Students at Cincinnati State Technical and Community College, Miami University, and the University of Cincinnati 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.
Through partnerships with area businesses and higher education stakeholders, the campuses were able to secure funding as follows: Cincinnati State, $370,925; Miami, $325,000; and UC, $279,075. Governor John Kasich and the legislature targeted $8 million in the state capital budget to assist Ohio’s public universities, community colleges, and career technical centers in providing the most up-to-date education possible in an effort to provide a skilled workforce for in-demand jobs.
The latest round of funding, which totals $5.3 million, will allow for the purchase of equipment in the fields of information technology, advanced manufacturing, healthcare, additive manufacturing, cloud manufacturing, smart business automation, and cybersecurity. The purchases are funded by the Ohio Department of Higher Education’s (ODHE) Regionally Aligned Priorities in Delivering Skills (RAPIDS) program.
Local business partners said the funding will help prepare students for in-demand jobs in the region.
“We support the proposed Cincinnati State RAPIDS grant project to create a cloud manufacturing work cell that would integrate with a partner cell at Miami University-Hamilton,” said Tom Botelho, a customer support representative with Makino, Inc. “Having co-ops and graduates trained on technologies such as a cloud manufacturing work cell would be a great benefit.”
“Jones Lang LaSalle … has hired electro-mechanical engineering technology program graduates; their broad array of skills are a great start for what we require toward our building automation services,” said Rob Epling, senior project manager for Jones Lang LaSalle. “Additional training on actual building systems such as the equipment to be funded by the proposed RAPIDS grant at Cincinnati State and the University of Cincinnati would be great.”
ODHE Chancellor John Carey said the RAPIDS program has helped different regions in Ohio address their most pressing workforce needs while preparing traditional and nontraditional students for successful careers.
“When our schools collaborate to secure funding through the RAPIDS program, it gives students more opportunities to succeed while strengthening regional businesses and Ohio’s economy. It’s a win-win,” Chancellor Carey said.
The Ohio Department of Higher Education (formerly known as the Ohio Board of Regents) 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.