LIMA — One of the targets of Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine’s operating budget signed into law last summer was committing more resources to build up the state’s career technical centers.
On Monday morning, Ohio Department of Higher Education Chancellor Randy Gardner visited Apollo Career Center’s Adult Education facilities to see how those efforts can be made on the ground.
“The DeWine and (Lt. Gov. Jon) Husted administration made a very strategic and intentional decision to align workforce development with traditional education and to basically not have these lines separating these two because there is really so much that needs to be done to align workforce and education,” Gardner said. “The Ohio technical centers and career centers are right at the forefront of that thinking. In our state budget, for example, we provided a significant increase for Ohio technical centers, about 39.7% over the two years, combined increase in the Ohio technical center line item.”
Director of Adult Education Tara Shepherd said she was glad Gardner made the effort to see that the increased funds are being put to good use on Apollo’s campus.
“We really just appreciate the Chancellor and the governor’s office recognizing that we are a viable part of the education system here in Ohio and that OTCs (Ohio Technical Centers) really do have a place,” she said.
Gardner said he believes Ohio is one of the nation’s leaders in diverse opportunities when it comes to education. There are currently 54 Ohio technical centers throughout the state.
“They are part of what I call the diversity of opportunity in Ohio,” he explained. “The exciting thing about working for this governor is that it’s an all-of-the-above approach when it comes to education, and Apollo is right in the middle of that all-of-the-above approach thinking. I don’t know that there’s hardly any aspect of the economy that Apollo doesn’t touch.”
Apollo offers about 20 programs for high school students in 11 districts and 30 programs for continuing adult education.
“The other thing about the DeWine administration is it’s not a Columbus-knows-best attitude,” Gardner said. “It’s about listening to the employers, the training centers on the frontlines in the communities to find out what’s important to building communities and meeting workforce needs and then support that.”
Reach Tara Jones at 567-242-0511.