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State Board OKs Local Workforce Aid

Bluffton Grant, Education Studies Also Approved
December 13, 2021
Robert R. Cupp News

Workforce training in the Lima area received a boost today with action by the State Controlling Board.

The joint legislative panel approved the release of $101,435 to James A. Rhodes State College to purchase equipment for the Regionally Aligned Priorities in Delivering Skills (RAPIDS) program in Lima.

Speaker Bob Cupp (R-Lima) said workforce training is a top priority for lawmakers and job creators alike. He noted James A. Rhodes State College is an important resource in the region for Ohioans looking to upgrade their job skills.

“This funding will help further the college’s mission and benefit local residents and the community,” Cupp said.

The purpose of the workforce training and equipment funding is to support education and skill training of students and/or incumbent workers to meet current and future talent needs of growing, emerging and high demand industries through investments in capital equipment and facilities, according to James A. Rhodes State College. 

This funding will be used to help develop talent in the machine tool production, additive manufacturing, robotics and cybersecurity fields.

Separately, the State Controlling Board approved more than $1 million in support for three education studies. Cupp had sought the studies to help better inform legislative work on school funding, part of his ongoing work to improve school funding and opportunity for students.

The studies will delve into three school funding-related issues: examining funding amounts for English learners; developing recommendations for an incentive program for districts in rural areas that provide services to gifted students; and an evaluation of best practices for supporting students with disabilities and the cost of providing special education.

“I am optimistic this work will provide lawmakers with additional data and insights to consider,” Cupp said. 

Also today, the State Controlling Board approved at $7,500 NatureWorks grant for Bluffton, which will help cover the cost of developing a nine-hole disc golf course at the village park.