Press Releases

Welding Adult Jan 2021 Grads

Welding Graduates Earn Many Certifications

Congratulations to Tri-Rivers-Adult Education’s Welding, Fabrication & Allied Processes program completors. The cohort included Trent Avon, Jace Chevalier, Brock Howard, Evan Kalbes, Nicholas McCall and Elizabeth Santillan.

What a special class! They made it through 650 hours/100 days of skills training during Covid! Each student received several “tough to attain” welding certificates.

    Trent Avon earned the very difficult High Pressure Pipe Weld Certificate—a first!



Evan Kalbes, left, earned perfect attendance. Pictured with his lead instructor, Tom Reynolds.


UR lab

Universal Robots RAMTEC Lab/UR Launches New Certifications for Schools/Industry


Universal Robots becomes the first collaborative robot manufacturer accredited to issue Continuing Education Units. The accreditation enables the cobot leader to provide a comprehensive collaborative robot curriculum for students and industry professionals that now launches as part of a Universal Robots Education Program package. The new education offering will be showcased at the virtual Cobot Expo 2.0 November 16-17.

Ann Arbor, Michigan, November 4, 2020: As collaborative robots emerge as the fastest growing segment of industrial automation, cobot curriculum developed by an accredited provider is increasingly sought after in both schools and manufacturing industries. “With the Education Program we’re addressing a tremendous need to provide cobot training as part of an integrated, accredited course,” says Joe Campbell, senior manager of applications development at Universal Robots (UR). “This hands-on learning initiative will be instrumental in addressing the skills gap and get state-of-the art cobots into classrooms, offering students instant employability and manufacturers access to an upskilled workforce.” Universal Robots has been accredited by the International Association for Continuing Education and Training (IACET) and is now authorized to issue the IACET CEU (Continuing Education Units). The Education Program provides a clearly defined pathway for students to master cobot programming and deployment as part of an Industry 4.0 career in robotics and advanced manufacturing. Schools can now purchase the ready-to-go package that includes the complete curriculum, a UR cobot arm, and the hardware and software required to build actual industrial applications.

Accelerates student access to cobots The 32-hour course has been developed with assistance from Ritch Ramey, coordinator of RAMTEC, (The Robotics and Advanced Manufacturing Technology Education Collaborative) overseeing robotics training at the Tri-Rivers RAMTEC and the 23 satellite RAMTECs in Ohio, representing the largest, most comprehensive robotics education center in the nation. “Being able to offer a complete, turnkey training program with an industry-recognized credential gives schools increased access to both private grants and government funding when bringing cobots into classrooms,” he says. “It will make all the difference in the acceleration of student access to a real industrial robot that is both safe to operate in a classroom and easy to use.”


Upon completion of the course work, a student receives 32 course credit hours and a Universal Robots industry-recognized certification. The course can be taught in high schools, dual-enrollment courses, and in colleges.


Manufacturers can upskill workforce, attract and retain talent

The program will also be offered to manufacturers seeking certified cobot training for employees; industry professionals can attend classes either through local schools and career centers or in classes offered by Universal Robots’ authorized partners. Sending employees for certified robotics training developed by an accredited provider is often encouraged by local and state governments that increasingly reimburse companies for the training costs.


“This is really a win-win,” says UR’s Joe Campbell. “Manufacturers struggling to attract and retain skilled workers within automation can now easily train and encourage existing staff – while employees now get a unique opportunity to receive a recognized certification that they can add to their resume for future career advancements.”


Showcased at Universal Robots’ Cobot Expo 2.0 Attendees at Universal Robots’ virtual Cobot Expo 2.0 November 16-17 will be the first to see the new Education Program showcased. Building on the successful first Cobot Expo in July, the 2.0 version features floor plans organized by the most popular application segments, featuring 19 exhibiting partners, live “at the ready” demos, and 15 keynote presentations. The Education Program is featured in a dedicated booth and will be presented in the keynote “Accelerating Tomorrow’s Engineers.”


In addition to the formalized core curriculum, the Universal Robots Education Program Package consists of:

• UR Cobot Unit (UR3e or UR5e)

• 24 course licenses

• Gripper Demo Kit

• UR Academy Hardware Set:

• One conveyor assembly including conveyor, encoder, two sensors and I/O simulation test box

• Ten 3D printed training elements for exercises

• One 3D printed dual TCP

• Six 3D printed workpieces

For institutions that already have cobots, a retro package is available with course curricula, classroom support hardware and software.

Extending the Education Program to include UR+ components and application kits Bob Graff, President of I4.0Strategies, an Education Workforce Development consultancy focused on implementing Industry 4.0 advanced automation training, career pathways and credentialing, has also been part of Universal Robots Education Program collaboration. His company is now working with several UR+ partners in developing curriculum for their products and application kits certified to work seamlessly with UR cobots. “What separates Universal Robots from everybody else is the powerful, unique UR+ platform that enables manufacturers to build their complete cobot application by choosing UR compatible products that are tested and proven,” he says. “Bringing courses on UR+ components and kits into the umbrella of UR’s credentialed training approach will spark a revolution in educational access to these Industry 4.0 technologies.”

Download press kit here:

About the IACET Accreditation: In the world of continuing education and training (CE/T), IACET stands for “best in class.” To receive IACET accreditation, the recipient demonstrates commitment to CE/T excellence in a review process involving extensive hands-on evaluation and verification with policies and processes thoroughly benchmarked against the ANSI/IACET Standard for CE/T. The accreditation confirms that recipient has engaged the expertise of instructional design professionals nationwide to make its continuing education and training the best it can be.


About Universal Robots Universal Robots (UR) was founded in 2005 to make robot technology accessible to all by developing small, user-friendly, reasonably priced, flexible collaborative robots (cobots) that are safe to work side by side with people. Since the first cobot was launched in 2008, the company has experienced considerable growth with the user-friendly cobot now sold worldwide. The company, which is a part of Teradyne Inc., is headquartered in Odense, Denmark, and has regional offices in the United States, Germany, France, Spain, Italy, UK, Czech Republic, Poland, Hungary, Romania, Russia, Turkey, China, India, Singapore, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan and Mexico. In 2019, Universal Robots had a revenue of USD 248 million. For more information, please visit

RAMTEC will reopen for business when Governor lifts Stay At Home order

To all our Industry partners ………

We at RAMTEC want to thank you for all your support over the last several years and we want to assure you that we will continue supporting you with all your training needs when this world-wide health pandemic subsides.

Ti-Rivers’ RAMTEC is currently closed as we are following Governor DeWine’s state order (Mandate) for everyone to Stay At Home.

Once the Governor lifts the directive, we will resume normal operations.

Please stay safe ……. Stay at Home!

If you have any questions, call or email:

Mark Edington, Certified Robotic Instructor

cell 740-396-9011

robotics summit

RAMTEC Robotics Summit Addresses Manufacturing Skills Gap

Participants call on educators, manufacturers to continue collaborations

Educators, state officials and manufacturing leaders united Thursday, October 11 to discuss how robotics is transforming manufacturing and what’s needed to keep the momentum going in Ohio.

The inaugural RAMTEC Robotics Summit celebrated the success of the Tri-Rivers Career Center Robotics and Advanced Manufacturing Technology Education Collaborative (RAMTEC) now duplicated across the state. Attendees addressed the issue of how to address a looming skills gap and its potential economic repercussions.

“There’s 2.5 million jobs that need to be filled,” said Tri-Rivers Superintendent Chuck Speelman. “We understand the need that’s out there and we continue to push forward.”
Participants said solutions must rely on continued collaboration to produce a workforce ready to fill the gap between numbers of retiring engineers and younger skilled workers ready to take their place.

RAMTEC Ohio at Tri-Rivers opened in 2013 to help address that need. Partners created the program to train students on equipment like FANUC, Yaskawa and Universal robots most widely used in industry settings. The facility trains both high school students and adult learners.

Since opening, the RAMTEC training center has certified students in industrial maintenance, engineering technology, advanced machining, robotics and welding careers. Ohio Department of Education Straight A grants have funded the creation of 22 more RAMTEC facilities throughout the state.

Ohio Department of Education Senior Executive Director of Student Supports and Education Options Steve Gratz said education must continue to blur the lines between college prep and career tech to ensure the state’s future workers have the skills required by employers.

As an example of potential solutions, he referred to the creation of the OhioMeansJobs Readiness Seal that indicates students have the personal strengths, strong work ethic and professional experience needed by businesses. The state is working to make sure industries know what the seal indicates when they see it on high school graduates’ transcripts.

Ryan Burgess, director of the Governor’s Office of Workforce Transformation, called on businesses to support a culture of continuous learning to ensure workers keep up with ever changing skills.“If you’re not willing to roll up your sleeves as business people and work with education, not much is going to happen,” he said.

Stephen Catt, deputy director of education and workforce development for the Advanced Robotics for Manufacturing collaborative, said education and workforce development must build the right ecosystem for developing technology. He warned a failure to act would lead to threats to the United States’ industrial base like a lack of skilled workers, reduced global manufacturing dominance and an overreliance on overseas technology that could even impact national security.

Along with partnerships, the summit involved what must take place to attract students to manufacturing careers. Participants attended learning sessions that let them talk to RAMTEC instructors and students who demonstrated the robots they use in the labs.

Paul Aiello, director of C.E.R.T. sales and operations for FANUC America Corporation, said part of the solution must be to “paint a picture of what opportunities are available in manufacturing” today rather than what’s found in history books.

“It’s the curriculum that’s the glue that holds it all together,” said Robert Graff, senior sales manager of Yaskawa Motorman’s robotics education workforce development division. He suggested designing curriculum that attracts younger students through means like augmented reality and videos.

Dan Mantz, CEO, for Robotics Education & Competitive  Foundation shared how the REC Foundation prepares students for #STEM industry and helps build the  future workforce,


Honda North America, Inc. is among manufacturers already answering the call as technology workforce development manager Scot McLemore praised RAMTEC, which assists in training Honda workers. He pledged Honda would continue supporting educational pathways that lead students to high-paying jobs.

You can also contact Ritch Ramey at


Press confererence web

RAMTEC, Yaskawa Motoman partnership to put Ohio at forefront of manufacturing industry

“The vision we have had all along is to develop the Workforce of the 21st Century,” said Ritch Ramey, RAMTEC coordinator for Tri-Rivers Career Center. “Our goal is to create a Silicon Valley of Robotics here in Central Ohio.”

Ramey’s vision is becoming a reality as RAMTEC (Robotics & Advanced Manufacturing Technology Education Collaborative) and Yaskawa Motoman announced the formation of a new business partnership—The Ohio Manufacturing Workforce Partnership—at a press conference held Tuesday in Miamisburg at the robotics company’s facility.

“This is a critical step in Ohio’s economic future because it will make manufacturing part of our economy long into the future,” said Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted, who was at the event. “Five years from now you’re going to wonder what decisions are businesses going to make when they locate their manufacturing facilities. The key issue for businesses is going to be talent.”

Husted said, “We are going to get behind RAMTEC and we are going to get behind these kinds of programs to make Ohio the most talented state in the Midwest. The most business friendly state in the Midwest and the state where people say this is where the future of manufacturing is in the world.”

“We emphasize to our students that many manufacturing jobs are high-tech, exciting careers,” said Chuck Speelman, Tri-Rivers Superintendent. “Robots are doing the repetitive, dangerous and dirty jobs. Students quickly learn that by exploiting the Robotics & Automation technology, a safe, productive environment is created.”

It is estimated that 87,000 new robotic jobs will need to be filled in the U.S. over the next decade. The new partnership will expand RAMTEC’s curriculum to provide advanced robotic training and certifications that will be available to students in Central Ohio and around the state.

“I think something that we excel at in Marion is the partnership between the private sector and education and the public sector…we sort of cracked the code on how do you get manufacturers and the private sector together with educational institutions to make sure everyone is speaking the same language, said Gus Comstock, director of Marion CANDO!.

“RAMTEC is the mother ship of Robotics Education in the State of Ohio and probably one of the best in the nation. It doesn’t get any better for a company that needs people with robotics training. RAMTEC offers them an opportunity to be best in class and to find the best jobs in the nation and the world,” added Comstock.

“When you look at what is happening around the country, there are various programs that are out there being built to replicate what RAMTEC has already done. We look at RAMTEC as really ground zero for industrial education for robotics,” said Bob Graff, senior sales manager of Robotics /Education Workforce Development at Yaskawa Motoman.

Wesley Stillions, a recent graduate of Tri-Rivers RAMTEC Engineering Technology program, has already helped to build a robotic workcell for Whirlpool. Stillions plans to enlist in the military first, but hopes to get a robotics job at Honda when he returns. “It makes me feel very proud to have worked on a robot workcell for Whirlpool and especially proud to be from Marion.”

RAMTEC’s programs help students like Stillions to get high paying jobs at Ohio companies right out of high school.

“Data reveals that within ten years nearly 3.5 million manufacturing jobs will sit empty, with the skills gap being responsible for 2 million of those jobs going unfilled,” said Ramey. “Forming mutually-beneficial relationships with manufacturers through the Ohio Manufacturing Workforce Partnership will create the foundation needed to move Ohio’s workforce forward.”

RAMTEC’s core mission to partner with real-world manufacturing facilities to help identify and supply the needs of the manufacturing industry is fueling their involvement in the partnerships with Yaskawa Motoman and companies like Whirlpool. The entire project development funding is earmarked for $400,000 to provide a comprehensive training and application development model that will reach thousands of incumbent workers and students statewide.

“Our workforce-driven training and research partnership with RAMTEC is a solid step to providing students with work-based learning opportunities in the field of robotics,” said Doug Burnside, Yaskawa Motoman’s Vice President of Sales and Marketing. “The best-in-class instruction and certification programs provided through our Yaskawa Academy will also help to enhance RAMTEC’s vision of providing proficient training and
curriculum in 21st century automation and robotics.”

“The game changer is really about how RAMTEC is going about building a model that is sustainable—that supports what industry is looking for. It really is the biggest value that RAMTEC has,” said Graff.


Top Photo:
Ritch Ramey, Tri-Rivers RAMTEC Coodinator addressing group at press conference announcing RAMTEC and Yaskawa Motoman partnership. Pictured with Ramey, Bob Graff, Yaskawa Motoman, Rob Brundrett, Ohio Manufacturers Association and Secretary of State Jon Husted.

Inset Photo, l-r: Ritch Ramey, Tri-Rivers Career Center RAMTEC Coordinator; Ohio Secretary of  State Jon Husted and Bob Graff, Senior Sales Manager of Robotics/Education Workforce Development at Yaskawa Motoman.


History of RAMTEC
RAMTEC Ohio opened its doors in Marion in 2013. In June of 2014 eight additional RAMTEC sites were funded through an Ohio Department of Education $14,995,000 Straight A Grant. Then in November 2015 an additional $8 million Straight A Grant funded 14 more RAMTEC Ohio sites. Today, with the site at Tri-Rivers leading the way, 23 RAMTECs are located in Ohio.

“Unique to RAMTEC is that where most schools tend to direct training to high school students, at RAMTEC we are directing training to not only high school students, but adults as well, including college students and incumbent workers, said Mark Edington, RAMTEC instructor.

Since opening, the training center at Tri-Rivers has certified more than 400 students in industrial maintenance, engineering technology, advanced machining, robotics and welding careers. RAMTEC’s graduates have been hired by companies such as: Honda of America Mfg Inc., RobotWorx, SEMCO Manufacturing Co., Union Tank Car Co. and Whirlpool Corp.

Edington said in the last class of high school students at Tri-Rivers RAMTEC, 19 of the 20 were employed even before they graduated. “The Adult students going through the new Tri-Rivers RAMTEC Robotics Technician Training are equally successful in being hired at companies like Jefferson Industries.”

RAMTEC has been recognized by: the SME Education Foundation, the Ohio Economic Development Association and the Ohio Department of Education for being innovative and cutting edge. More than $20 million dollars in state grants has allowed Tri-Rivers to partner with additional career centers to expand and continue the innovative vision of RAMTEC helping to fill Ohio’s skills gap and hopefully helping to establish Marion as the new Robotics Hub in Ohio. To learn more at RAMTEC visit