Clark State Community College has been selected by the American Association of Community Colleges (AACC) for its Expanding Community College Apprenticeship (ECCA) Initiative funded by the U.S. Department of Labor.
“Clark State is pleased to be selected to scale our apprenticeship work in high demand fields that serve southwestern Ohio’s economy,” said Dr. Jo Alice Blondin, president of Clark State. “Clark State’s commitment to workforce development is part and parcel of our mission.”
The ECCA Initiative will provide direct support to Clark State to expand registered apprenticeship opportunities across the counties served by the college.
AACC selected Clark State for the funding over a 32-month period effective immediately. Clark State was identified as uniquely positioned to provide relevant career and technical education in support of apprenticeship initiatives serving labor market needs, primarily in cybersecurity.
Over the last ten years, Clark State has been awarded three National Science Foundation grants that exclusively focused on cybersecurity and addressed academic curriculum design, faculty training, student internships and academic course development.
“We have also developed new advanced manufacturing and precision agriculture certificate and degree programs,” said Blondin. “Those industries and the defense industry are particularly vulnerable to cybersecurity issues. Our apprenticeship program in cybersecurity will address the needs of our employers in those areas and provide invaluable hands-on work experience.”
Several local companies have expressed their support for the ECCA Initiative with Clark State, including the Cascade Corporation.
“Cascade Corporation is committed to working with Clark State and other employer partners to develop and implement the cybersecurity apprenticeship program,” said Darlene Carpenter, human resources manager for Cascade Corporation in Clark County, Ohio. “Cascade is pleased to support and participate in efforts to implement a program that will prepare students for employment in cybersecurity.”
Clark State expects to have 150 student apprentices enrolled in the program throughout the three-year program.