Mission: To foster a vibrant community of lifelong learners.
Need: Fostoria is faced with changes in demand for a skilled workforce; demographic changes in family structure and changes in education brought about by the relentless evolution of technology. Our history of agriculture, commerce, and industry is not enough to retain our graduates or to support our employees as their career needs evolve.
Objectives: The Fostoria Learning Center will provide relevant and accessible learning opportunities. Our goal is to foster economic and workforce development, to develop a culture of lifelong learning and to offer a high quality of life for all who choose to live in our community.
- Partner with local K-12 schools, higher education providers, businesses, industry and the community
- Focus on educational accessibility and success
- Provide specific workforce training required by existing local businesses
- Encourage students to adopt a college/career preparation core curriculum
The objective of the Fostoria Learning Center is to increase the education attainment level of the residents of Fostoria, Ohio and the surrounding area by fostering a deep and rich community of lifelong learning.
Higher learning increases local economic development principally by increasing the quality of the local workforce and secondly by increasing local innovative ideas. Our region’s competitive advantage depends entirely on the quality of its citizens and workforce, which is one of the reasons this initiative is so important. The Fostoria Learning Center provides an opportunity for the community to make a meaningful investment in its own residents while also becoming a compelling role model for other communities.
Fostoria is surrounded bu existing and successful 2-year and 4-year public and private institutions, in addition to technical and vocational training facilities. Our community will be partnering with these existing institutions to provide their programs in Fostoria. An important aspect of our partnership is establishing a strong link between the Fostoria Learning Center, area K-12 schools, business and industry, and the community as a whole. Using the Fostoria Learning Center as a community wide resource will help create the necessary critical mass of support needed to maintain and expand the Learning Center in the future.
The Fostoria Learning Center initiative began in 2010 in Fostoria. Originally, an FEDC led initiative it soon became its own entity. Throughout the last 6 years, a variety of tasks have been accomplished, including but not limited to:
- Conducted a Feasibility Study
- Identified initial funding sources/grants
- Obtained 501c3 Status from the IRS
- Developed working relationships with area Colleges/Universities/Career Centers
- Initiated collaboration with state and local agencies
- Launched the first and second cohorts of a Medical Assistant program
- Launched a Phlebotomy program
- Acquired a building; completed the design/layout; identified costs and began construction to be completed summer 2017
- Received $800,000 from the State Capital Fund
The Fostoria Learning Center represents a unique approach to addressing community and wider regional needs with respect to degree attainment, expanded workforce training, and community outreach services. It is also an enterprise worthy of consideration as it addresses the human capital requirement needed in a 21st Century knowledge economy.
Board President – Cyndi Geroski
Board Vice-President – Dave Whitta (Vice-President, Whitta Construction)
Board Treasurer – Les Lipski (Chief Financial Officer, Norton Manufacturing)
Board Secretary – Renee Smith (President, Fostoria Economic Development Corporation)
Board Trustee – Ford Mennel (President, Mennel Milling Company)
Board Trustee – Peg Frankart (Frankart Electric)
Board Trustee – Chris Iannantuono (Director of Operations, Seneca Millwork)
Board Trustee – Don Miller (President, Roppe Holding Corporation)
Board Trustee – Andrew Sprang (Superintendent, Fostoria City Schools)
Board Trustee – Vanessa Billiot (Clinical Education & Staff Development Director, ProMedica Fostoria Community Hospital)
Director – Tracey Lawton