As the landscape of manufacturing evolves, so must the workforce of the Mahoning Valley.
“When this part of the world began to be developed, it was an agricultural center, then it became an industrial center, then…the internal combustion engine, GM, and the supply chain around it became a big part of our manufacturing,” says Jim Tressel, president of Youngstown State University.
Now Youngstown State University is making big strides to help position the Valley at the forefront of advanced manufacturing with its new technological and industrial training facility–the YSU Excellence Training Center.
Establishing a Hub for Advanced Training Programs
In April of 2020, Youngstown State University broke ground on its newest facility, a state-of-the-art 54,000 square foot center located at the corner of Commerce Street and Fifth Avenue. The Excellence Training Center will house training programs in additive manufacturing, robotics, and other forms of modern manufacturing processes.
When planning for a facility to train the workforce of the future, YSU was dedicated to utilizing the valley’s skilled local labor. The University conducted the required bidding process, and Brock Builders of North Lima was awarded the contract.
“They [Brock Builders] have done an amazing job on the Excellence Training Center project. We’ve been on time, on target, on budget throughout this project,” says Dave Sipusic, executive director of the Excellence Training Center.
The $12.1 million project brought together an impressive group of local skilled labor from a variety of trades. These included Brock Builders, Inc. as the general contractor chosen to oversee the project, as well as Lencyk Masonry, Diamond Steel, and TEMA Roofing. Not only are they all fellow members of the Builders Association of Eastern Ohio and Western Pennsylvania, but they also share experience working on previous projects for YSU.
Highlighting Our Builders Association Members on the Project
The Builders Association of Eastern Ohio and Western Pennsylvania represents over 150 of the finest construction companies in Mahoning, Trumbull, and Columbiana Counties in Ohio and Lawrence and Mercer Counties in Pennsylvania.
Members have access to the latest training and resources to enable them to provide superior service on any project.
TEMA Roofing provided not only the roofing system, but also the siding for the new Center.
Scott Froelich, the Vice President of TEMA Roofing, shares his thoughts on the Center’s exterior metal wall panels:
“There’s a lot of longevity built into this system, as well as the low maintenance and energy efficiency, which made a lot of sense when selecting these types of material,” says Froelich.
Diamond Steel Construction provided the structural steel erection, focusing not only on the immediate needs of the facility, but also the potential for growth. The structure was designed and built to accommodate future additions, sensing that an expansion of the Excellence Training Center could be a real possibility.
“It was an exceptional opportunity for Diamond Steel in the sense that we’ve been a part of YSU for many years,” remarked Ryan McBride, vice president of Diamond Steel Construction. “To be involved in a project that helps YSU extend their footprint when it comes to advanced manufacturing education…we thrived on that.”
In April of 2021 the project was nearing completion and the University had already started moving equipment into the new building.
“Wait until you see this facility. Whether it be the whole robotics laboratory, which is giant, all the way to the foundry, to the 3D printing, to industrial maintenance, to CNC machining, stamping, launch labs of their own…It’s really going to be a spectacular facility,” says Tressel.
The Excellence Training Center is on track to open in July of 2021.