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$5-million grant aimed at retraining displaced workers for biosciences

A $5-million federal grant is aimed at revving up the skills of Ohio's displaced auto and other workers, training them for jobs in the growing bioscience world.

The grant was awarded to BioOhio, a nonprofit, Columbus-based bioscience accelerator, for its Ohio Bioscience Industry Workforce Preparedness Project. BioOhio doled grants to Cincinnati State Technical and Community CollegeColumbus State Community CollegeCuyahoga Community CollegeLakeland Community CollegeOwens Community College and Sinclair Community College.

The initiative will take place over three years, and more than $2.8 million of grant has been set aside for tuition reimbursement and trainee scholarships

The dollars will be used to create new programs or build on new ones at the colleges, which are partnering with employers and labor, workforce development and non-profit organizations to develop programs to retrain and identify workers in Ohio's auto and other declining industries.

The program is focused not just on education and training but moving people into jobs through the public and private partnerships says Dr. Bill Tacon, Senior Director, Workforce & Education at BioOhio.

"We will help them find a job. We're not simply training and just letting them go. Each has an industry advisory board, and when we got the grant the industry advisory board signed a letter of commitment saying they are looking at new potential hires," Tacon says.

The program has a goal of retraining 660 displaced or underemployed workers in declining industries

Northeast Ohio is leading the charge, because the region's colleges have several programs in place that likely will spread to other campuses, Tacon says. For example, Cuyahoga Community College and partners have a medical device and pharmaceutical manufacturing program that could be implemented across the state.

Source: Bill Tacon, BioOhio
Writer: Feoshia Henderson

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