Rolls-Royce and LG Announce Major Investment – Last week Korean industrial and electronic conglomerate LG announced it is investing $45 million to acquire a 51% shareholding in Rolls-Royce Fuel Cell Systems (US) Inc. Rolls-Royce, which is based in North Canton, Ohio on the Campus of Stark State College, has changed its name to LG Fuel Cell Systems, Inc. LG will continue to further the research, development, testing and commercialization of solid oxide fuel cell technology aimed at megawatt-scale distributed power generation for industrial, commercial, and electric utility markets and applications. Rolls-Royce said the joint venture will continue to have complete access to Rolls-Royce technical expertise and the new company intends to continue its relationship with the U.S. Department of Energy’s SECA (Solid State Energy Conversion Alliance) Program. CEO Mark Fleiner was quoted that this “is very good news.” He said, “We will have an infusion of capability, an infusion of engineers and an infusion of capital.” The U.S. headquarters for Rolls-Royce Fuel Cell Systems has been at Stark State since 2009. With the agreement the facility will now be the global headquarters of LG Fuel Cell Systems. To read more about LG’s investment, click on this Plain Dealer article.
Stark State College Develops Oil and Gas Education Program – A class designed to prepare workers for jobs in eastern Ohio’s oil fields will be offered this fall at Stark State College. It marks the beginning of what Stark State expects will be a series of programs and classes aimed at preparing workers for future jobs in the oil and gas industry. Eventually the college expects to open an Energy Center in downtown Canton, where classes and training for oil field jobs will be held. The state has allocated $10 million toward the construction of the center. The initial class will teach “floor hand” duties to prospective workers on drilling rigs. Stark State is working with ShaleNet, a federal grant program developed to train oil field workers and place them in drilling companies. Students who complete the initial class will receive SafeLandUSA Certification, which companies require for someone to work at a drilling site. Stark State also plans to offer degree programs that will focus on jobs that will be needed after wells are completed and are producing oil and natural gas. To learn more about Stark State College’s programs for the oil and natural gas industry, click on this Canton Repository article.
Team NEO and Cleveland State University Form Strategic Alliance – Team Northeast Ohio (TEAM NEO) and Cleveland State University’s Maxine Goodman Levin College of Urban Affairs announced this past month an expanded alliance to enhance the region’s economic development research capabilities. The Stark Development Board has used Team NEO’s research department on many occasions for gathering information requested by prospective companies looking at our area for a new operation. As part of the joint effort between Team NEO and Cleveland State, Daila Shimek of the Next Generation Economy Center of the Levin College will act as managing director of Team NEO’s research department. Team NEO believes this alliance will enable Team NEO to be more proactive to the business community and to respond faster to requests from potential leads and economic development partners. Tom Waltermire, Team NEO CEO, said that with Team NEO’s new role as a JobsOhio regional partner, having access to the skill sets of Cleveland State will allow them to do more in-depth industry analysis, which will strengthen their ability to attract businesses and help existing industries grow. To read more about the joint effort, click on this Team NEO press release.
Amvonet Brings E-Learning to Alliance – Amvonet is an Alliance, Ohio-based company which offers e-learning management systems. The company was started by Vadim Eelen, a native of Uzbekistan, who partnered with Gerard Mastroianni of Alliance Ventures to launch his business. Amvonet offers software applications for the administration, documentation, tracking and reporting of training programs, classroom collaboration and authoring software suites. Employers and educators can generate progress reports and create and manage content and assessments. The system features built-in web conferencing and offers classroom tools that include audio and video, text chat, whiteboards, screen share and PowerPoint presentations. Amvonet’s client list includes Kent State University College of Business, the University of Montana, Buckeye On-Line School for Success, Power Engineering Training Systems and Universidad Anahuac Mexico Norte. Recently, Aultman Hospital became a client, a local connection of which Eelen is especially proud. To learn more about how Eelen created his company, click on this Canton Repository article. To learn more about Amvonet, click here.