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Owens Community College prepares to open new DANA Center for spring semester

What started as storage buildings for Owens Community College is now a state-of-the-art facility for skilled trade programs. WTOL 11 gets a first look inside.

PERRYSBURG, Ohio — There's a new manufacturing facility at Owens Community College that is complete and ready to have students learning inside.

The 59,000 square foot building is called the DANA Center for Advanced Manufacturing Training.

"The idea is that we're able to house all of our skilled trades and apprenticeship programs under one roof," Dean of Workforce and Community Services Quinton Roberts said.

Those include machining, robotics, HVAC and many other skilled programs.

The multi-million dollar project allowed the college to expand their degree offerings to help meet the need for skilled workers in our community.

"For the region, it's really important and that's why so many companies have stepped up to make this possible. There is a skills gap. There are many job openings and they're high paying career opportunities here in the skilled-trades areas," he said.

Students will be able to operate on state-of-the-art equipment, which Roberts says is critical because it prepares them to have a good paying, secure job right out of college.

"Advanced manufacturing is really the way to go. Students can get a great education in two years, a great occupation in high-paying career fields," Roberts said.

The first group of students to step foot in the new facility and have that hands-on training will be on Tuesday when the spring semester starts for Owens.

You can read more about the Dana Center here.