One of Ohio’s largest career school systems has spent the last year and a half getting even bigger.
Butler Tech has added three new school campuses in the past 18 months, the most recent being an agreement approved earlier this month completing the merger of Hamilton High School’s career education building and programs.
Also this month, Butler Tech signed a lease agreement with the Middletown Airport to use office space and areas outside a hangar for the school’s growing drone technology program.
And last weekend the school held a demonstration festival on its newly opened LeSourdsville campus in Monroe, which was purchased last year.
The career school, which has also seen a surge in dozens of local private industry partnerships in recent years, is expanding both in learning spaces and influence throughout Butler County, said officials.
“One of our goals is to reach the greatest number of students,” said Marni Durham, assistant superintendent for Butler Tech, as she took a break from Saturday’s “Future Fair Ohio” public event at the new 27-acre Monroe campus highlighting the schools system’s many programs.
Joining the career-education festival were the leaders of chamber of commerce for West Chester/Liberty townships, Hamilton, Fairfield and the Middletown, Monroe and Trenton chamber group.
“Because we’re getting so big, we’re working with all these chambers, which brought on our event (Sept. 22) for Future Fair Ohio,” said Durham.
Joe Hinson, president and CEO of the West Chester/Liberty Chamber Alliance, praised Butler Tech’s aggressive approach to partnering with local industries and for creating a pipeline of trained workers.
Hinson addressed the event saying, “it’s a great day for Butler Tech and a great day for our county where we are able to come together.”
The career school excels at “bringing business and education together,” said Hinson.
A.J. Huff, spokeswoman for Butler Tech, said the new campus locations will add about 1,000 more high school and adult education students to the school system.
“The number of students we serve on campuses, associate school satellite programs and through adult education is currently 17,000 each day. This will increase to approximately 18,000 with the expansions,” said Huff.
Michael Perry, human resource manager for Worthington Industries, said “Butler Tech is instrumental in training our work force.”
“We are very impressed. We are able to have the work force that we need, trained in the proper way, to meet our future needs,” said Perry, whose company has 200 employees in Monroe and Middletown.
Also impressed was Middletown school parent Terri Elms as she watched her two children manipulate sophisticated, robotic arms in picking up objects.
“It’s wonderful and (Butler Tech) gives them different opportunities,” said Elms. “I didn’t expect them to work on this equipment and it looks like they are enjoying it.”