtrum, Skylar Carey, Raia Evans, Serendipity Lynch, Hunter Mowery, Glen Nickles, Sophia Schilling, Julia Thompson, Natalie Valentine and Cerenity Wise from Upper Valley Career Center.

Mick Givens, Board Chair, closed the signing ceremony with additional celebration. He said, “You see the group of people that stood up behind the recipients. It wasn’t just one person, it was several people that helped guide that student to making the best choice that fits them to be happy. Making this choice, at your age, this commitment is just fabulous. I commend each and every one of you. Seeing you this evening I am so proud of you.”

The event was sponsored by Hometown Opportunity and Ohio College Tech Prep.

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