Piqua Ohio News

Edison State Receives Apprenticeship Grant, Hires Olberding as Director

Fall 2017 semester marked the initiation of Edison State Community College as a State approved Registered Apprenticeship Sponsor. This distinct honor allows Edison State to leverage funds through the State of Ohio and build upon the vast amount of partnering opportunities with regional industry.

The new apprenticeship program at Edison State is part of the U.S. Department of Labor's Registered Apprenticeship College Consortium project and most recently supported by a $65,000 grant from the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services.

Key objectives of the grant include: 1) to significantly increase the number and locations of registered apprenticeship embedded work experiences, 2) employ best practices in student and company registered apprenticeship support, and 3) to provide a simplified college-based point of entry process for employers to engage in registered apprenticeship programs.

With these key objectives in mind, Edison State has hired Brandi Olberding as a full-time Director of Apprenticeship and Work-Based Learning following an extensive search.

Olberding returns to Edison State with experience that will lend itself to the success of the Registered Apprenticeship Program. Notably garnering experience as an industry program coordinator, a position in which she managed adult accredited trade programs and related technical instruction for apprenticeship and part-time skill-enhancement students attending courses.

Among additional accomplishments in this role, Olberding contributed to a significant increase in full-time academic enrollment as well as an increase in skill enhancement and apprenticeship course registrants through outreach and public awareness. She understood and supported the needs of the HVAC/R, manufacturing, and machine programs by successfully securing grant funding and working with employer partnerships.

In addition, Olberding has remained active in the United States Army Reserves since 2000 and is a Platoon Sergeant in a combat support hospital.

Olberding brings knowledge of local needs and a passion for helping bridge the skills gap to influence the local economy.

"My focus will be to endorse education programs at Edison State Community College by interacting with employers and working closely with the federal, state, and local agencies," said Olberding.

"I understand the power and importance of building strong relationships with students and stakeholders. I look forward to creating new bonds and continuing to build upon those previous relationships by partnering with key players in the region."

Edison State has a long-standing relationship with a variety of companies to support apprenticeship programs under their State approved sponsorships including Emerson in Sidney and FRAM in Greenville. Under these partnerships, students attend academic courses for certificates and degrees. Edison State may also serve as a proctor for tests for the related hours of instruction in the electrical, toolmaker, and machine repair apprenticeships.

"We know that employers are seeking a skilled workforce, apprenticeship is a proven model that produces skills needed along with a nationally recognized credentialed employee."

"It's about bringing dignity back to the American worker, and apprenticeship is an effective strategy for developing a new generation of skilled workers that fit the needs of the 21st century."

While the initial focus of the Edison State Registered Apprenticeship Program is placed on manufacturing to meet the in-demand need, other industries will be pursued including information technology, healthcare, and business services.

For more information about the Registered Apprenticeship Program at Edison State, contact Brandi Olberding at 937-381-1533 or bolberding@edisonohio.edu.