SSOE’s CEO Vince DiPofi Joins Owens Community College at Grand Opening Ceremony of $9.6M Dana Center
SSOE Provided Architecture, Engineering, and Interior Design Services on this Award-Winning Facility Project
TOLEDO, Ohio, October 8, 2021 – SSOE Group (www.ssoe.com), a global project delivery firm for architecture, engineering, and construction management, was proud to be a part of Owens Community College’s grand opening ceremony that took place this past Wednesday, October 6, 2021. The event showcased the $9.6 million Dana Incorporated Advanced Manufacturing Training Center—also known as the Dana Center—a 59,000 SF facility created in response to labor market needs for preparing skilled workers for in-demand jobs.
SSOE’s Vince DiPofi, PE, Chief Executive Officer, joined area education, business, and elected leaders who spoke at the ceremony to share some of the inspiration behind this innovative facility. He shared, “Workforce development plays a crucial role in supporting workers and growing the economy. Our region—which has been at the heart of industrial activity since it was founded—has certainly felt the skills gap. As the CEO of a global AEC firm, I see firsthand the demand for skilled trades in both the construction and industrial markets. Owens’ truly one-of-a-kind Dana Center provides the prototype for higher education institutions everywhere to address this skills gap by investing in the future workforce and positions our region to be at the forefront of a booming skills-based economy.”
In 2020, Owens received the Excellence in Workforce Development Award by the Ohio Economic Development Association (OEDA) for their innovative practices and programs. They were nominated by SSOE’s Higher Education Architect and Training Center Specialist Tim Swartz, AIA, NCARB, who also represented the firm at the grand opening event. He commented on the project, stating, “There is nothing like the Dana Center in Northwest Ohio. I was a former Owens student myself, and my father was a diesel mechanics student at Penta who attended classes in the very building that is now the Dana Center. What began as a former building for Penta students that hadn’t been used for more than storage in nearly 15 years is now an award-winning advanced manufacturing training center that further expands the positive impact Owens is making on our community.”
Swartz continued, sharing, “This new facility allows Owens’ skilled trades and apprenticeship programs to live together under one roof for the first time, allowing for the sharing of resources across these programs. The building itself was designed to be a learning tool, with exposed walls for electrical training and an engineering-on-display concept to showcase the millions of dollars’ worth of equipment within in a way that simulates a real-world environment for students.”
Extensive global automotive and manufacturing experience combined with nationwide higher education expertise made SSOE the right choice for the project. The firm has completed thousands of industrial projects and has kept pace with this dynamic industry by working alongside experts in the field. The application of the knowledge gained resulted in the delivery of a teaching and training facility for Owens that truly reflects today’s manufacturing environments. Simulation of real-world working environments allows for students to be prepared for success as they complete their courses and enter the workforce.
More information about the Dana Center’s practices and programs, visit www.owens.edu/danacenter.
For more information on SSOE’s workforce development experience, visit www.ssoe.com/ workforce-development.