COLUMBUS—State Representative Bill Reineke (R-Tiffin) today promoted major workforce development provisions that were contained in Amended Substitute House Bill 49, the state operating budget. The budget contains workforce development provisions that will enhance Ohio’s continued economic growth and combat our currently unfolding workforce supply crisis. This crisis is primarily due to baby boomers retiring, technological changes affecting the labor force, and an education system unable to prepare students for anything other than a four-year university. 

“These budget provisions provide strategic vision to shore up our workforce and provide certainty to Ohio’s private sector that we have our eye on the ball,” Rep. Reineke said. “Additionally, these provisions begin to address the unfair stigma associated with non-higher education career pathways. Every student’s needs are important, should be met equally, and our education system’s focus should be on one outcome: the acquisition of a job, which leads to a career.”

Key workforce development provisions include:

• Establishing standards, accountability, and reporting requirements for Business Advisory Councils for school district Boards of Education
• Encouraging an increase of the percentage of adults in the state with a college degree, industry certificate, or other postsecondary credential to 65% by the year 2025
• Developing of a Regional Workforce Collaboration Model to provide career services to students and requires Ohio to comply with the federal Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act
• Creating a Workforce Supply Tool that provides information on in-demand jobs
• Utilizing public libraries as “continuous learning centers” that serve as hubs for information about local in-demand jobs and relevant education and job training resources
• Increasing the OhioMeansJobs Revolving Loan Fund maximum award amount from $100,000 to $250,000 (per workforce program, per year)
• Working to develop the amount of graduates in Advanced Technology and Cyber Security fields
• Requiring a framework to be developed for school districts to use in granting units of high school credit to students who demonstrate work-based competency
• Reforming Certificates of Qualification for Employment to help inmates transition into the workforce upon reentry.

Ohio needs to be the leader in revolutionizing education and workforce development for the 21st century economy and these policy changes are the beginning of its transformation.

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