Buckeye Local School District and Manufacturing Community
Announce the Buckeye Community Partnership
-New Initiative Will Connect Education and Private Sector-

The Buckeye Local School District and the companies of the Ashtabula Community Advisory Panel (CAP) announce the formation of the Buckeye Community Partnership to help students identify and prepare for local career opportunities.

The CAP was formed in 1994 as a forum for open discussion between representatives from the member companies and the surrounding community around the topics of health, safety and the environment. Recently, those discussions centered on the need for qualified employees by the companies and a desire by the school district to create a curriculum that better prepared their students to develop the skills and knowledge necessary to successfully enter the workforce and/or higher education. Current companies of the CAP and participants in the Buckeye Community Partnership are: ASHTA Chemicals, Cristal, Gabriel Performance Products and Praxair.

The announcement of the Buckeye Community Partnership coincides with Buckeye Local Schools and Edgewood High School restructuring their curriculum to prepare students for success in their areas of interest after graduation. Students will select from a variety of program choices including a career focused program, a STEM focused program, and a humanities focused program. Regardless of a student’s program he/she will be required to participate in job shadowing, internship, and mentorship experiences.

“The Buckeye Schools are excited about the opportunity to partner with these outstanding organizations,” Buckeye Local Schools Superintendent Joe Spiccia said. “We believe that this partnership will serve the needs of our students and their organizations in a most positive manner. Everyone in the partnership stands to gain in this endeavor and we believe we can become a model for other school-business relationships.”

The Growth Partnership for Ashtabula County, as administrator of the CAP, will assist with programming and coordination between the school district and partner companies.

“This is an exciting step being taken by Buckeye Local Schools and the manufacturing community,” Growth Partnership for Ashtabula County Executive Director Brian Anderson said. “We have a strong base of companies locally that have current and future growth opportunities and a school district aligning itself to match those opportunities.”

In order to ensure the program’s success, the partner companies will provide:
• opportunities for students to tour facilities and begin to understand the availabilities of careers in the area;
• opportunities for students to job shadow and intern;
• mentors to students so that they may begin to learn from professionals in a variety of careers and experiences;
• opportunities for graduates to intern with companies as they matriculate through advanced training and/or higher education;
• opportunities for staff to interact with companies so that they may come to understand the value and importance of the industry; and
• opportunities for the parents of students to interact with the companies so that they may come to understand the importance and value of the manufacturing industry.
Together, the Buckeye Local School District and the partner companies will work to:
• create a course and curriculum that addresses appropriate workplace protocols, soft skills, and expectations;
• develop a long-term college and career readiness plan;
• provide opportunities for district personnel to interact with company personnel on an on-going basis; and
• communicate and collaborate to improve and create programs that will further enhance the partnership.

About the Companies and Company Comments
ASHTA Chemicals
ASHTA Chemicals is a manufacturer of a variety of chemicals, including potassium hydroxide and chlorine. ASHTA Chemicals Inc. opened its corporate offices in Ashtabula, Ohio in 1992, although, under previous owners, this site has been operating since the early 1960's. From Ashtabula, we service our customers from two production sites, 13 liquid terminals, and 3 warehouses, strategically located in the United States and Canada.

“We at ASHTA Chemicals are excited by the opportunity to work with the Buckeye School District on improving education to focus on meeting employers’ needs close to home. Through our company’s participation we hope to provide students with a first-hand experience in a real working environment to better prepare them for whatever endeavor they choose.”
-Richard Jackson, EVP Operations, ASHTA Chemicals

For decades, the Cristal family of companies has invested in the future of titanium. Cristal is the world's second-largest producer of titanium dioxide (TiO2) and a leading producer of titanium chemicals. With nearly 4,000 employees on five continents, we are proud leaders in the innovation and manufacture of titanium dioxide products. Over 500 of our employees and two of our manufacturing plants are based in Ashtabula, Ohio.

“Cristal is proud to partner with area businesses to support the Buckeye Community Partnership. Cristal has been a fixture in Ashtabula County for more than 50 years, manufacturing titanium dioxide. We are dedicated to the advancement of our youth in Ashtabula County and to provide opportunities for them to learn, experience and grow.”
-Scott Strayer, Ashtabula Site Manager, Cristal

Gabriel Performance Products
Gabriel Performance Products is a leading chemical supplier, offering both an extensive line of specialty proprietary products and custom manufactured chemicals formulated to exact specifications. Gabriel offers the strength of a history several decades long teamed with a forward-looking vision of continually improving our products, processes and services to provide the highest quality products and comprehensive chemical solutions.

“Gabriel Performance Products is committed to our community. This facility has been doing business in and providing jobs in Ashtabula for over 45 years. We are very excited about this partnership as a means to continue to build our relationship with the community and to invest in the future of Ashtabula County.”
-Ken Allen, President, Gabriel Performance Products

Praxair is the largest industrial and medical gases company in the Western Hemisphere, serving more than one million customers in a wide variety of markets, from metals, energy and chemicals to aerospace, electronics, healthcare and food. Praxair’s products, advanced gas-delivery systems and applications technologies help their customers improve the profitability and efficiency of their businesses.

“Praxair is looking forward to assisting high school students in career development and career choice and being an active part of the Ashtabula community.”
-Tim Honkala, Facilities Superintendent, Praxair

Growth Partnership for Ashtabula County
Growth Partnership for Ashtabula County was created in 1990 to focus solely on assisting businesses and boosting economic growth within the county. The partnership is a collaboration of business, civic leaders, and public sector representatives, which teamed up to form and fund this private organization.

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