Budget Dedicates $71M to Develop Ohio’s Skilled Workforce

OMA’s advocacy efforts to enhance Ohio’s workforce development continue to pay dividends for manufacturers. Under the new budget, the legislature sustained funding for TechCred and Industry Sector Partnership grants, both priorities of the administration.

Funded at $25 million over the biennium, TechCred will continue enhancing Ohio’s skilled manufacturing workforce by reimbursing employers that help their employees earn industry-recognized credentials. To date, more than 23,700 credentials have been approved under the program, while 1,310 employers — a large percentage of which are manufacturers — have received reimbursement funds.

The legislature also allocated $2.5 million in funding for both years of the budget ($5 million combined) for the Industry Sector Partnership grant program. While the line-item does, unfortunately, include earmarks, the remaining funds for this competitively awarded grant program will assist in growing collaborative, industry-led partnerships that help develop the next generation of workers.

Lastly, the two-year budget dedicates $20.5 million per fiscal year to funding industry-recognized credentials for high school students. Of this amount, $8 million a year will reimburse schools for costs associated with credential testing, while the remaining $12.5 million will fund the Innovative Workforce Incentive Program, which provides incentive payments to schools for students that earn industry-recognized credentials. 6/30/2021