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Request for Proposals

Ohio’s efforts to bolster and diversify its economy include strengthening the connections between the availability of high-quality talent and the attainment of economic development goals. States that lead the charge in this area develop strategies to build education and training infrastructures that draw on the dynamic nature of regional economies and labor markets.

In pursuit of such opportunities, the Ohio Department of Higher Education (ODHE) will make regionally strategic investments that foster a resilient workforce ecosystem. These equipment investments will develop and support workforce development initiatives at postsecondary institutions that focus on furthering the career aspirations of students and the economic growth of businesses in the region. Funded projects will actively support Ohio’s efforts to retain and expand existing businesses, attract new enterprises, and further entrepreneurship in communities where talent and workforce issues are key cornerstones of business engagement.

MTC training lab


RAPIDS Overarching Goal

Alignment of state investments against regionally verified workforce demand


Desired Outcomes

  1. Support and strengthen the industry sectors most in need at the regional level.
  2. Drive local and regional partnerships in areas that make the most sense.
  3. Develop regional strengths in delivering sustainable, equipment-dependent workplace education, training, and skills.
  4. Address duplication, adhering to strategies that focus on sharing, transferability, quality, and value.
  5. Develop strategies to build internship and co-op programs that encompass a diverse population of students and careers, positioning these programs as value-added talent resources for local and regional businesses.
  6. Inventory assets in these key areas, creating regional profiles that can serve as blueprints for ongoing strategic investment.
  7. Enhance the impact of statewide equipment and work-based learning investments by incorporating community development block grants, foundation, federal, and other funded strategies that build on economic development strategies fueled by workforce priorities.


Available Funds

  • EquipmentInvestments of $7.6 million – allocated by region – will be made in equipment.



Program Purpose: The Ohio Department of Higher Education (ODHE) will make strategic regional investments in equipment and facilities to develop and support postsecondary institutions’ workforce development projects that enhance the economic growth of students and businesses. The investments will directly impact the ability of the state of Ohio to retain and expand existing businesses, attract new enterprises, and further entrepreneurship by addressing regional talent and workforce needs.