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Butler Tech, Miami University plan multi-million dollar workforce hub

Picture of young Butler Tech male in green shirt. He's wearing a welding mask, heavy gloves and using a welding torch. Sparks are flying from his work.
Butler Tech
Butler Tech
Butler Tech student works on his welding skills.

Workers will be able to learn in-demand skills at a manufacturing hub planned by Miami University and Butler Tech.

Miami University is acquiring the Vora Technology Park in Hamilton. It will become a 70,000-square-foot advanced manufacturing hub, featuring state-of-the-art equipment.

Butler Tech signed a 40-year lease and secured $8 million in federal ARPA funds from the Butler County Board of Commissioners to establish this site.

The new hub is slated to open in the fall of 2025.

Exterior of Vora building in Hamilton, Ohio. Crews are now transforming a portion of it into an advanced mechanics training space as well as a business showroom.
Jeffrey Sabo/Jeff Sabo
Miami U
Exterior of Vora building in Hamilton, Ohio. Crews are now transforming a portion of it into an advanced mechanics training space as well as a business showroom.

Students from Miami and Butler Tech will get hands-on experience working with technology specialists and mentors.

Marni Durham, assistant superintendent at Butler Tech, said students will train in welding, IT, precision machining and more.

"Once they’ve gone through the training, they will have full access to be at this space so they can start working with companies to help solve real world problems," Durham said.

According to Durham, those who complete the various levels of training will obtain a range of certifications including, a high school diploma, micro-credentials and associate and bachelor’s degrees.

Additionally, more than a dozen regional and national companies have committed to setting up equipment in the showroom section of this hub.

They will also invite students to work on current research projects.

Ande Durojaiye, VP Dean of Miami University Regional, said bringing students and companies together under one roof will benefit many Ohio communities.

“When we think about the workforce challenges and the shortages we have, they’re not going to change. So we think this collaboration should be a model, a template in their own communities and also around other industries,” Durojaiye said.

William Sprankles, an assistant superintendent at Butler Tech, agrees.

According to Sprankles, putting students and potential employers in the same space is an economically attractive career pathway.  

“People are accessing career high school and two-year technical schools to get a more focused education at a more cost effective model," Sprankles said. "Employers don’t care where you come from. Employers care if you have the industry skill set and credentials.”

Kathryn Mobley is an award-winning broadcast journalist, crafting stories for more than 30 years. She’s reported and produced for TV, NPR affiliate and for the web. Mobley also contributes to several area community groups. She sings tenor with World House Choir (Yellow Springs), she’s a board member of the Beavercreek Community Theatre and volunteers with two community television operations, DATV (Dayton) and MVCC (Centerville).

Cell phone: (937) 952-9924