Vantage High School Director Tony Unverferth (center) presents his report as Superintendent Rick Turner (left) and OTC Director Missy McClurg look on. (DHI Media/Kirsten Barnhart)
Vantage High School Director Tony Unverferth (center) presents his report as Superintendent Rick Turner (left) and OTC Director Missy McClurg look on. (DHI Media/Kirsten Barnhart)

VAN WERT – Vantage Board members heard from Truck Driving Academy Training Manager Jim Rosen during the regular Vantage Board of Education meeting on Thursday.

Rosen spoke about how the program is going so far and noted that the trucking industry is in need of drivers.

"They're struggling for drivers, and they are always coming to us saying, 'Hey give us some students,'" said Rosen of the trucking industry.

Rosen said that a current struggle is that the unemployment is so low that it has been difficult to attract students. However, Rosen said that Vantage is going to be doing customized training for a local business as a way to attract students.

ODOT will also be using Vantage to training new drivers in the future, Rosen stated.

Rosen also noted that Vantage would need to eventually look into purchasing newer and additional equipment for the program, which may also help to attract students.

"If we can get some additional equipment in, it is an asset that will maintain most of its value for quite a while," said Rosen.

Two students are able to train on one truck, and currently, Vantage has two trucks.

So far, five adult drivers have been trained through the CDL program.

In other business, High School Director Tony Unverferth said that enrollment is up by 20 students compared to this time last year.

"We're pretty proud of that," said Unverferth. "It really is a great number to be at. I think we'll be at 40 by the time the school year starts."

Unverferth explained that the school has set three goals for the upcoming year: to have at least 95 percent attendance, to have well over a 95 percent graduation rate, and to create a safety team.

"We want to create a school safety team, not just for in light of school shootings, but for fire safety, tornado safety – anything you can think of to make our school safer," said Unverferth. "We want to make sure we have a team in place that talks about it at least every quarter."

Thursday's meeting also marked the first for new OTC Director Missy McClurg who updated the board on upcoming OTC programs.

The Board approved the following during the meeting:

Mickey McConahay - one year contract as part-time guidance, Reesa Rohrs as high school secondary program STNA coordinator, Patti Rodman as Medical Assistant Instructor, Mary Fallis as Practical Nursing Instructor, Tiffany Schnipke as evening secretary, Karen McGilton as Medical Assistant Instructor, Melanie Banks as Practical Nursing Clinical Instructor, Robert Black as Police Academy Instructor, Bruce Showalter as Police Academy Instructor, and Mark Figert as Police Academy Instructor.

- Intent to amend the existing May 8, 2012 Village of Continental Community Reinvestment Area (CRA) agreement to include three parcels totaling 4.444-acres in the Village of Continental, 100 percent exemption of updated and new construction.

- Resolution to waive the 45-day notice and approve the Community Reinvestment Area (CRA) agreement in lieu of taxes from Kalida Truck Equipment, Inc. for the construction of a bay service and parts building, along with an attached office building at an investment of $1,164,545.00, 100 percent abatement for 15-years, with Vantage receiving a 25 percent payback.

With no further business, the Board went into executive session to consider confidential information related to the marketing plans, specific business strategy, production techniques, trade secrets, or personal financial statements of an applicant for economic development assistance, or to negotiations with other political subdivisions respecting requests for economic development assistance.

The next meeting is set for Sept. 6, 2018, at 7 p.m.