$66.8M donation from Siemens will link Cincinnati State students with tech jobs.
The biggest-ever private contribution to Cincinnati State Technical & Community College will help link its students to jobs in local manufacturing.
Siemens, which employs more than 400 people in a Norwood motor-making plant, is donating $66.8 million in computer software, giving students access to the same technology workers use in manufacturing plants all over the world.
Trained on the industry-standard software, Cincinnati State students will have a leg up for manufacturing jobs, President O’dell Owens said.
“It’s critical because that’s the major role of a community college,” Owens said. “That’s why the word ‘community’ is in there. We are supposed to gear ourselves to training for the local economy.”
The grant is a boon for Cincinnati State’s engineering technology and design technology programs on the Clifton campus, but it also highlights industry’s desperation to find trained workers to fill manufacturing jobs.
In Ohio, manufacturing makes up more than 13 percent of the economy, and finding trained workers gets harder as technology requirements increase.
Nationally, surveys say U.S. companies need between 80,000 and 600,000 skilled workers.
Students who can use the latest technology have an advantage at any manufacturer, Siemens said.
“Certainly there is an endless demand for engineers,” said Steve Bashada, senior vice president of industry strategy at Siemens. “But there are a lot of jobs on the factory floor that revolve around that (technology).”
Siemens customers in this region include Procter & Gamble Co., Belcan and GE Aviation.
“We hear from them that they need trained people to walk in and be productive,” Bashada said.
Siemens has chosen community colleges near its plants for many of its investments, believing training programs there are directly tied to workers who will fill those jobs.
“It helps us train workers for our facilities, but it also helps to send a signal that manufacturing is an important workforce,” said Eric Spiegel, president of Siemens USA.
Reprint of article from Cincinnati.com