The Van Wert County Courthouse

Friday, Mar. 1, 2024

Husted visits Vantage Career Center

SCOTT TRUXELL/independent editor

Vantage Career Center administrators, staff members and students welcomed a special guest to the campus on Wednesday – Lt. Governor Jon Husted.

Husted was in Van Wert to learn more about Vantage’s expansion plans and tour the site, to talk about a massive grant awarded to the career center and to participate in a roundtable discussion. State Representative Roy Klopfenstein (R-Haviland) was also in attendance.

Lt. Governor Jon Husted and Superintendent Rick Turner talk about Vantage’s expansion plans and a $1.2 million state grant. Scott Truxell/Van Wert independent

Vantage is expanding it’s CDL and public safety programs and is adding on to the N. Franklin St. campus, and the $1.2 million grant from the Career Technical Construction Program will play a key role in it. The expansion will allow Vantage to serve nearly 60 additional students.

“This grant is not just a financial boost, it’s a game changer for our school and for our community,” Superintendent Rick Turner said. ““The heart of our expansion lies in illuminating the surface lot used by our high school and adult commercial driver’s license training program. This will allow us to offer year-round driver training courses during the evening hours – a significant step toward meeting the growing demand for skilled CDL drivers.”

Turner went on to say the CDL training program expansion will allow Vantage to meet a growing demand for drivers and he said he anticipates enrollment will double, creating a new for additional infrastructure and instructors.

He went on to say Vantage’s two-acre on-campus training facility will be a big support for high school and local public safety agencies.

“We are committed to expanding our fire and safety training capabilities, thus helping to fill a shortage of firefighters in our region,” Turner said. “Our fire training structure will not only make our students more attractive candidates for employment but will also benefit our local fire departments by reducing the time and cost of training their recruits. This addition will well prepare our students are well prepared to handle the challenges of firefighting in real life scenarios.”

“It’s going to create opportunities and improve the quality of life and make the community a stronger place,” Husted said. “Right now Ohio has the lowest unemployment rate and the most jobs in the history of the state. We have more jobs than we have people…it’s great time to be getting training because there are so many opportunities.”

Husted went on to praise career technical education and its benefits.

“Ohio needs a skilled workforce and career centers are a great place for that to happen,” he stated.

During the hour-long meeting, he went on to interact with staff members and students, asking questions about various courses of study, along with students’ special talents. He later said career technical education is a win-win because it gives employers the talent they need and students the ability to graduate high school on Saturday and go to work on Monday and have great careers without college debt.

Turner later noted he’s hopeful the expansion project will be complete within 12-18 months.

POSTED: 11/09/23 at 4:44 am. FILED UNDER: News