Husted: Variety of skilled trades gives students a wide spectrum of choice

Posted on: September 17, 2021

Port Clinton News Herald – That jobs are being created faster than employers are even able to fill them, Lt. Gov. Jon Husted told a group of local high school seniors is good news for those to be entering the work force after graduation.

BAC President Ken Williams recognizes this year’s Skilled Trades Academy students.

“It’s a great time to be preparing for a career,” said Husted, who visited the Ottawa County Business Advisory Council on Thursday and its Ottawa County Skilled Trades Academy, which kicked off the start to its third year this week.

Lt. Gov. Husted speaks to BAC Members, parents, students and local businesses about the need for workers in the skilled trades.

Having been raised in the nearby community of Montpelier, Husted noted has not always been the case. 

“I grew up in Northwest Ohio at a time when there weren’t a lot of opportunities, but now there are for lots of reasons,” he said.

State has a need for skilled trades workers

Husted lauded the versatility of Ohio’s economy, but said one thing that remains consistent is the need for the skilled trades, such as certified electricians, plumbers and HVAC specialists, across many sectors.

“There are the jobs of the future, they’re the jobs of now and they’re being created in Ohio at a faster pace than they have any time in memory,” he said. “No matter which direction it goes in, your skills will be necessary.”

Lt. Gov. Husted talks with Port Clinton High School Senior Dylan Snyder about the academy and what he’s looking at pursuing after high school.

Husted added it is “not a passive sport” and commended the 16 high school senior students participating in this year’s Ottawa County Skilled Trades Academy, which he described as a “tremendous opportunity,” to explore what path they may wish to take toward their future.

“The idea of our program here, why it’s called Skilled Trades Academy, is to bring in as many of the skilled trades as possible — not to specialize in any one thing, but to expose the students to all of the skilled trades that are available out there,” said Bill Hutchinson, lead instructor.

Skilled Trades Academy Instructor Bill Hutchisson speaks to attendees about how the academy exposes students to all things in skilled trades.

Great variety offers variety of opportunity

While most of the certifications students will pursue in the academy are considered within the manufacturing field, Hutchisson stressed just how much of a variety there is to the many different skilled trades manufacturers need at their local facilities.

“Hopefully (the students) find something they really like to do, then they can concentrate on it,” he said.

For example, student Caleb Rains particularly excelled learning robotics through the academy and has since been able to focus even more in that area.

Lt. Gov. Husted speaks with Oak Harbor High School and Skilled Trades Academy graduate Caleb Rains about robotics.

Hutchisson praised Rains as having been one of the fastest he has ever seen get through the robotics material. 

Whether drawing with the robots or programming them to do just about anything, Rains said that is what drew him toward robotics.

“It’s something that, when I’m done, I can actually see what’s going on,” he said. “It’s so much fun.”

Skilled Trades Academy students observe as Patrix Heschel and Tytan Rumball of Ohler & Holzhauer demonstrate a pipe-cutting exercise.