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More Ohioans need higher ed, leader says

New state chancellor visits Springfield and focuses on ties to jobs.Education Clark County

Sixty percent of Ohioans should have some form of higher education in order to meet the projected education requirements for jobs in 2020, the new Ohio Board of Regents chancellor said here Monday.

The Ohio rate is currently at 37 percent, John Carey said.

Carey shared his 60 percent goal with local education and business officials Monday during his first visit to Clark State Community College since beginning his chancellorship in April.

“It is well documented that high levels of educational attainment yield substantial economic and non-economic benefits for individuals, our communities and our state,” said Carey, a former state representative from Wellston. “The vast majority of Ohio’s projected job openings and new jobs will require some form of credential from education and training beyond high school.”

The key to realizing that goal is increasing student access to certificates and undergraduate degrees through institutions like Clark State, with focuses on current students and those already in the work force, Carey said.

“We really want to provide a pathway so (people) can find what their passion is, what they want to do, where their talents lie,” he said.

Ohio’s rate “puts us in the lowest 25 percentile of any state in the United States,” Sen. Chris Widener, R-Springfield, said of the 37 percent higher education rate during his portion of the presentation. “We’ve got to up those numbers.”

Locally, education and job training are just two of five pillars that economic leaders have identified to help move the area forward, Greater Springfield Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Mike McDorman said.

“I’ve thought about the power of business and education coming together to build a vision for a community that desperately wants to move forward in this region,” McDorman said. “It’s important that we keep the vision ahead of us because it’s not about us, it’s about this collective group of people we call Springfield and we call this region.”

Widener also spoke about how the new Global Impact STEM Academy will tie with education and job readiness in the area around Clark County.

“(The Global Impact STEM Academy) will help that … because kids will be coming to this school for the specific purpose of getting through 21 high school credits as quickly and as individualistically as they can, then to go on to take college classes,” Widener said.

“Because our goal is … they get a diploma and a transcript, and once that word gets out, we believe kids and parents, particularly parents who know the cost of going to school, are going to begin flocking to this particular school,” he said.

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