Jason Rothhaar credits North Central State College for helping him look beyond the job in front of him and reach for more. He currently works for NASA at the Neil Armstrong Test Facility in Sandusky, Ohio in electrical operations.
“I studied industrial maintenance electricity during my time at North Central,” he explains. “I attended the college for roughly two years as part of an apprenticeship program with my employer at the time.”
In 2000, Rothhaar was hired into an electrical apprenticeship program with a previous employer who required college level classes in industrial electricity. He was one of the first students to attend the Kehoe Center when it opened. North Central was exactly what he was looking for in a college. “I had a young family at the time. The cost and location was perfect for me.” He lived in Willard at the time.
“The lessons I studied in class were the same things I was working on in real life at my job,” Rothhaar explains. “The classroom material and the lab equipment were up-to-date with modern industry. Often times I was able to use the things I learned in class the following day at my job.”
Rothhaar says North Central gave him a broad perspective of what types of opportunities were available to him in the industry outside of the job he was working at the time. “The college equipped me with the tools to make that vision a reality. I still use the knowledge I gained at North Central every day at my job.”
Rothhaar previously served as the Facility Operations Manager at Ohio Health. Now his electrical team at the NASA Neil Armstrong Test Facility gets various assignments, supporting aerospace research and development. The facility recently tested the Space X Dragon that docked with the International Space Station in 2020 and the Artemis Space Module that will return humans to the moon in 2024, plus so much more.
For those thinking about coming to North Central, Rothhaar has this advice, “Learn a trade. The skills you will learn at the college will help you go far in the career you choose to pursue. It was a great first step for me as I expect it to be for anyone else.”