A second funding period for Ohio’s new TechCred program has been added and applications are now open through January 31. Clark State Community College currently offers certificates that align with the TechCred program in the areas of healthcare, information technology and manufacturing. Many of the certificate programs can also serve as stepping stones for those looking to later pursue an associate or bachelor’s degree.
Ohio Governor Mike DeWine and his administration unveiled the State of Ohio’s new TechCred program on September 25 of last year. The program is designed to train incumbent workers for in-demand jobs in Ohio.
The Ohio TechCred program will fund up to 20,000 technology-focused credentials for the two years following its inception. Qualified credentials must be short-term (less than one year to complete), technology-focused and industry recognized.
Clark State’s first round of local TechCred partners included the Cascade Corporation, Pentaflex, McGregor Metalworking and Armaly Brand.
“Cascade Corporation takes pride in the knowledge and versatility of its workforce,” said Darlene Carpenter, human resources manager at Cascade Corporation. “The TechCred program allows us to continue our partnership with Clark State to offer employees technology-focused education and credentials. Employees with highly sought after skills will enable them to progress in their careers at Cascade, and our ability to compete in the global marketplace.
Aimee Belanger-Haas, dean of business and applied technologies at Clark State, said in conjunction with a fifth company, Clark State created a non-credit CNC Technical Machine Operator credential that was approved and added to the TechCred credential list that is available to other companies.
“Additionally, 219 new credentials were approved including Welding (AWS Certified Welder),” she said. “There is also now a Business Technology category.”
Through TechCred, businesses can identify the specific qualifications they need and employees they want to upskill toward a more advanced position. In partnership with Clark State Community College, an employer can apply online to be reimbursed up to $2,000 of training costs upon completion of a credential.
Credentials can be customized to fit business needs, including new credentials approved from employer submitted applications during the first round of funding.
“We are always looking for new ways to help with workforce issues and aligning our programming with the needs of the workforce,” said Belanger-Haas. “We have aligned all of the certificates that we can to industry recognized credentials and are constantly making changes to have others qualify.”
Local businesses can begin the Ohio TechCred process by identifying skills needs and employees and connecting with an educational partner such as Clark State. Applications for the program are available online at https://techcred.ohio.gov through January 31.
Applications will be awarded on a merit-based, competitive basis and will not be awarded on a first-come, first-served basis. Selection criteria include pledged wage increase in relation to the credential cost, level of economic distress in the employers’ region and the amount of employer contribution towards the cost of the credential.
Belanger-Haas said the State of Ohio faces an urgent need for highly skilled employees and higher education needs to work directly with employers to determine what is needed to upskill their employees. “Certificates that tie to industry certifications is an easy way to ensure that students meet the rigor expected from Clark State’s employer partners,” she said.