Shale Academy shows off career options
SALINEVILLE — Some students at Southern Local got a chance to see some of the offerings at the Utica Shale Academy last week and the careers they could prepare for as the school In Demand Jobs Week.
The days held in the rain at the Utica Shale Academy included a chance for students in grades 8th, 9th and 10th to see the virtual welder in action and the operation of the large backhoe and forklift behind the building in the park, picking up tires and pallets.
Looking on were some of the board members from Southern Local, the three county commissioners and two people running for state office who have spent time in the past helping schools like the Utica Shale Academy find funding for projects to teach students about job skills for those not going to college.
“This is a celebration of the top jobs in Ohio,” said Monica Robb Blasdel, running for State Rep. for the area, once the Ohio maps are finalized. “Bill and his team are doing a great job right here in Salineville.”
Blasdel was involved with a task force for workforce development for the former Lt. Governor Mary Taylor starting in 2011 and said it is important for students to realize with credentials they can find a job right out of high school making $50,000 per year or more.
State Senator Michael Rulli was involved in getting the school $400,000 in funding toward the construction of an indoor/outdoor welding lab. Rulli points out there are jobs here without going $100,000 in debt for college and he is honored to be part of helping with the growth of the Utica Shale Academy.
USA Superintendent Bill Watson hosting the event said it was great to see so many people out supporting the program, which invited 120 students down to see what they can study by taking classes through the USA academy while keeping up or catching up with their high school credits.
In the past year, the USA moved into the former Hudson Building on Main Street in Salineville and has now expanded to a lot across the street that is being prepared for the new welding lab and other opportunities.
The USA also is teaming up with the county commissioners and the county jail to provide some workplace skills for those incarcerated at the Columbiana County Jail.