NEWARK, Ohio, March 7, 2017 – Central Ohio Technical College (COTC) engineering technology students are doing their part to make the community a better place to live and work. Members of the Society for Engineering Technology (SET) student organization are volunteering their time with two organizations in Licking County using the skills they have learned in the classroom.
"We're trying to show the community we are good people trying to make a difference," said SET President John Gordon. "We are here at COTC to learn and bring what we have learned to the community."
The first organization SET members are working with is the Licking Park District. They are restoring and repairing a bridge along the bike path by Wilson's Garden Center in Newark.
"We are tearing up the decking board," said Gordon. "It has holes in it, and the bolts are sticking up. It's hard for people to ride their bikes over that bridge and have a comfortable time. We want to make it safe for people to walk and ride their bikes over the bridge on that path."
The mission of the Licking Park District is to acquire, manage, preserve and conserve natural areas within Licking County, while protecting wildlife and local history in a manner that enriches the communities and provides access to diverse parks, educational opportunities and health and wellness activities. The district manages more than 1,500 acres on ten sites across Licking County and 26 miles of paved multi-use trails.
"The Licking Park District doesn't have the people it would take to get this kind of work done," said Gordon. "We are happy to help them."
The second organization SET members are working with is called Together We Grow Gardens. The nonprofit started in 2014 and is dedicated to providing food, education, training and work opportunities for the residents of Licking County through community and school gardening.
"Together We Grow purchased a greenhouse, and we are going to put it up for them," said Gordon. "We are also going to put solar power to it. So, we are going to use the training we learned here at COTC, and we are going to put it to use to help out the community."
Students are working on the Licking Park District project now. The Together We Grow Gardens project will start in the spring.
"This is exactly what you want out of your students," said Interim Dean for Engineering Technology Whit Tussing. "You want them to see that there is more to being a citizen than taking from the community. It's awesome to be able to give back and be a contributing member of the community."
COTC was ranked number one in Ohio and number 19 in the nation by PayScale in its 2016-17 College Salary Report ranking the best community and career colleges by salary potential. COTC is a fully accredited, public college dedicated to providing high-quality, accessible programs of technical education in response to current and emerging employment needs. COTC is the only technical college in Ohio operating four full-service campus locations: Newark, Coshocton, Knox and Pataskala.