SHAWNEE TOWNSHIP — Ohio’s incumbent workforce training program is now working with educational institutions such as the Apollo Career Center to prepare workers for in-demand jobs and technological advances, extending grants to Ohio employers and workers in pursuit of industry credentials.
The program was the focus of a tour and roundtable discussion with Ohio Reps. Susan Manchester, R-Waynesfield, and Jon Cross, R-Kenton, who sponsored legislation last June that created the TechCred program.
“We want to make sure that employers know that TechCred is an option, whether they use us or not,” said Keith Horner, superintendent for Apollo Career Center.
Apollo offers electrical, industrial maintenance and toolmaker apprenticeships through TechCred, as well as other adult education courses eligible for TechCred funding.
The tour Monday comes as the Ohio legislature is working through its biennial budget, including funding for higher education and career technical schools such as Apollo, which Manchester described as a “critical pipeline” for Ohio’s workforce.
Cross, who co-sponsored the TechCred legislation and is now chairman of the higher education subcommittee, also discussed the hospitality industry’s struggles to fill jobs as business operations return to pre-pandemic levels.
Cross attributed the trend in part to federal stimulus and unemployment benefits.
“There’s a lot of federal dollars out there,” Cross said, “and we want to see people get back to work and, hopefully, get off the federal assistance. That’s been a big challenge. … So, we need to figure out how to transition out of that and get back to working.”