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Columbus State spotlights central Ohio engineering technology careers growth

Campus News | Friday, October 20, 2023

Build Your Future event Oct. 18

Columbus State Community College raised awareness of regional engineering technology jobs growth and the college’s employer-aligned programs at its first “Build Your Future” event Wednesday, Oct. 18, showcasing in-demand, high-tech production career education options that can be completed in two years or less.

While engineering technician roles and education offerings are not new to central Ohio — think existing workforces of Honda and Worthington Industries, for example — the launch of new industries in semiconductor, biotechnology and electric vehicle production in our region heighten curiosity about how to prepare for and access these thousands of incoming additional job openings that are permanently growing our region’s economy.

“We are working hand-in-hand with major employers, including Intel, Amgen and Honda/LG, to prepare students for the wave of engineering technician jobs coming to our region,” said David Harrison, Columbus State president. “These are the jobs that anyone – from students coming out of high school to adults preparing for career changes - can qualify for with a community college education. We’re delighted to expand awareness of how students are preparing for the modern American workforce, to create computer chips, gene-based medicines, electric vehicle batteries, and more.”

“Build Your Future” events feature interactive displays about robotics, automation, electrical and mechanical systems, clean room practices, and how to operate and maintain the world’s most sophisticated machines. Faculty, current students and employer collaborators are on site to answer questions and make the case for selecting these dynamic and mind-engaging careers.

Semiconductor certificate will launch in Spring 2024 semester

Columbus State has launched the first two classes for its new semiconductor technician certificate this fall, which will be offered in full in Spring semester and offers job-ready results in as fast as nine months. Registration for Spring started Oct. 16.

The certificate, developed in conjunction with Intel, will teach technician production fundamentals that are transferable to other advanced technology engineering settings, and fully applicable toward a two-year electro-mechanical engineering degree. Entry-level tech skills are certified within nine months of instruction, continuing to a year for next-tier technician roles.

Biotechnology and biopharmaceutical Accelerated Training Programs continue to grow

Columbus State launched its initial biotechnology bootcamp curriculum in 2022 in collaboration with major area gene therapy employers including Amgen, Andelyn Biosciences and Forge Biologics. This short-term certificate offers clean room production principles to those who have already earned higher education biotechnology credentials and only need to learn aligned manufacturing basics.

Building on that initial success, the college has created biotechnology and biopharmaceutical short-term certificates within its Accelerated Training Centers programs to skill up workers who may have aligned manufacturing or healthcare backgrounds. Participants may have limited or no experience in the fields. Completers of biopharmaceutical Accelerated Training Center certificates are prepared to become biomedicine production technicians, then may choose to continue on to earn biotech certificates that teach the higher-level stage of gene therapy development.

Columbus State is also collaborating with Amgen on its first central Ohio cohort of apprentice hires who enrolled in the college this Autumn semester for biotech education as part of initial employment.

Developing EV technician education offerings

Columbus State is in early discussions with Honda, a longtime employer partner and the initial collaborator in the college’s Modern Manufacturing Work Study curriculum, to leverage its certificate model for short-term training, ultimately scalable to a degree for EV jobs coming to central Ohio soon. Honda/LG is rapidly working to fulfill its Ohio investment commitment to transform its vehicle production to EV over the next several years.

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