GPA: Nominees sought for 2020 Penta Outstanding Alumni Awards

Press Staff Writer

        Penta Career Center, a career-technical educational facility for high school and adult students since 1965, is searching for successful individuals for its annual Outstanding Alumni Awards.
        Since its inception in 1993, 164 Penta alumni have received these prestigious awards. Details about how the 2020 Outstanding Alumni will be honored will be announced at a later date.
        The Outstanding Alumni Awards are bestowed to individuals who have completed a career-technical program at Penta Career Center (formerly known as Penta County Vocational School) and who are currently working in a successful career. Nominees must have completed a high school or an adult education program at Penta prior to 2010.             Nominating applications are available by calling 419-661-6351. Applications may also be completed online at the Penta website at (click on “Alumni”). Completed applications must be postmarked by Sept. 30.
        Some of the past recipients of the award include Jennifer (Byington) Wilkins (Oak Harbor High School), a 1991 alumna of the Word Processing program; Edward Stribrny (Lake High School), a 1973 alumnus of the Carpentry program; Jarrad Egert (Woodmore High School), a 1995 alumnus of the Automotive Technology program; Sandra Wiechman (Elmwood High School), a 1982 alumna of the Executive Secretary program; William Hammer (Woodmore High School), a 1982 alumnus of the Drafting program and Diana (Escobar) Rodriguez (Genoa High School), a 1999 alumna of the Administrative Assistant program.
SCEDC receives United Way grant
        Sandusky County Economic Development Corporation (SCEDC) has received program funding through United Way of Sandusky County in the amount of $9,845.03 for THINK Workforce Development programming.
        “The United Way of Sandusky County is focused on creating lasting change for a better future for the youth in Sandusky County,” said Abby Aldrich, executive director of United Way of Sandusky County. “Our partnership with SCEDC and the THINK Workforce Development programs is making a real difference in the lives of students right here in Sandusky County.”
        THINK Sandusky County is an ongoing initiative of the SCEDC to overcome barriers to employment and address gaps in Sandusky County’s workforce pipeline by programs and different outreach efforts.
        THINK Sandusky County is beneficial to attracting companies to Sandusky County through the creation of a pool of workforce by creating programs to reach the younger generation. To stay competitive, current Sandusky County companies look to the SCEDC to help with building the counties workforce as well through the THINK Sandusky County programs.
        The SCEDC is taking a multipronged approach to workforce development that educates both students and school personnel on job opportunities and career pathways available in Sandusky County.
        SCEDC’s THINK Sandusky County workforce development programs consist of a Manufacturing Career Showcase for ninth-grade students, a Junior and Senior Job Fair, the THINK Sandusky County Bus Tour and the Sandusky County Teacher Manufacturing Bootcamp.
        “I want to thank Abby and the United Way of Sandusky County board for their support and seeing value in our THINK Sandusky County workforce development programs” added Beth Hannam, executive director of the SCEDC. “We are looking forward to continued partnership with United Way.”
Mercy College grant
        Mercy College of Ohio received a four-year grant totaling $740,998 from the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) to increase the number of peer support specialists and other behavioral health-related paraprofessionals who will be prepared to work with families impacted by opioid use and other substance abuse disorders.
        The grant will provide tuition assistance and stipends to students in Mercy College’s two-semester Community Health Worker (CHW) program totaling up to $4,000. The CHW program will be enhanced and expanded to prepare students to meet the needs of recovering opioid addicts.
        After completing the CHW certificate, graduates will have the opportunity to be placed in one-year paid apprenticeships that will immerse them in hands-on experiences, further preparing them for careers. These paid apprenticeships will also include an additional stipend of $7,500. CHW program graduates may be offered permanent employment following their time as an apprentice.
        To learn more about Mercy College’s CHW program, visit or contact the admissions office at
        Mercy College of Ohio is part of Mercy Health, Ohio’s largest healthcare provider. A Catholic institution with a campus in Toledo and a location in Youngstown, it focuses on healthcare and health science programs at the graduate, undergraduate, and certificate level.


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