Adult Career Center Blog




Aspire is Ohio’s Best Kept Secret: Let’s Change That

November 6, 2023

by Dom Fonce


I ask Kim if not enough people are aware of Aspire and the programs they offer.  She says, “Many times I feel we’re the best kept secret, which is very sad, because there are so many people we can help.” Using her own family as an example, Kim tells me about how involved she was in her children’s upbringings, how she helped them study, supported them in sports, and gave them life and relationship advice. She makes it clear that not all children grow up in similar, supportive environments. Those are the types of children that grow up and attend Aspire classes in hopes to better themselves. With her voice cracking and eyes watering, Kim says, “If I had a penny for everyone who said, ‘If you were my mom growing up, I wouldn’t be in this position,’ I’d be a millionaire.” Most of her students don’t know Kim’s title or background, but they know her as a helper—for her, that is enough. . .READ MORE




How a Father-Son Duo Helped Build MCCTC’s Firefighter Program

October 16, 2023

by Dom Fonce


In honor of National Fire Prevention Week, Mahoning County Career and Technical Center’s Adult Career Center is celebrating the history of the firefighting program at MCCTC. Specifically, we are highlighting the life and careers of Andy Frost Jr. and Andy Frost III, who are former and current fire chiefs of Austintown Fire Department, Andy Jr.’s role in starting the programs at MCCTC, and how Andy III has carried the torch from his father to grow the programs. In addition to being the fire chief in Austintown, Andy III is the Public Safety Administrator for MCCTC’s Adult Career Center. The father-son duo’s story is one of family, improvement in education, and a drive for community service. . . READ MORE


Maryann Scholarship


Nicholas Rocco Capanna Scholarship: Rocco’s Story

October 9, 2023

by Dom Fonce


Maryann walks into my office with a binder stuffed with pictures of Rocco ranging from him as a baby to him as a young man working at BOC Water Hydraulics, screenshots of Facebook posts, and saved scraps of writing from his journals. I ask Maryann why she created a book of memories for her son. She says, “Because he deserves it.” She also says the biggest motivation to create the Nicholas Rocco Capanna Memorial Fund Scholarship is that she wants her son to be proud of her—helping others was second nature to Rocco, so Maryann knows this is what he would want. Maryann says Rocco was the antithesis of a judgmental person. In turn, Maryann wants to give aid to individuals who are also non-judgmental and helpful to others. . . READ MORE


IT Support


IT Support Is a Career in Problem Solving: Chris Stewart Interview

October 3, 2023

by Dom Fonce


I sit down and talk with MCCTC Technology Director, Chris Stewart, about his path to becoming an IT professional, the difficulties and joys of his job, and how he continues to train himself for technological changes. Chris was hired by MCCTC 8 years ago and started his journey as an IT professional while a Columbiana high school student. As early as the 9th grade, Chris’s technology teacher noticed his knack for IT support and, by the 11th grade, he was taking special advanced tech courses designed just for him, as well as working for his school’s IT department as a student. . . READ MORE



MCCTC’s Adult Apprenticeship Program Upskills Current Employee Talent

September 25, 2023

by Dom Fonce


According to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, unfilled jobs nearly double the number of available workers. Industries may be able to tackle this employee shortage crisis by making their current employees more qualified, more adaptable, and more skilled. An apprenticeship program, like the one MCCTC offers, is a great way to make talented employees even more talented. MCCTC Employment and Training Coordinator, Jim Jarvis, says about the apprenticeship program, “It’s a service to the manufacturing industry…there’s no fluff in this curriculum. Tell us what you need, and we’ll train them.” He also says that the apprenticeship program is a fantastic investment in loyal employees and, after the training they will receive, these employees will be even more valuable to companies. . . READ MORE


Jodi Leadership


Jodi Glass Chosen for Leadership Mahoning Valley Program

September 19, 2023

by Dom Fonce


MCCTC Adult Career Center Marketing & Recruiting Coordinator, Jodi Glass, tells me she hesitates to call herself a leader. She is simply motivated by helping people and making a positive change in her community. However, Jodi’s leadership has been recognized by Leadership Mahoning Valley (LMV), as she has been selected to participate in LMV’s 10-month leadership training program. LMV was founded in 1994 and is housed in the Youngstown/Warren Regional Chamber. Candidates are chosen based on their leadership talent and community commitment. . . READ MORE


Andrew Leadership


Andrew Hampton Chosen for Leadership Mahoning Valley Program

September 19, 2023

by Dom Fonce


Principal of MCCTC’s Valley STEM, Andrew Hampton’s, style of leadership feels cutting-edge because MCCTC’s Valley STEM program and its students are cutting-edge. Valley STEM + ME2 (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics + Manufacturing, Energy, and Entrepreneurship) is a 9-10th grade program at MCCTC. Andrew was selected to participate in the 2023 Leadership Mahoning Valley program. The LMV program is back after a short hiatus and has selected 43 participants for the 2024 class. LMV is housed by the Youngstown/Warren Regional Chamber. . . READ MORE


Talk to me


Need a High School Diploma? Talk to Me.

September 12, 2023

by Dom Fonce


A woman in a safety vest directs me to drive down a bumpy gravel road, then turn down an even bumpier grass field. It’s been years since I’ve been to the Canfield Fair. Today is sunny and a bit muggy. I’ll be working the MCCTC Adult Career Center’s table in the Floral Building. I’m in Blue Parking, directly across from Gate F. I have a long way to walk. In addition to working the table, I also want to test something out. My shirt is bright red with bright yellow font reading “Need a High School Diploma? Talk to Me.” I had it custom-made a week prior, but did not have an opportunity to wear it in public. I want to test if anyone actually will talk to me. . . READ MORE


MCCTC Robotics


The Rise of Robotics: An Evolution of Skill

August 14, 2023

by Dom Fonce


MCCTC adult robotics instructor, Tom Mihalopoulos, sits across from me and talks about the future. I ask him, “How will robotics impact the world in 15 years?” He first talks about the past, how the technology of the past has evolved to today, and how the technology of today will evolve in the future. We also talk about the ethics of automation, the speed at which it advances, and economic concerns, but ethics isn’t what Tom teaches. We both agree with the truth of this phrase: It’s happening whether people like it or not. I hear, and say, this phrase a lot when talking about automation. . . READ MORE


Nurses Stethoscope


People Matter: The Trauma of Nurses and Caregivers

July 18, 2023

by Dom Fonce


Failing to hold back tears, Jodi Coleman tells me her husband passed away from COVID-19 in 2021. I remember how my mother’s world collapsed when my father passed away in 2015. My father received in-home hospice care during his final days. Then she chokes out the truth of it—she, like so many others during this time, could not be with her husband as he died. Of course, it wasn’t easy watching my father die, change his diapers when the nurses left, but at least I was there, and he knew I was there. . . READ MORE


Electric Vehicle

Adult Career Center Hosting Electric Vehicle Workshop

July 18, 2023

by Dom Fonce


On July 24th through July 26th from 9AM to 5PM, MCCTC’s Adult Career Center will host an electric and hybrid vehicle training workshop. The workshop will showcase hands-on diagnostics and repair techniques, specifically working with high-voltage vehicles, and will cost $500 per attendee. It will be run by AVI On Demand. Lunch will be provided. . . READ MORE



Graduates and Gratitude: 2023 Recognition Ceremony

July 12, 2023

by Dom Fonce


Dressed in his blue gown, cap in hand, Christian Keller asks me for a favor. It’s about an hour before the 2023 MCCTC Adult Career Center’s Recognition Ceremony begins. Christian is set to be the Graduate Speaker—climb the stairs, stand behind the podium, and give a speech to 300 people—I can tell he’s nervous. . . READ MORE


young girl getting face painting at health and safety fair

2023 Health and Safety Fair was a Success

June 23, 2023

by Dom Fonce


There was so much to see and do at this free event with something for all ages! Thank you to all of our amazing volunteers, vendors, and attendees. It was tons of fun and we loved seeing the community come out to MCCTC Adult Career Center on such a beautiful June day! The 2nd annual Health and Safety Fair was attended by hundreds of people. . . READ MORE


A Second Chance in MCCTC’s Adult Career Center EMT Program

June 14, 2023

by Dom Fonce

Celebrating Adult Education Week

For Christian Keller, life has been about second chances. Christian grew up on the streets of Dallas, Texas without parents—surviving off scraps and occasional meals from police officers. In a few years, he would be adopted and raised by a Mennonite couple in the boondocks. He calls that couple “Mom and Dad,” says they gave him his first second chance. Christian’s new second chance will come to fruition on June 29th, 2023 at MCCTC’s Recognition Ceremony, where he will be a keynote speaker. . . READ MORE