Governor Kasich and The Ohio State University President, Dr. Gordon Gee, recently released a column on the importance of increasing our efforts to help Ohio’s students complete their degree programs. Far too many of our kids enter college and leave before earning a degree. Here’s a small sample from the Plain Dealer column:
Though the economic recovery is well under way in Ohio — the state’s current 6.7 percent unemployment rate is almost a full point less than the nation’s and we are first in the Midwest and sixth in the nation in job creation — there are still too many Ohioans out of work. One of our challenges is a shortage of skilled workers. For example, right now there are approximately 80,000 jobs open for workers with the right kinds of skills. Filling these jobs would go a long way toward not only accelerating Ohio’s recovery, but also brightening the prospects for individual Ohioans, their employers and their communities.
With a higher-education funding system that, for years, has put a higher premium on enrolling students than graduating them, it’s no surprise that employers often struggle to find enough skilled workers. It’s an outdated approach that won’t efficiently deliver a world-class work force and help attract high-wage jobs. In Ohio, we’re taking a different direction.
While there is still much to be done, Ohio has taken a bold step in the right direction to creating a more efficient, market-responsive system to preparing its work force. Students, employers and the communities and states they call home need higher education systems that work together — and work for the 21st century. Embracing and sustaining this trend will have a profound impact on our global competitiveness over the long haul.
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