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Sinclair to open “corporate college” for defense industry in Beavercreek

Sinclair Community College will open a new center in Beavercreek to work directly with employers in the defense industry to train their workers with the skills they need.

Sinclair announced Friday it plans to lease about 7,500 square feet on Pentagon Boulevard for its first “corporate college.” The center, which still requires approval from Sinclair’s Board of Trustees, will target the defense industry and affiliated industries — the fastest growing group of employers in the region, said Deborah Norris, vice president for Sinclair’s Workforce Development and Corporate Services.

The corporate college will address the needs employers say they have by offering custom training that is not for college credit and not tied to the semester calendar, Norris said.

“Everything we do is geared toward employers and incumbent workers,” Norris said.

“What we do for business, we make them better. Just like what the rest of the college does for students, they make a difference in their lives,” Norris said. “Companies aren’t going to move into our area and they’re not going to stay if they don’t have the workforce that they need.”

Workforce is the “No. 1 most critical element that any business is talking about today,” said Jeff Hoagland, president and CEO of the Dayton Developmental Coalition.

“Anything we can do as region to supply them what they need to grow jobs here and bring jobs here is important to everyone,” he said.

The center will be located near Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio’s largest single site employer with a workforce of about 29,000.

Creation of the corporate college will be funded through the Sinclair’s Workforce Development department and will not use money from the Montgomery County property tax levy. The goal is to open the center around Jan. 1.

The center will be “critical” for contractors, because employees are often required to pass tests to hold certain certifications, said Deborah Gross, executive director of the Dayton Area Defense Contractors Association. For instance, the corporate college will offer a boot camp to prepare workers for the Project Management Profession Certification Exam, a credential required for employees when a defense contractor bids on a project, Norris said.

One employer in the area also characterized the need for workforce training in Beavercreek as “great.”

“As a growing small business owner, I am very excited about the possibility of additional workforce development training being offered nearby,” Dave Judson, president and CEO of JJR Solutions, said in an e-mail. “We would love to see and will support new custom training options for our technical and non-technical employees closer to our location in Greene County.”

The center will likely be located at 3800 Pentagon Blvd., although Sinclair has not yet signed a lease. The college will move about nine full-time staff from the Miami Valley Research Park in Dayton and will also locate its director of unmanned aerial systems there.

It is the same building Franklin University opened a location in last year and near Clark State Community College’s Greene County campus.

Sinclair said the corporate college could be the first of others to come that would target other industries. The college will also continue to offer workforce development services out of its main campus in downtown Dayton.

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