Manufacturing a new middle class through education

Feb 19, 2014

Mechanical engineering and industrial design students at Cincinnati State will soon be better equipped to design, develop and manufacture some of the world's most sophisticated products.

Siemens, at its historic Norwood plant, announced it is giving $66.8M worth of Siemens software to Cincinnati State. Governor John Kasich says 500 Ohio companies use Siemens software, including Proctor and Gamble, GE Aviation and Ethicon, and that gives students who know how to use it, an advantage in advancing their careers.

President of Cincinnati State Dr. O'dell Owens says the school could never have afforded the software, "But now we're able to bring a skilled person to your company ahead of schedule."

The governor speculated what students might be thinking after their software training. "I know how to use this software. And by the way, you employer, don't have your thumb on me because I've got value and I've got skills and I've got freedom and I've got hope and I've got a little swagger."

The high-tech software may be the secret to getting manufacturing back on track in Ohio.

Ohio Governor John Kasich says in some cases we've "driven vocational education into a corner." In his State of the State address Monday the governor says he'll explain how the state will open up vocational schools to seventh graders. A new state-sponsored website plans to get kids as young as first grade interested in certain careers.

Siemens, with contracts to build motors for the Keystone Pipeline, and Amtrak, says with this type of education, "We are manufacturing a new middle class."