Ottawa County Skilled Trades Academy Inaugural Graduation Ceremony

Posted on: May 27, 2021


The Ottawa County Business Advisory Council (BAC) held their Inaugural Graduation Ceremony for the Ottawa County Skilled Trades Academy (STA) on Tuesday, May 18 at the Ottawa County Resource Center in Oak Harbor. The 10 graduates, their parents and family, local high school administrators, representatives from OhioMeansJobs Ottawa County, Northwest State Community College administration and instructors, and of course members of the Ottawa County BAC were in attendance.

Keynote Speakers

Ken Williams, President of the Ottawa County BAC, welcomed everyone and introduced Dr. Todd Hernandez, President of Northwest State Community College. Dr. Hernandez congratulated the students and emphasized why the skilled trades are an important piece of our workforce. Dr. Hernandez also spoke about Custom Training Solutions (CTS), a division of Northwest State Community College. CTS specializes in multi-craft, which is where students learn how to do a little bit of everything. The reason for this method is to expose students to as much information as possible.

Bill Hutchisson, STA Instructor, spoke about the program year and all that the students had accomplished. This included virtual classroom instruction from Northwest State Community College’s Core Manufacturing & Logistics Skills (CMLS) Program curriculum and in-person hands-on lab activities. The students participated in team building exercises, learned common measurement systems and precision measurement tools, performed safety inspections, equipment setup, performed preventive maintenance and repair, and more.

Local Business Support

Prior to the graduation ceremony, local business representatives from Ohler & Holzhauer, Gill Construction, Port Clinton Manufacturing, LEWCO and Northern Manufacturing met with the STA students to talk about career opportunities in the skilled trades and what employers are looking for from potential candidates.

“This student group was so phenomenal, they finished their lecture portion weeks ahead of schedule. I have been teaching for a while and I have not had that happen before,” chuckled Mr. Hutchisson. “They went through their work very fast and very efficiently. This was a great class and each one of you should be proud of what you have accomplished.” Mr. Hutchisson is a certified MSSC CPT instructor and is an Advanced Manufacturing Training Coordinator for Custom Training Solutions.

2020/2021 Graduates

The STA students were called up by name to receive their MSSC CPT certificates that they completed throughout the program year, as well as additional certifications in an OSHA-10 Hour course and CPR/AED training. Congratulations to the following students:

  • Hunter Caskey, Danbury High School
  • Cole Shortridge, Danbury High School
  • Hunter Caskey, Danbury High School
  • Cole Shortridge, Danbury High School
  • Will Tibbels, Danbury High School
  • Trevor Wasserman, Genoa High School
  • Parker Audiano, Oak Harbor High School
  • Caleb Rains, Oak Harbor High School
  • Marc Spindler III, Oak Harbor High School
  • William Brooks, Port Clinton High School
  • Adrianna Hummel, Port Clinton High School
  • Colby Pendleton, Woodmore High School

MSSC CPT Certifications

The MSSC CPT Certification addresses the core technical competencies of higher skilled production technicians in all sectors of manufacturing. The four (4) Production Modules are: Safety; Quality Practices & Measurement; Manufacturing Processes & Production; and Maintenance Awareness. The MSSC is a 501c3 non-profit, industry-led training, assessment and certification system focused on the core skills and knowledge needed by the nation’s front-line technicians.

LIVE Demonstration

During the ceremony, Mr. Hutchisson had Caleb Rains, a Senior at Oak Harbor High School, complete one of the STA activities so that everyone could get a glimpse into what the students participated in during this program year.

Caleb demonstrated the operation of a FANUC robot while completing the final exercise for material handling. Caleb was planning to go into the electrical trades after high school but after having the opportunity to experiment with robotics, he may be leaning in a different direction. There were multiple days where Caleb would come to class and go straight to the FANUC robot. He would even stay a little late just finish up what he was working on.

“Each one of these students worked very hard this school year,” stated Ken Williams. “Some were attending school and participating in the skilled trades academy, all while working another job. We could not be prouder.”

The Ottawa County BAC and Northwest State Community College congratulates the 2021 graduates of the Ottawa County Skilled Trades Academy.

About the BAC

This BAC initiative is funded through the generous support of the Ottawa County Community Foundation. The BAC believes that 100% of Ottawa County students should graduate from high school with a plan for their future. The BAC aims to educate and expose Ottawa County students to the skills and continuing education needed to fill in-demand jobs in Ohio, with an emphasis on Ottawa County. For more information about the Ottawa County Skilled Trades Academy, please visit