SIDNEY — Lauren Bowen, senior public liaison for the Ohio Treasurer’s Office, visited Sidney on Wednesday, Oct. 12, to celebrate National Manufacturer’s Month by issuing a Proclamation of Achievement to Lehman Catholic High School in recognition of Lehman’s continued support and participation in promoting local manufacturing. National Manufacturing Month held in October is a celebration of modern manufacturing meant to inspire the next generation of Ohioans working in manufacturing and the skilled trades.
Visitors were greeted by Lehman’s Executive Director Melissa “Missy” Bennett. Those in attendance also included Mandi Merritt, also with the Ohio Treasurer’s office, a number of local business men and women (some Lehman Alumni), students from Lehman, Lehman Principal/CEO Denise Stauffer and newly appointed Denny Maas STEM+MM coordinator. Also in attendance was Jeff Raible of the Sidney Chamber of Commerce, as well as representatives from local colleges and banking firms and other Lehman staff.
The meeting was held in the library and after opening statements and introductions by Bennett and Stauffer, Bowden presented the proclamation from State Treasurer Josh Mandel to a member of the student body.
“We want to recognize the efforts of Lehman High School; Lehman has done an outstanding job and it only makes sense to highlight their outreach and recognize their instrumental goals,” Bowen said. Maas also took the opportunity to share some insights about the STEM program at Lehman.
STEM+MM is an acronym for Science Technology Engineering Mathematics + Medicine and Manufacturing .
“The program emphasizes making students aware of opportunities that exist in our local community,” said Stauffer. “Manufacturers and industry are having trouble filling skilled positions and we hope to help match students with job openings and the opportunities that go with them. We desire to keep our people in our community and make sure they don’t overlook potential careers.”
In July, Lehman added Maas to their staff to coordinate the STEMM+MM program. Maas has extensive knowledge acquired from working in the field of engineering as well as teaching experience making him a natural fit for the position.
“Our mission is to help define the jobs in our area so as to expose students to good opportunities and assist them in developing a solid career path,” said Maas. “Locals are always looking for qualified workers; Lehman offers a skilled character-based education to help fill those needs. A lot of great career opportunities go unnoticed causing many to miss out on profitable long-term relationships; education and opportunity is a two-way street and both contribute to progress and the local economy.”
Renovation of an exiting wing in the school will soon facilitate additional learning space and improve opportunity for those students participating in the STEM program. The Lehman staff is excited about the potential of the program and how it will improve the community.
After the presentation visitors were served refreshments and invited to tour the computer-engineering lab as well as the rest of the school.
Bennett wanted to acknowledge those who are partnering with Lehman to help make the STEM program a success, they include Cargill Inc., Emerson Climate Control, Sidney Electric Co., Minster Bank, Air Handling Equipment, Knights of Columbus and Mr. and Mrs. John Dunlap.
Educational partners include Edison State Community College, Wright State University-Lake Campus and The University of Dayton.
The writer is a regular contributor to the Sidney Daily News.