Jared Dumont, an Army veteran and soon-to-be graduate of Lorain County Community College’s mechatronics technology – micro electromechanical systems (MEMS) associate degree program, didn’t think he was college material – until he met Johnny Vanderford, LCCC’s MEMS instructor.
“This program changed my thinking in that I not only can be successful in a college setting, but I needed it to find my true calling,” Dumont said. “I never felt like I could make a difference in the world, but now I know I can be integral in solving some of the world’s problems.”
Dumont found his way into the MEMS program almost by accident, he said.
“But as soon as I took my first class with Professor Johnny Vanderford I knew I chose the correct discipline,” he added.
Dumont has done so well that he recently won a travel sponsorship to attend the 16th annual FLEX Conference for flexible and printed electronics. The Lockheed Martin sponsorship awards funds for the winning student to present his capstone project at NextFlex’s Student Poster Award Competition June 19-22 in Monterey, California.
The 37-year-old Avon Lake resident also recently accepted a new position at Core Technology in Avon.
These are the kinds of student success stories that are being seen in the MEMS program said Terri Burgess Sandu, LCCC’s director of Talent and Business Innovation. She coordinates the college’s participation in the Training Recruitment Acceleration Innovation Network (TRAIN) of Ohio program.
Launched in August of 2016, TRAIN Ohio brings together students and local industry partners. Students complete internships while earning associate degrees in mechatronics technology.
“This is an opportunity for students to know they are going to be connected to employers, earn some money to help pay for their degree, because we don’t want students to graduate with a lot of debt, and make sure we’re training people for the jobs that employers have,” Burgess Sandu said.
The TRAIN Ohio program lets students get invested in the innovation economy and transition from traditional manufacturing toward new industries like microelectronics. LCCC belongs to Ohio TechNet which is a network of 11 Ohio community colleges using a similar model to create curriculum that corresponds directly to industry needs.
Jim Tennant, president of RBB in Wooster, a manufacturer of small batch electronic assemblies like circuit boards, box builds and control panels, said they were in need of a workforce with specialized skills. “This organization (LCCC) recognized our industry need, and stepped up to quickly help us fill our needs through this program,” Tennant said.
Brynt Parmeter, director of workforce development, education and training at San Jose-based Next Flex, said after developing the proposal with LCCC that the program could be replicated across the country by business and industry in developing talent.
“This community has a sense about it that there is so much potential. There’s actually more innovation and creative potential here than there is in Silicon Valley,” Parmeter said.
As for Dumont, he looks forward to representing LCCC and the MEMS program at the FLEX conference “on a national platform.” At the conference, he will explain how students will adapt the capstone project to flexible technology. His project addresses hybrid thick film microelectronic manufacturing and transferability to flexible technology. The group designed a circuit consisting of a MEMS accelerometer prototype. Essentially, the project prepares students to develop an idea from initial simulation to proof of concept to final product with just a few constraints.
“I began this program under the auspices I wasn’t made for college, but I am capable of great things if given the opportunity,” Dumont said.
For more information on the TRAIN Ohio or MEMS program at LCCC, call (440) 366-4217 or (440) 366-4206 or visit www.lorainccc.edu/mems.