Ohio Funds Creation of Two Regional Training and Knowledge Labs in Smart Building Technologies

The University of Cincinnati (UC), its community colleges, Cincinnati State, and the Great Oaks vocational school district in Ohio have received funding from the state of Ohio to collaborate on the creation of two regional training and knowledge labs in “smart building” technologies. The state funding – totaling $370,925 – will be used to establish labs at UC and Cincinnati State for training, research, and professional certification.

The 1,500 square foot (~ 140 sq. meter) lab at UC will be housed in the university’s department of Civil and Architectural Engineering and Construction Management. A 1,400 square foot (~ 139 sq. meter) building automation systems lab at Cincinnati State will have a capacity for 12 students and will be used for hands-on training for certificate and associate degree students, workers in the facilities management field, students enrolled in Great Oaks’ HVAC programs, as well as other high school students in the region who have an interest in energy management and science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM).

“Buildings represent 40 percent of energy consumption in the U.S.,” says James Manning, Cincinnati branch manager for Siemens building technologies division. “It’s critical that we continue to recruit qualified employees to meet the growing demand for energy efficiency.”

The grants are part of the Ohio Department of Higher Education’s Regionally Aligned Priorities in Delivering Skills (RAPIDS) program which funds the purchase of equipment in the fields of information technology, advanced manufacturing, health care, additive manufacturing, cloud manufacturing, smart business automation, and cybersecurity.

ODHE Chancellor John Carey said the RAPIDS program has helped different regions in Ohio address their most pressing workforce needs while preparing traditional and nontraditional students for successful careers.

“When our schools collaborate to secure funding through the RAPIDS program, it gives students more opportunities to succeed while strengthening regional businesses and Ohio’s economy. It’s a win-win,” chancellor Carey said.