SHAWNEE TOWNSHIP — To begin the kickoff for “In-Demand Jobs” week in Ohio, Chancellor of the Ohio Department of Higher Education, Randy Gardner, along with House of Representative Speaker Bob Cupp took a tour of the Apollo Career Center, seeing firsthand the training given to both traditional students and adults.
“Apollo is one of the most dynamic, higher education and high school education career centers in the state. It’s one that is growing fast and really provides more diversity of opportunity,” Gardner stated.
Talking to a classroom of students studying to be state-tested nurse assistants, Chancellor Gardner told the class, “My message is thank you for being on the front lines in health care, helping people, caring for people. We need you and so I hope it goes really well for you. I’m excited for your future.”
The tour also went through electronics, welding, and robotics labs. At the robotics lab, both Chancellor Gardner and Speaker Cupp were presented with a small engraved state of Ohio as a memento of their time at Apollo Career Center.
“There are a number of programs here that we are already involved with. Finding ways to expand the programs, provide additional support for some of these programs, and just learning how we can best serve the needs of students,” Gardner said.
He said they are learning in detail about the programs. “Then we’ll take it back to Columbus and talk with the administration and with the legislature and find even more additional ways to help with anything.”
The chancellor spoke about dealings with Intel. As part of the agreement to place a chip manufacturing facility in Licking County, Intel is investing $100 million over the next 10 years in higher education in an effort to supply a well-trained workforce for their operations. Chancellor Gardner noted that the money has not been allocated for any specific use.
“There’s been contact with career centers, two-year and four-year colleges, universities. But that hasn’t been decided precisely yet. But that’s why it’s mostly Intel’s call. Apollo can be part of a regional effort, a collaborative effort with other post-secondary education training centers or colleges. That probably makes a stronger proposal. But that’s to be determined, and it’s pretty much on Intel’s timeline.”
Rhodes State College trustees submitted their recommendation to start a Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree at the college. Chancellor Gardner related that it has met the approval of the Department of Higher Education, but it has to go to the Higher Learning Commission. It may take a few months in that commission but things should be done in the fall or by the end of the year.
“The thorough process the department has conducted has been concluded. And we were so very pleased with the RN to BSN proposal at Rhodes State.”
Reach Dean Brown at 567-242-0409