Ohio Governor Mike DeWine and his administration unveiled the State of Ohio’s new TechCred program on September 25. The TechCred program is designed to train incumbent workers for in-demand jobs in Ohio.
“Clark State Community College is excited for the opportunity to work with local businesses to offer industry-focused credentials and training that will strengthen the local workforce and bridge the skills gap. I applaud Governor DeWine and Lt. Governor Husted for addressing the challenge of training workers with the skills businesses need in today’s changing workforce,” said Dr. Jo Alice Blondin, president of Clark State. “We appreciate the administration’s continued support of workforce development.”
Finding, training and retaining employees from the local talent pool is one of the greatest challenges organizations face. Clark State understands the regional workforce needs and aligns strategy and resources to cut costs and stimulate growth in the economy.
“The Ohio House recognizes the importance of sustaining our State’s vibrant economy and ensuring that the nation, and the world, knows that Ohio is ‘open for business.’ This grant program is the result of collaboration between legislators, educators, and employers passionate about improving Ohio’s workforce. I look forward to seeing the positive impact these grants will have on Clark County,” said Ohio Representative Kyle Koehler.
The Ohio TechCred program will fund up to 20,000 technology focused credentials over the next two years. Qualified credentials must be short-term (less than one year to complete), technology focused and industry recognized.
Clark State 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.
“We are always looking for new ways to help with workforce issues and aligning our programming with the needs of the workforce,” said Aimee Belanger-Haas, dean of business and applied technologies at Clark State. “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 initial program are available online at https://techcred.ohio.gov through October 31. If all funds are not awarded during the first application window, a second round may be added.
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.
Employers will be reimbursed for tuition, lab fees, manuals, textbooks and certification costs up to $2,000 per credential and $30,000 total per funding round.
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.