News Releases

Apollo Offers Wind & Solar Course to MIT Program

Apollo Career Center of Lima is now offering a supplemental Solar/Wind Energy module to its Multi-Craft Industrial Technology (MIT) program that will provide training for wind turbine and solar panel maintenance.

Persons completing the MIT training have the option to take the additional Solar/Energy training. The 10-week, 108-hour course will be offered during the evenings, Monday through Thursday.

Apollo added this program to meet training demands in one of the fastest growing sources of electricity in the U.S. and the world.

The course is available for students who have completed Apollo’s MIT program or equivalent. Students completing this program will be prepared to maintain wind turbines and solar panels anywhere in the country.

“Regardless of what type of machinery a person is troubleshooting or maintaining, the same methodologies apply. What we are doing here at Apollo is taking all of these vital skills and applying them to the wind and solar energy field,” said Ann Benfield, Diversified Industrial Training Manager for Apollo.

For more information on Apollo’s Multi-Craft Industrial Technology program, visit the Apollo website: or phone 419-998-3000.

AMETEK Receives Progress Award

WCOMC member AMETEK Westchester Plastics of Wapakoneta was recently recognized for its innovations with a 2010 Progress Award from the Wapakoneta Area Chamber of Commerce.

This year, AMETEK will begin producing specialty plastic compounds for biodegradable plastics and solar roofing shingles.

The successful launch of these products has led to the addition of two new manufacturing lines to be installed at the Wapakoneta plant, a capital investment of nearly $3 million.

As a result, the plant will be adding new jobs in 2011, when the first new production line becomes operational. The second line is expected to begin production in late 2011.

Some of the new plastic compounds produced by AMETEK will be used for producing solar roofing shingles that install and perform like standard asphalt shingles while capturing power from the sun to generate electricity.

Workforce Training Dollars Available for WCOMC Members

(Lima) – The West Central Ohio Manufacturing Consortium (WCOMC) has obtained a grant from the Ohio Department of Development for training employees of its manufacturer-members.

The money from $50,000 grant is available for WCOMC members through June 30. “As the economy is rebounding from the recession, employers are recalling laid-off workers and adding new workers to their companies. In many cases, these employees need training in order to meet the skill requirements of these jobs,” said WCOMC Director Doug Durliat. “Workforce Innovations Solutions Proposal (WISP) grant money from the Ohio Department of Development will be used for consortium members to meet these training needs.”

During the month of February, the WCOMC offered workshops on several general topics, including First Aid/CPR/AED, LEAN manufacturing, environment-health-safety, sexual harassment, welding and OSHA refresher courses. After the February sessions, remaining grant money may be used by WCOMC members to train workers in more specific areas of the February workshop topics, or provide training in other areas. “The consortium’s WISP grant can help its members pay for or defray costs of training planned for this year, or enable them to address other training needs they may otherwise would have deferred to a later time,” Durliat said. For more information on the WCOMC’s WISP grant, contact Doug Durliat 419-995- 8353 or e-mail

Apollo Career Center Named Accredited Welding Test Facility

Only 1 of 4 in Ohio

Apollo Career Center has just been named an Accredited Test Facility (ATF) by the American Welding Society - one of only four in the state of Ohio.

This accreditation means Apollo can test and upon successful completion, grant American Welding Society (AWS) certification. "If you want to get a good paying job as a welder in today's competitive work environment, it's important you obtain this nationally recognized certification," says Ann Benfield, Diversified Industrial Training Manager, Apollo Adult Education.

When a welder possesses AWS certification, it proves they have the fundamental welding knowledge leading business and industry not only needs, but requires. "The welding industry will remain strong," says Michael Foos, Manager of Manufacturing Programs, General Dynamics Land Systems Division. "Welding is a process that is essential for a broad spectrum of manufactured products within the United States. The technology of welding processes will continue to grow and training will become increasingly important as employers will look for essential basic skills in their prospective employees. Certifications to recognized industry standards will assist employers in identifying necessary skills and assist individuals looking for employment," stresses Foos.

Recently, General Dynamics Land Systems Division called upon Apollo's Adult Education to assist them in training and testing welders to fill positions that were going unfilled. In fact, less than two weeks ago Foos told Republican Gubernatorial candidate John Kasich, Apollo staff and students that a welder that works overtime can make more than $100,000 annually – rare in today's economy.

Students completing Apollo's long-term welding program will have successfully demonstrated skills needed for entry level employment in ARC, TIG, MIG, Pipe and OXY Fuel welding and cutting applications. Students will also obtain skills in metal fabrication, blueprint reading/metallurgy, mathematics and welding fundamentals/metrology.

Many of Apollo's Adult Education students choose a career path with a local union upon graduation. "The welding skill needed to perform for the Plumbers and Pipefitter's must meet the industry's highest standard - with no other skilled trade coming close to matching this which is why we value accredited programs such as Apollo's," says Mike Knisley, Business Manager, Plumbers and Pipefitters Local 776.

An Associated Press article dated May 14, 2010 entitled College isn't smart for everyone poses the question do too many students go to college? The article says "the notion that a four-year degree is essential for real success is being challenged by a growing number of economists, policy analysts and academics. They say more Americans should consider other options such as technical training or two-year schools, which have been embraced in Europe for decades."

The AWS Accredited Test Facility program establishes minimum requirements for test facilities, their personnel, and equipment to qualify for accreditation to test and qualify welders. Accredited Test Facilities play an integral part in the operation of the AWS Certified Welding program and have proven they have the necessary resources to test welders to this nationally recognized and accepted program.

"There's never been a time where it's been more important for Apollo to provide its students with all of the tools they need to succeed in a skilled workforce environment," says Judy Wells, Apollo Superintendent.

Some welders who possess welding certifications open their own welding business. Others will weld in outer space, under water, on race cars or the shipping industry. Some will take up welding professions such as supervisors, technicians, instructors, and inspectors. "This illustrates the importance of a welding certification that is recognized world-wide to fill the void of highly skilled and experienced welders," says Benfield.

For more information on Apollo's long-term and short-term welding and manufacturing engineering programs, contact Adult Education at 419.998.3000.