Utica Shale Academy partners with The Sustainable Opportunity Development (SOD) Center

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The Sustainable Opportunity Development Center, Inc. (The SOD Center) announced the opening of the SOD Technical Training Center on Friday, December 15th, 2023.

Salem, Ohio, Release: December 11, 2023 

For Immediate Release 

Congratulations to NC3 Leadership School, Utica Shale Academy, on it’s newest partnership with the SOD Center. This new center offers courses in AC/DC, PLC, Hydraulics, Pneumatics, Robotics, and Motor Drives, with the ability to earn certifications, and aims to cater to the training needs of regional businesses. Training targeted entry-level employees, upskilled incumbent workforce, student training programs, and summer camps to expose young learners to technical trades. Credentials and Certifications were earned in most course offerings with many being Tech Cred Eligible.

This project was made possible through first-round Appalachian Community Grant Funding from the State of Ohio. The SOD Center was a subrecipient of the UTICA Shale Academy Award, “Connecting Communities Through Workforce Training.” “The SOD Center was grateful to Governor DeWine, the Ohio Department of Development, and Governor’s Office of Appalachia for this incredible opportunity to bring specialized technical training to our regional employers,” stated Julie Needs, Executive Director of the SOD Center.

The SOD Center is a private not-for-profit 501c(3) economic development organization serving the City of Salem and surrounding areas. The SOD Center mission is facilitating growth to advance economic vitality and improve the quality of life for Salem residents.

Julie Needs commented that “The partnership with the UTICA Shale Academy made it possible for the SOD Center to expand access to hands-on training for the benefit of regional employers and workforce. The partnership enhanced the resources we provided to today and tomorrow’s businesses and workforce with targeted skilled training that assisted in growth, development, retention, and attraction.

The Utica Shale Academy provided a unique and vigorous learning environment through a specialized academic program which responded to employers’ and industries’ current and emerging and changing global workforce needs and expectations through business/school partnerships.

“It was our honor to work with The SOD Center; the collaboration allowed us to strive towards our mission in the most hands-on manner possible. I looked forward to a continued partnership,” stated Bill Watson, Superintendent UTICA Shale Academy.

In the past 5 years, more than 3000 individuals representing over 120 employers attended courses and workshops at the SOD Training Center. The center continued to offer courses and workshops to facilitate workforce development with a focus on safety training, leadership development, workplace improvement, skills advancement, and soft skills. Training Coordinator, Eva Slagle, stated, “The SOD Training Center continued to function as a facilitator, bringing professional trainers to our regional community to offer cooperative training opportunities.”


Employers and participants interested in the Technical Training Center or other SOD Training Center offerings, please call the SOD Center at 330-337-7669.

The SOD Center looks forward to the ongoing partnership with the UTICA Shale Academy, local businesses, workforce, and educators to expand workforce development for the region.

The SOD Training Center is located at 440 Pennsylvania Ave, Salem, OH within The SOD Center offices.

Contact info: 

Name: Julie L Needs, Executive Director 

Eva Slagle, Training Coordinator 

Organization: The Sustainable Opportunity Development Center, Inc. (The SOD Center) 

Address: 440 Pennsylvania Ave, Salem, OH 44460 

Phone: 330-337-7669 

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