Ohio awards millions for new industry credential programs

Dozens of Ohio schools are creating new opportunities for students to earn in-demand industry credentials with grants awarded through the Innovative Workforce Incentive Program. Even if your school missed the latest round of competitive funding, the program could still provide funding and resources for you.

Congratulations to our partners in Painesville City Local Schools, Marion City Schools and the Trumbull County Educational Service Center, each of whom won grants to start new industry credential programs that are prioritized in the state’s Innovative Workforce Incentive Program. With their grant funds, Marion is starting an electrical program including the NIMS Electrical Systems, Electronic Control Systems, and Process Control Systems credentials and an IT networking program using CompTIA IT Fundamentals and CompTIA A+.

Marion’s partners for both programs include Wilson Bohannan Locks, a 160-year-old family-owned padlock and commercial locking systems manufacturer; Whirlpool Corporation, the number one major appliance manufacturer in the world; and, Sakamura Machine Col., Ltd., Japanese forging machine company with one US-based branch that employs more than 100 people in Marion. Marion’s partners illustrate the diversity of companies that need employees with electrical and IT networking certifications.

Among the credentials that are being promoted in the program is pre-apprenticeship via the Ohio State Apprenticeship Council Recognized Pre-Apprenticeship Program Certificate of Completion.  With their award, the Trumbull County ESC is creating a building trades pathway for multiple member schools that includes trades-related math skills, employability skills and project-based learning as part of a registered pre-apprenticeship program. They are building unique partnerships with regional businesses and schools, and we’re excited to watch their program develop.

The Painesville City Local School District is leading a consortium of seven school districts across the state, including the Ohio School for the Blind and the Ohio School for the Deaf, in a $700,000 pre-apprenticeship project. Each partner school will design, pilot and scale local programs where students earn their Ohio State Apprenticeship Council Recognized Pre-Apprenticeship Program Certificate of Completion by demonstrating the relevant academic and technical skills essential for success in regionally in-demand career fields as well as entrepreneurial and innovation skills and mindsets that will make them future ready regardless of future education and career paths.

EnvisionEdPlus is proud to be a partner with the consortium and will be providing a series of professional learning inspired by our recent LaunchPad event. A series of short, virtual sessions focused on systems to support pre-apprenticeship will be available at no cost to any Ohio school as part of this project – more on that to come!

In addition to the start-up funding to help pay for professional development, equipment, and external support, these schools will be eligible for $1,250 from the state every time one of their students successfully completes one of the new credentials. The latter payment, by the way, is available to any Ohio schools with students completing credentials from the state’s incentivized list. To learn more about Ohio’s Innovative Workforce Incentive Program and how to participate, visit the Ohio Department of Education’s website.

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