Lorain County Community College to offer bachelor of applied science in microelectronic manufacturing

Updated: Sep. 12, 2018 at 7:53 AM EDT
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Lorain County Community College is training the next generation of mechanical and electrical engineers.

The school is now on track to become Ohio's first community college to offer a Bachelor of Applied Science in microelectronic manufacturing.

The school is waiting on finalization from the Ohio Department of Higher Education.

Inside the lab, students are learning how to design, assemble and manufacture printed circuit boards.

"The type of work that students are doing involves soldering, the handling of very small electronic parts, sensitive electronic parts, sensors and microelectronics that communicate with computers and biomedical devices," said Director of the Microelectronics Institute Johnny Vanderford. Vanderford is also an assistant professor at Lorain County Community College.

Jake Heugel, from Elyria, is less than a month into his studies in the school's micro electromechanical systems program.

"If you get a degree here you can be working at Ford making sensors for cars," Heugel said. "You can be making sensors for anything: Lights, phones (and) computers. it's very versatile in that way."

Currently, Lorain County Community College offers a two-year associates degree that's developed in partnership with local businesses. It costs $6,500.

The four-year bachelor's program is going to cost about $15,000 and will set students up for more advanced and higher paying jobs.

Vanderford said the program is designed to be affordable and gives students an upper hand in life.

"They can get that job. They can buy a house and start a family- get everything with minimal to no college debt," Vanderford said.

Heugel said he's drawn to enrolling in the bachelor's program once it comes online.

He recently interviewed for a paid internship which is a requirement of students.

Vanderford said there's dozens of companies locally utilizing microelectronics including Synapse Biomedical, Lincoln Electric, Spectre Corporation. He said many are hiring giving students a shot at a successful career.

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