VAN WERT — U.S. Sen. Rob Portman, R-Ohio, toured Vantage Career Center on Wednesday, touting his bipartisan JOBS Act legislation that’s pending before Congress.
“This is one of the great career technical schools in our state,” Portman said. “Vantage is interested in some of our legislation, one bill we already got passed which helps on providing Perkins funding at the federal level to our current technical schools, like this one. That’s really important because we have a huge need right now for the kind of skills that these young people are being trained up for, and they also have an adult program here that’s very important to fill the jobs that are out there.”
“I’ve got new legislation called the JOBS Act,” Portman added. “I just spoke to a young woman about it. As an example, she would be able to get more help from the federal government to go through a certificate-granting program to learn how to be a welder. We already provide that to college students. If you want to go to college, you can get this kind of Pell grant, but you can’t get it for a shorter-term certificate program. That is really unfair, I think.”
Portman visited with students and administrators and got a look at the precision machining technology program and the welding programs at Vantage.
Prior to the tour, Portman met with staff members for a roundtable discussion on vocational education.
Schools such as Vantage also help other higher educational institutions, such as the University of Northwestern Ohio in Lima.
“We are their biggest supplier of students in the country because we have students come from the auto tech program, students going through the robotics program and their networking program, ag program, things like that,” said Ted Verhoff, career tech supervisor at Vantage.
Having Portman come to Van Wert was more than just a photo-op for the senator.
“It’s a huge event for Vantage,” said Vantage Superintendent Rick Turner. “It’s also huge that he is so supportive of career technical education, and he has initiated and supported legislation as an example, the JOBS Act that helps us get people out in the workforce in a shorter period of time because it provides funding for them in these short term programs that are in high demand.”
Reach Sam Shriver at 567-242-0409.