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

COLUMBUS, Ohio (2020-02-26) — 

Students at Central State University, Clark State Community College, Edison State Community College, Sinclair Community College, and Wright 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 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 $975,000, will be used to develop talent in the robotics 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.

“To transform new graduates into successful employees, we need to provide significant on-the-job training. The potential of the RAPIDS program will reduce the scope of on-the-job training and allow us to be more focused on our requirements for supporting our customers,” said Dr. Anil Chaudhary, principal scientist at Applied Optimization.

Western Ohio award totals are as follows: Central State, $107,270 for advanced manufacturing and robotics; Clark State, $132,233 for advanced manufacturing and robotics; Edison State, $63,060 for advanced manufacturing and robotics; Sinclair, $161,000 for advanced manufacturing and robotics; and Wright State, $511,437 for advanced manufacturing and robotics.

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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