COLUMBUS—State Senator Bill Coley
(R-Liberty Township) today held a press conference
in Columbus to outline new legislation that aims to create a workforce-education partnership program modeled after the Metropolitan College program
in Louisville and new Miami University program which is expected to begin in Fall 2019.
Coley was supported during today's conference by Senate colleagues representing southwest Ohio including Senators Steve Wilson
(R-Maineville), Bob Hackett
(R-London) and Joe Uecker
(R-Miami Township) who anticipate this will be a great opportunity for students in their districts.
It is not unusual for students to work part-time while attending school. However, this program is unique in that partner businesses who hire students part-time would then make an even greater investment in their future workforce by covering the cost of tuition (after scholarships and grants are applied) and help cover some housing costs while they are attending school and working part-time.
"The way I see it, this program is a win-win for all parties involved," said Senator Coley, sponsor of the legislation. "Employers are provided with a consistent and motivated work force, and with mentoring from both the employers and within the university, students can complete their education with less debt or hefty family financial contribution—all while building their skills and forging a lasting relationship with the company."
President of Miami University, Dr. Gregory Crawford, and the Ohio Manufacturers Association also expressed their support and optimism regarding the positive impact this program would have for both higher education and job creators in the community.
¿"This program is just a great idea, and when Senator Coley brought it to us we took-off with it. We have been finding business partners and developing our program for about a year, and I am eager for its implementation this Fall," stated Dr. Crawford. "For new students coming in, this program will solve a lot of problems by allowing them to graduate with the degree they choose, be debt free and make a little money along the way. Miami University is excited and grateful to be taking the lead on this in Ohio."
The Louisville model partners with UPS Worldport, where the student works as a 3rd shift, part-time package handler getting paid a regular wage, in addition to the tuition reimbursement.
"The partnership is a wonderful way for employers to not only invest in their workforce, but for students to be invested in their own future and have a sense of loyalty and passion for the industry or company they may continue to work for post-graduation," Senator Wilson commented. "Rather than a part time-job they may be disinterested in, they will building skills and relationships they will use for the rest of their lives."