Ohio Gov. John Kasich is moving forward with a plan to revamp the state’s job training system, a plan that reaches far into Ohio’s K-12 and postsecondary education systems and would affect how billions of dollars in state and federal funds are spent.
Among the areas targeted are high school and college vocational training, state higher education funding, distance learning, financial aid and programs that train veterans to be classroom teachers.
Yesterday Kasich signed an executive order creating the Governor’s Office of Workforce Transformation and an accompanying advisory board. The head of the new office, former lobbyist Richard Frederick, will report directly to the governor, Kasich spokesperson Connie Wehrkamp said.
Frederick’s office will coordinate workforce policies and programs and oversee a single, unified budget for them.
The advisory board will, well, advise the newly created workforce development office on how to improve state and local workforce programs and how money should be distributed among them. (The governor’s office will have more on who will head that advisory board “soon,” Wehrkamp said.)
For several months now, Kasich has been talking about how Ohio educates and trains workers. There are too many people without jobs, and too many employers who can’t find workers with the qualifications they want, Kasich says.
His new office is supposed to fix that.
“When you look at the current structure, …there’s no central entity managing and guiding those resources…and what we’ve heard from employers and owners seeking training is that the system is overly complex and it’s not easy to navigate,” Wehrkamp says.
The goal of the new Office of Workforce Transformation: “Helping Ohioans get the training they need to better themselves and fill the occupations that are in demand,” Wehrkamp says.
The new office is starting by looking at all of these programs. They’ll measure how successful — or unsuccessful – they are and go from there, Wehrkamp says. No word yet on whether the office will start off by focusing on a specific industry or type of training or try to bite off the whole thing at once.