The state Controlling Board approved the transfer of three million capitol dollars for an Ohio Department of Higher Education Initiative.
The money will fund workforce development plans. A project known as the ‘RAPIDS’ Program will allow regional collaborative groups to buy state-of-the-art equipment to use in labs.
Students will learn real world skills that meet regional workforce needs. Chancellor for the Ohio Department of Higher Education John Carey said the inspiration for the project came from the need for more pathways from college, to employment.
"The governor was visiting with employers all over the state of Ohio and they were saying that students were not being trained on the proper equipment and there’s limited resources for our community colleges and our career technical schools to have that equipment, so we decided to redirect our budget statewide," said Carey.
The southeast region will see one million dollars awarded to the SE Ohio Oil and Gas Training Collaborative (Zane State College, Washington State Community College, Belmont College, and Eastern Gateway Community College.)
Carey said the benefit from this initiative will reach the entire region.
"Students will have the education and be trained, educated with the right tools," said Carey. "We hope that leads to them taking the next step down the line to further education. It helps our communities because they’ll be making a living in the community and supporting the community. It helps our employers to find the workforce they need."
Carey said that he and Governor John Kasich hope to see the ‘RAPIDS’ Program grow in the future.