LCCC and Northern Ohio Regional Training Center apprentices rebuild Amherst Safety Town – Morning Journal


When Officer Brian Bowers, Amherst’s School Resources Officer, decided it was time to replace Safety Town’s old wooden buildings with brick ones, he had an idea.

He led it by Tammy Tansey, administrator of the North Ohio Regional Training Center, and she was into it.

“Agent Bowers thought our apprentice masons could do the job,” she says. “It would give them a chance to help the community and gain some experience outside of school.”

Apprentices from Lorain County Community College and Northern Ohio Regional Training Center rebuild Amherst Safety Town. (Submitted)

Apprentices are part of a four-year program through the Northern Ohio Regional Training Center that requires 6,000 hours of on-the-job training and 160 hours of related instruction each year.

And through the training center’s partnership with Lorain County Community College, students receive college credit for their related education as they prepare for their journeyman card.

Chris Mason, one of the apprentices who worked on Safety Town buildings, joined the apprenticeship program after working in residential and commercial construction for years.

“Learning beyond just on-the-job training is essential for growth in any field,” Mason says. “I’ve heard about the benefits of working in the Apprenticeship Program, and I couldn’t be happier.

Mason and his classmates began replacing two of the buildings in early fall, building on the skills they had learned in the classroom.

They laid the brick and installed the proper flashing and grouting, while applying daily safety precautions.

The work of the apprentices was so well received that Bowers asked them to rebuild two more buildings, which they completed at the end of October.

Mason and his classmate Cory Morgan were both happy to be invited back.

“I grew up in the area and have been to Safety Town a number of times,” Morgan says. “I have kids who have been there so it was so nice at the end of the day to see all the kids running and playing in the new masonry inspired safe town.

Don Robinson, a brick instructor from the Northern Ohio Regional Training Center, says he couldn’t have asked for a better way to apply apprentice training.

“This project has given them such a sense of pride and accomplishment,” says Robinson. “These are new masonry buildings being built by a local training center, and some of the apprentices are from Lorain County.

“It’s a wonderful community collaboration.

Robinson says the Safety Town project was a cooperative effort from the start.

After the apprentices laid the bricks for the buildings, Bowers and other Amherst police officers completed the carpentry work.

Robinson hopes that the apprentices will be called upon to work on the remaining buildings.

“It was a great experience for the students, me and the town of Amherst,” says Robinson. “All the apprentices can’t wait to bring their kids to see what they’ve built. “

The LCCC has a long history of partnering with local businesses to support registered apprenticeship and internship programs.
• A partnership with UAW / Ford Motor Co. dating back more than 20 years has trained nearly 1,000 local workers in trades such as electrician, pipe fitter, millwright, welding, toolmaker and industrial truck mechanic.
• A personalized multi-trade maintenance technician apprenticeship program has helped Ridge Tool Company train its future advanced manufacturing workforce.
• At AgriNomix, an Oberlin-based farm machinery manufacturer, LCCC technology students helped improve the automation process for shipping products to customers.
• Recent collaborations with Kendal at Oberlin and LifeCare Ambulance Services have accelerated the development of STNA and paramedical students, respectively.


Milton S. Rodgers