Terra State Community College unveils new Advanced CNC Lab

Seneca County Commissioners attend grand opening celebration of CNC lab at Terra

By Sheri Trusty

FREMONT – Seneca County Commissioners Anthony Paradiso and Bill Frankart attended the grand opening celebration of the new National Machinery Advanced CNC Lab at Terra State Community College on Nov. 3. The event highlighted the transformation of a former dance studio into a state-of-the-art CNC lab that will prepare students for successful future careers in engineering and manufacturing.

Also attending the event were State Senator Bill Reineke; Tim Schneider, Northwest Ohio Representative for U.S. Senator JD Vance; and Tiffin Mayor Dawn Iannantuono.

The Advanced CNC lab is the latest addition in Terra’s big-vision effort to provide students with the tools they need to step into the workforce as fully-prepared employees. The college previously unveiled a new programmable logic controllers lab and a new welding lab. The school’s next project is to utilize over $400,000 in state capital funds to replace aging equipment in the machining lab.

Seneca County Commissioner Bill Frankart was impressed with the advanced technology that will be available to students in Terra’s new CNC lab.

“We’re going to replace nearly every machine in the machining lab,” said Dr. Andrew Shella, Dean of Technology and Skilled Trades. “Some of it is from the 1970s, and some, based on serial numbers, is from the 1960s. We can’t order parts for some of it.”

The new CNC lab not only helps prepare students for future careers, but it also creates potential employees for local businesses desperate for trained workers.

“Anybody who completes this program will have a job waiting for them. Most of our students are apprentices sent by companies because the businesses can’t find skilled people off the street,” Shella said. “If you come in with skills, people will be bidding on you.”

The Baby Boomer workers are retiring, and Terra is attempting to fill the gaps in the workforce by providing its students with educational opportunities in modern labs equipped with the same high-tech machines found in many local businesses.

Workers are retiring more quickly than they can be replaced.

“We’re trying to catch up,” Shella said. “I’m glad the state and the governor recognize the need for these funds.”

Terra State Community College President, Dr. Ronald Schumacher, said it is imperative to let the community know about the impact the college is having on the workforce. The school places a strong emphasis on training options that create opportunities to transition from student to employee as quickly as possible.

“We’re getting good at creating career pathways,” Schumacher said.

He also expressed gratitude for the many community leaders from Seneca County and Sandusky County who attended the event. Frankart was thankful for the opportunity to see firsthand the new CNC lab that will impact many Seneca County residents.

“I was really impressed with the technology and equipment that the students will have access to,” Frankart said “This is definitely a true collaboration between business and education.”

Several community leaders from Seneca and Sandusky counties attended the unveiling of Terra’s new CNC lab. Photo courtesy of Marisa Stephens.