Students at Kent State University, Lakeland Community College, Northeast Ohio Medical University (NEOMED), Stark State College, and The University of Akron 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 Central Ohio Technical College’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 $716,666, will be used to develop talent in the healthcare, cybersecurity, IT, and advanced manufacturing 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.
“With these geographically far-reaching benefits in Northeast Ohio and the real-world skills students would gain working with the equipment, the cybersecurity talent pool in our region could be expanded and enhanced,” said Tracy Stevens, external affairs manager at Dominion Energy.
Northeast Ohio award totals are as follows: Akron, $143,334 for advanced manufacturing; Kent State, $143,333 for advanced manufacturing; Lakeland, $143,333 for cybersecurity and IT; NEOMED, $143,333 for healthcare; and Stark State, $143,333 for advanced manufacturing.
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.
Ohio Department of Higher Education