On April 29, Lt. Gov. Jon Husted spoke to our Education and Workforce Development Committee here at the Ohio Chamber of Commerce. He addressed our committee regarding a number of topics including three main proposals his office is working on directly in House Bill 166, the state’s main operating budget.
The first proposal in the budget is to fund industry-recognized credentials programs for high school students. Currently, there is $50 million over the biennium to address the cost associated with the credentialing process. Lt. Gov. Husted spoke to the fact that there is a price that comes with the testing portion of obtaining a credential. The intent is for this funding to ensure that the cost is mitigated for the high school student seeking a credential.
Secondly, Lt. Gov. Husted spoke at length about the “TechCred” program that his office is pursuing. In the main operating budget, there is $30 million allocated for industry-recognized credentials. This funding is the source for the “TechCred” program. Just like the first program his office is working on, there is not yet language outlining it in the main operating budget, but the lieutenant governor spoke more in-depth about how the program will work. The program is designed to help upskill employees and provide them with tangible, portable skills that will assist them in their professions.
Lastly, he talked to our committee about the importance of the Choose Ohio First Scholarship. In the main operating budget, there is almost $70 million allocated over the biennium to this fund. This is an important tool in keeping the best and brightest in Ohio and serves as a strong incentive for students to obtain their education in our state. He stated that students tend to work within fifty miles of where they grew up or where they went to college so it is vital that we keep individuals in our state in order to help grow the economy.
The lieutenant governor fielded questions from the committee and it was a great privilege to have him here to speak to our committee about his office’s priorities and initiatives.