Five Central Ohio Campuses Receive a Share of $8 Million Approved for Collaborative Workforce Development

COLUMBUS, Ohio (2020-02-26) — 

Students at Central Ohio Technical College (COTC), Columbus State Community College, Marion Technical College, North Central State College, and The Ohio State University will be able to enhance their education and job preparedness in several fields thanks to funding approved by the state Controlling Board to purchase state-of-the-art equipment.

Governor Mike DeWine, Chancellor Randy Gardner, and the Ohio legislature targeted $8 million in the most recent state operating budget to assist Ohio’s public universities, community colleges, and career technical centers in offering the most up-to-date education possible in an effort to provide a skilled workforce for in-demand jobs. The funds will provide nine regional awards as part of the Department of Higher Education’s Regionally Aligned Priorities in Delivering Skills (RAPIDS) program.

Governor DeWine announced the latest round of awards at an event today at COTC’s Knox County campus in Mount Vernon.  

“The RAPIDS program awards offer a unique opportunity for Ohio’s postsecondary educational institutions and employers to help address local workforce needs,” said Governor DeWine. “Students are able to gain access to top-notch equipment that helps better prepare them for available jobs.”   

RAPIDS grants are used to purchase state-of-the-art equipment for use in education and training programs specific to regional workforce needs. Equipment is often shared among campuses, allowing more students get a quality education more affordably. This regional award, totaling $975,000, will be used to develop talent in the healthcare, advanced manufacturing, and autonomous vehicle technology fields.

“When businesses and our higher education institutions are asked to work together to develop strategic plans for using these funds, it provides students with more opportunities for success while strengthening the regional workforce and Ohio’s economy,” Chancellor Gardner said.

Local business partners said the RAPIDS grants will help fill a need for skilled workers. COTC will use some of its $161,266 award to purchase an Anatomage virtual anatomy table that will be housed at its Knox County campus and also be used by Knox County Career Center students.

“The students will be able to visualize anatomy exactly as they would on a fresh cadaver, but with individual structures that are reconstructed in accurate 3D,” said Lisa Bragg, vice president of human resources at Knox Community Hospital. “Incorporating this technology into the classroom allows for exploration and learning of human anatomy beyond even what a cadaver could offer.”

Other Central Ohio award totals are as follows: Columbus State, $331,672 for advanced manufacturing and healthcare; Marion Tech, $142,011 for healthcare; North Central State, $140,077 for advanced manufacturing; and Ohio State, $199,974 for autonomous vehicle technology.

The RAPIDS program was launched in 2014; these are among the fourth round of regional awards.

About the Ohio Department of Higher Education

The Ohio Department of Higher Education is a Cabinet-level agency for the Governor of the State of Ohio that oversees higher education for the state. The agency’s main responsibilities include authorizing and approving new degree programs, managing state-funded financial aid programs and developing and advocating policies to maximize higher education’s contributions to the state and its citizens.

Contact Information: 

Jeff Robinson
Ohio Department of Higher Education
Office: 614.752.9487
Email: jrobinson@highered.ohio.gov

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