Last updated: August 23. 2013 8:58PM - 482 Views

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LIMA ‚?? Apollo Career Center Superintendent Judy Wells will have the chance to talk about what her school is doing successfully and how the school can serve as a model for others.

Wells plans to participate Friday in a panel discussion at the Ohio Jobs and Workforce Development Summit in Columbus.

U.S. Sen. Rob Portman, R-Ohio, invited Wells to speak. Portman is co-hosting the summit.Representatives from his office heard Wells speak before Ohio‚??s Joint House and Senate Workforce Development Committee in February at Apollo. The committee was in Lima for Gov. John Kasich‚??s State of the State address.

‚??I would like them to hear that Apollo Career Center has a 37-year history and very creative partnerships with industry leaders in our region, which I think transfers to the state and hopefully will be a great model for the federal level of legislation,‚?Ě Wells said Thursday.

The summit will bring together more than 300 educators, employers and other stakeholders from more than 80 counties across the state to discuss collaboration on best practices on workforce development issues.

Portman introduced the Careers through Responsive, Efficient, and Effective Retraining (CAREER) Act last Congress to make federal job training programs more responsive to the needs of the 21st-century job market. With ongoing dialogue at this summit, the CAREER Act will be reintroduced next week.

Wells will focus on Apollo's manufacturing programs and the collaborations the school has with area industry. She credits former Apollo officials, local industry and chamber and economic development officials for supporting Apollo and helping to start those partnerships.

‚??I think we can further foster these partnerships and then we can keep the great things we do right here in Lima as a model for everyone else to learn from and try to start in their own regions specific to their needs,‚?Ě Wells said.

Apollo also was asked to display and discuss its welding program. Apollo is American Welding Society accredited, one of only four sites in the state. Apollo‚??s welding program managers at the high school and adult level will be with Wells on Friday.

If given the chance, Wells would also like to address the ‚??red tape‚?Ě school and other entities face when getting grants and other funding from the federal government. It slows the process, she said, and makes industry have to wait even longer for qualified employees.

‚??By the time you filter down and dot every I and cross every T, it is a living nightmare,‚?Ě Wells said. ‚??Come on. Lets‚?? get people trained.‚?Ě

Judy Wells
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