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Fall 2011 Academic Quality Improvement Program Award

Three Owens departments, Workforce and Community Service, the Grants Office, and Learning Support Services, are to be congratulated as the recipients of the Fall 2011 Quality Improvement Program Award. Please join the AQIP Planning Council (APC) in recognizing the achievements of these groups in leading the way with their quality and excellence in service.

THE GRANTS OFFICE AND WORKFORCE & COMMUNITY SERVICES

Receiving the award from Provost Renay Scott and AQIP Liaison Tom Perin

Pictured left to right: Mike Bankey, Dave Siravo, Renay Scott, Richard Snyder, Heidi Altomare, Tom Perin, Steven Hillard, Patrick Johnston

Pictured left to right: Mike Bankey, Dave Siravo, Renay Scott, Richard Snyder, Heidi Altomare, Tom Perin, Steven Hillard, Patrick Johnston

Workforce and Community Services worked with the Grants Office to help nine companies from Northwest Ohio to secure Ohio Department of Development Energizing Careers Grants (funded through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act and the U.S. Department of Labor). The departments met with the companies, gathered information, and helped them to write the grants. All told, these grants brought just under $3 million in training dollars to Northwest Ohio, which was the largest amount of the available funds in the state. The companies will use the funds to train their employees; and Owens will provide this training. Some of the highlights of this achievement are as follows:

  • Owens has been successfully helped in securing awards through their assistance of local businesses over three rounds of the awards.
  • The first award went to First Solar; the second to the Dow Chemical company and the Willard and Kelly Solar Group. These awards total more than $1.8 million to cover worker training.
  • Owens worked with six of seven of the local companies that received the awards in Northwest Ohio during the latest round. A total of $989,571 was awarded to train a total of 290 workers in the region.

Details about the companies receiving the latest awards are highlighted below:

  • Applied Energy Technologies (AET) received an $180,000 grant to train 35 new employees for the design, engineering and manufacturing of mounting solutions for solar installations. AET is making racks for solar panels in its new 43,100 square-foot manufacturing and warehouse facility opened in Maumee in April. Winn said the company would not have known about the training grants if WCS Director Michael Bankey had not reached out to the company about the program.
  • AP Alternatives received a $210,000 grant to train 20 new and 15 current employees to modify products, purchased from Alex Products, used to assemble and install solar mounting systems. Both AP Alternatives and Alex Products are owned and operated by the David Von Deylen family.
  • Argo-Hytus is the recipient of a $100,200 grant to train two new and 17 current employees in the design and production of customized manifolds, valve assemblies and power packs for filtration and hydraulic tank solutions for the wind energy market.
  • Marathon Special Products received a $250,600 grant for training 120 current employees for the design and production of electrical devices. The company is developing solar power integration components, wind power connections and wind circuit protection devices.
  • POET Biorefining is the recipient of a $43,371 grant to train 43 current employees at its ethanol production facility, which consumes 22 million bushels of locally grown corn to produce 68 million gallons of ethanol annually. POET is working on training programs with Terra Community College in Fremont.
  • TecnoSunSolar received a grant for $49,400 to train one current employee and 12 new employees in the production of its patented dual axis tracking systems for solar installations. The tracking systems are designed to follow the movement of the sun and increase solar panel output by 20 to 40 percent. Greg Knudson, CEO of TecnoSunSolar USA, said Owens will develop four training courses for its employees to be conducted in the next 12 months.
  • Pro-Pak Industries of Maumee received a $156,000 grant for training three new and 23 current employees on the design, manufacturing and assembly of packaging for First Solar and Willard & Kelsey, two of the largest manufacturers of solar panels in Northwest Ohio. Pro-Pak is working with AET to provide packaging for shipment of its solar racks.

Congratulations to these two departments for their successful collaboration, which will have a positive impact not only on Owens, but on the local economy and our Northwest Ohio business partners.

LEARNING SUPPORT SERVICES

Receiving the AQIP Trophy from Provost Renay Scott and AQIP Liaison Tom Perin

Seated: Pam Rice, Tom Perin, Jim Trumm, Mary Cole, Renay Scott, Sarah Abts, Holly Burnside Standing: Shirley Urbaniak, Bruce Smith, Richard Jackman, Gil Bollin, Brian Garza, Raphael Lieto, Barb Goodman, Rick Siebenaller, Roberta Jaskolski, Stuart Fike, Mark Fosgate, Abba Russell, Sig Dabiri, Heather Middleton, Robert Ramsey, Laura Thomley, Andy Menzie, Kevin Coyne, John Ewald, Paul Burkhardt, Blake Brubaker, Andrea Chapman, Ranata DeLaney, Deb Fortney Back Row: Demetrius Phoenix, Perry Catlin, John Kilmer

Seated: Pam Rice, Tom Perin, Jim Trumm, Mary Cole, Renay Scott, Sarah Abts, Holly Burnside
Standing: Shirley Urbaniak, Bruce Smith, Richard Jackman, Gil Bollin, Brian Garza, Raphael Lieto, Barb Goodman, Rick Siebenaller, Roberta Jaskolski, Stuart Fike, Mark Fosgate, Abba Russell, Sig Dabiri, Heather Middleton, Robert Ramsey, Laura Thomley, Andy Menzie, Kevin Coyne, John Ewald, Paul Burkhardt, Blake Brubaker, Andrea Chapman, Ranata DeLaney, Deb Fortney
Back Row: Demetrius Phoenix, Perry Catlin, John Kilmer

Learning Support Services, under the direction of Mary Cole, has taken a number of steps to improve the quality of services offered to the College and its students. Some of these improvements are highlighted below:

  • A protocol was developed and deployed that records all student tutoring conferences (over 42,000 of them in calendar year 2010 alone) into Banner, allowing other college offices to more closely track student performance and study habits.
  • A network-based time card management program was developed that has streamlined the payroll process, which significantly cuts the amount of time spent on payroll for the large (175 worker) staff every two weeks while improving the accuracy of payroll record-keeping.
  • LSS took over the operation of a 35-seat computer lab that was heretofore operated by ITS but physically located in the LSS suite in College Hall, thereby improving effectiveness and efficiency of operation of both departments.
  • The department partnered with Enrollment Services to assign tutors to assist that department with new student recruitment. That effort over the summer resulted in over 1,300 new students enrolling at OCC this fall.
  • LSS took steps to make other departments aware of the skills, talents and flexibility of the LSS workforce, which has led to several cross-functional collaborations, including the Registrar (one of the tutors edits the college catalog); the Grants office (tutors have assisted in the drafting and editing process); New Student Orientation (workshops have been presented that support the expanded mandatory NSO process and have helped train NSO staff in classroom polling technology), the English Department (assisting with fundraising and student worker support in last year’s Ohio Valley Shakespeare Conference), Testing Services (assisting with the mandatory twice-a-year CAAP testing process), Bridge to Success (tutors serve at study tables and learning styles assessments) and other offices.
  • Services have been expanded to include advising students on resume, cover letter and job application preparation from Career Services, thus drawing on tutors’ strengths in this area, improving student access to such services, and realizing institutional efficiencies.
  • A project was undertaken which will result in all 155 of LSS tutors being certified by the International Tutoring Association, thereby significantly formalizing and improving the delivery of professional development opportunities to the tutors while better allowing management to assess tutor performance.
  • Tutor services at The Source were expanded and services inaugurated at Arrowhead Park to better serve the student populations at those locations.
  • The procedure for recruiting, hiring, training, auditing, coaching and supervising workforce of 20 student workers has been revamped and expanded. The process now includes input from faculty members, tutor participation in the interview process, two full days of intensive training, a rigorous set of written expectations and policies, personal coaching throughout the semester from a veteran student worker, and a student worker professional development program.
  • LSS’s first-ever strategic plan and strategic plan review process has been implemented.
  • A first-ever all-tutor retreat was held, at which AQIP customer service training was presented and collaboration among tutors in different disciplines was encouraged.

These projects, protocols and initiatives reflect LSS’s drive to reach across departmental walls and work collaboratively, efficiently and effectively with other parts of the Owens faculty and administration. As such, they put numerous AQIP goals into practice and reflect a commitment to continuous quality improvement.

The AQIP Planning Council (APC) wishes to extend its thanks and congratulations to these departments, which are working to improve efficiencies at Owens and to reach out positively to all of our stakeholders.

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