(L-R) are James Smith, chair, Ohio ACT Council and assistant vice president, enrollment management, Mount Vernon Nazarene University; Mary Taylor, Ohio Lt. Gov.; Dennis Berger, operations manager; Joanie Thole, production administrator; Jeff Stanley, vice
Fecon Incorporated, based in Lebanon, Ohio, has developed a successful approach to achieving a career-ready work force. Fecon is a small company that designs, engineers and produces a wide range of forestry and drilling equipment. The company's products are used for clearing vegetation for utility and road rights-of-way, invasive species removal, fire-risk abatement, maintaining and improving forests, wetlands and other habitats, as well as in the energy industry to clear vegetation for exploration and infrastructure and in the pursuit of renewable sources of energy. Fecon equipment is used in residential and small commercial geothermal drilling, soil and ground water remediation, bio-harvesting for clean energy, material recycling and road construction and maintenance. The company's products are used extensively in the United States, and throughout the world in countries such as Canada, Paraguay, Chile, France, Russia, Ghana and Australia.
Given the wide range of products the company manufactures, Fecon requires a diverse, dedicated and skilled workforce. To that end, the company has cultivated relationships with local universities, high schools and technology training schools. The success of this approach is not in a single aspect of it, but rather in the broad range of programs in which Fecon takes part.
At the university level, Fecon hosts engineering internships for 12 students from the University of Cincinnati (UC), University of Dayton (UD) and Ohio State University (OSU) each year. The company also participates in a cooperative education program with the Honors-PLUS program in UC's College of Business. Fecon's vice president of operations and engineering regularly attends student networking events at UC and UD. The company grants internships to OSU students majoring in international business via the Ohio export internship program. These interns work on projects such as strategic planning for expanding export activities, identifying new export markets and other areas of international trade. Fecon offers real-world design issues to engineering students at UD's Innovation Center, who are tasked with producing design, design and build, redesign, or innovation of a product. Students are mentored by a senior Fecon engineer during the semester-long assignments. Fecon also participated as a case study in a semester-long strategic analysis conducted by students of UD's MBA program.
At the high school and technology training school levels, Fecon has a longstanding partnership with the Warren County Career Center (WCCC), accepting up to five welding and machinist interns from its program each year. Fecon's operations manager conducts presentations during WCCC welding and machining classes. To ensure students are able to gain as much hands-on practice as possible, Fecon donated 5 tons (4.5 t) of scrap steel to the WCCC program. The company also provides real-world engineering drawings to WCCC for welding students' practice. Recently, Fecon started a similar program with Butler (County) Technology and Career Development Schools, speaking at classes and providing tours and information to their students.
Fecon believes that, in order to have a workforce with the skills necessary to make their business succeed, the company must assist in building that workforce. Fecon's diversified approach to these internships and partnerships are in large part what makes the company the success it is today.
For more information about Fecon and Fecon mulching products, call 800/528-3113 or visit www.fecon.com.