COLUMBUS, OH, August 28, 2014 – Six community colleges will receive $16 million in grant funds to expand and develop campus facilities to improve their capacity to serve students and provide workforce development education and training programs. The funds will be used to build and renovate facilities and purchase equipment that will enable students to obtain the education and skills to advance their careers in regional industries.
The grant funds were allocated during the state’s recent capital construction budget and align with Governor John R. Kasich’s higher education workforce development strategies targeting community colleges. The funds are meant to strengthen Ohio’s higher education institutions and curriculum and develop skills in demand by Ohio’s businesses. Through the grant funds, students will be better positioned for jobs and career advancement. Ohio’s businesses benefit with investments in areas of workforce need and development of pathways for future employment in a region.
“We want our students to be well prepared for the jobs that are out there, and we want our businesses to continue to grow and succeed. These grant funds will help with both of those goals, while further strengthening Ohio’s economy,” said Ohio Board of Regents Chancellor John Carey.
The Board of Regents issued the Request for Proposals on May 21, 2014 with $16 million in available funding; 18 proposals were received with requests totaling $45,380,212. The proposals were evaluated for the most impact for students and the Ohio economy. Participating community colleges reached out to 60 different businesses to partner in the education and training.
Schools will collaborate with businesses in their region to prepare students with the education and training to meet occupational and skill needs in key regional JobsOhio industry sectors ranging from health care to energy. The awarded institutions, the amount received, and brief descriptions are as follows:
Lorain County Community College – $2,500,000 will be used to build additional classroom and laboratory space to create an Advanced Digital Manufacturing area. This space will enable students in 45 degrees and certificates in technology to better meet regional workforce needs. The improved facilities will deepen the college’s capacity to educate and train in robotics, CNC Machining, and Network Communications.
Rhodes State Community College – $5,000,000 will build a new Center for Health Science Education and Innovation in downtown Lima. The center will unite secondary, post-secondary, workforce, and community partners dedicated to a regional healthcare training center. The center will provide education and training for students and incumbent workers. Rhodes State currently maintains a wait list of more than 300 nursing students in an area with high demand for nurses and their services.
North Central State College – $1,528,847 will be used to renovate the Kehoe Center and expand its ability to offer mobile training related to manufacturing. The improvements to the Kehoe Center will allow the College to maintain and grow its programming serving more than 300 existing and new companies each year and 2,817 students. In addition, the mobile lab will enable the college to train and educate incumbent workers in the workplace and reach out to secondary students to develop a student pipeline for manufacturing careers.
Lakeland Community College – $5,000,000 to support the Health Technologies building renovation and expansion that will enable the college to increase the number of skilled healthcare and technology workers in the region, and improve the quality of training and education to include state-of-the-art and emerging medical technologies. Lakeland currently has nearly 400 students on a wait list, and with the expansion, anticipates being able to prepare 700 additional skilled workers to meet the growing need in the region.
Stark State College – $1,500,000 to support the construction of the Gateway Center onto the college’s Business and Entrepreneurial Studies Center. The project will improve student services and the integration of additional work-based learning opportunities. The expanded facilities directly benefit the 70 percent of part-time students balancing studies and employment, and received support from regional business, including manufacturing and energy companies.
Clark State College – $471,153 to support the renovation of the existing Learning Center to provide additional space for information technology (IT) training and education. Clark State’s expansion responds to regional needs with software developers, network and systems administrators, and will continue the collaborative work being done in the Unmanned Aerial System (UAS) sector.
About the Ohio Board of Regents
The Ohio Board of Regents is the state agency that coordinates higher education in Ohio. The agency is directed by its Chancellor, who is a member of the Governor of Ohio’s cabinet. The Chancellor, with the advice of the nine-member Board of Regents, provides policy guidance to the Governor and the Ohio General Assembly, advocates for the University System of Ohio and carries out state higher education policy.