Awarded in December 2010
The Wayne County Schools Career Center is proud to honor Ventrac by Venture Products Inc., of Orrville as an Outstanding Business Partner. The business was nominated by Interactive Media instructor Chris Boyan, Business & Marketing Technologies instructor Mary Lou Lisic, Welding and Metal Fabrication instructor Mike Boggs, and Engineering Technologies instructor Lynette Boggs.
Accepting the award was president Dallas Steiner, and graphic designer and web developer Denver Steiner.
“Denver has assisted with the interactive media curriculum and programs for the last four years,” said Chris Boyan. “He has given yearbook advice and assistance as well as program assistance and advice. He had a media intern this summer and has another one, (Mark Kover, Dalton Student of the Month) this school year. Denver assisted me with shooting techniques by allowing me to assist with a commercial being made for his company.” VENTRAC has also provided speakers for media classes at the Career Center.
Welding has benefitted in partnership with VENTRAC as the business donated a welding robotic cell and technical help to set it up, steel, hires students from that program, and their welding supervisor serves on the welding advisory committee.
Business & Marketing Technologies students worked extensively last year with VENTRAC personnel through Junior Achievement. During visits over a four-week period, experts from VENTRAC worked with the students on principles of marketing, exporting, transportation, international business, research and development, procedures and testing, problem-solving and decision-making skills, purchasing, production, quality control, and gave the students tours of their facilities. “This experience was very beneficial to both the students and me,” said Mrs. Lisic. “The students really looked forward to working with them each week. One student even gave up advanced placement on those Tuesdays because he did not want to miss their meetings. Each of the employees at Ventrac and its leadership team was friendly, approachable, and very committed to helping our students.”
VENTRAC also helped the engineering program with some projects through the years, and Ag Mechanics students were invited to attend dealer service schools with their employees in the past.
Eleven out of their 72 employees have graduated from Wayne County Schools Career Center programs or have taken classes in Adult & Community Education, said Steiner. The group includes students or graduates from interactive media, computer networking, welding, ag mechanics, and older programs, farm management and Ag Business. “We’ve gotten some quality employees that have come through your programs,” said. Steiner.
Current Career Center alumni are: Bob Carter, welding supervisor; Eric Fodor, IT manager; Les Jones, product development; Dave Kearnes, truck driver; Randy Kitzmiller, director of operations; Ben Maibach, fabricator; Chad Nolt, service technician; Lee Stephens, welder; Larry Yoder, assembler; and Steve Zuercher, project specialist.
The business has a plant on Water Street in Orrville and another on Church Road just two miles away. It began as the Steiner Corporation in the 1970s, and soon grew into three major marketing divisions. In 1996 Steiner Ag Products, one of the divisions, was renamed Venture Products Inc. to fit with the company’s new focus of providing equipment for the physically impaired. The new brand name VENTRAC was launched, and in 1998 the Steiner brothers focused their energies on the new next generation all-wheel-drive compact tractor. VENTRAC’s versatility offers over 30 different attachments, which are used by businesses, churches, cities, colleges, and athletic facilities.
“The VENTRAC product line is hand crafted by experienced technicians who take pride in their work and are dedicated to excellence,” says the VENTRAC website.
The two plants in the Orrville area have specific functions. Plant one houses all the research and development, fabrication and welding; Plant two has a state-of-the-art paint system which includes a 7-stage washing system, the tractor and attachment assembly lines, and the office complex.
Three VENTRAC employees currently serve on Career Center advisory committees: Denver Steiner for Interactive Media; Bob Carter for welding; and Fodor for Computer Networking. Denver Steiner’s father, Dallas, was previously on the Ag Mechanics advisory committee.
We thank Ventrac for its contributions to the Career Center and ongoing support of career-technical education.