Local colleges are showcasing some of the manufacturing opportunities that have opened for the schools after receiving grant money from the state to help better train students for the workforce. Chancellor John Carey with the Ohio Department of Higher Education stopped by the University of Akron to hear directly from those who have benefited from the grant.
Chad Soukup, a junior at Kent State University, says he will be one of the first students at KSU to work with the schools 3D printer.
"It's one thing to get book knowledge, but then when you actually get the hands-on knowledge you get to see what it's really like," said Soukup. "So you get to see both sides of it."
The RAPIDS grant has helped colleges purchase equipment, like 3D printers, to help better train students for real world experience in manufacturing.
"It's something that was developed from the Governor talking to businesses, " said Carey. The businesses were saying that the students were not being trained on the right equipment."
Purchasing new equipment became a financial challenge for colleges. Instead of getting new equipment, universities would use the "leftover" or older equipment that was no longer being used by companies. But that proved to become a challenge because the students were not getting trained with up-to-date technology in the manufacturing field.
UA, KSU, Stark State College and other local universities have been able to use the money to further advance the education programs in its manufacturing departments.