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Lieutenant governor talks workforce development during BCC visit

| March 7, 2024
On Wednesday, Ohio Lt. Gov. Jon Husted visited Buckeye Career Center, where he led a roundtable discussion with representatives from companies employing current and past students. (WJER Radio)

NEW PHILADELPHIA (WJER) (March 7, 2024) – Buckeye Career Center got to host another esteemed guest this week.

Ohio Lieutenant Governor Jon Husted stopped by Wednesday to see how the state’s investment in career technical training is shaping the local workforce. He enjoyed learning about the different programs and seeing kids working toward industry-recognized credentials.  

“It was great to get a chance to meet many of them. Many of the students are already working before they leave high school, and this facility is an economic development asset for the region.”

The visit coincided with the career center’s eighth-grade career carnival, which Superintendent Bob Alsept was a happy coincidence.

“They called us last week – on Thursday, I think it was – and said, ‘Hey, we’d like to visit.’ And so it was put together quickly. They said, “This is when we’ll be here,’ and the timing was perfect.”

After touring the labs, John Husted led a roundtable discussion with representatives from companies employing Buckeye students and graduates. 

“This is a great career center. It’s growing. More and more students are wanting to be here, and so what we’re trying to do at the state level is give them more resources so they can expand. That means more students getting an education, moving right from high school into careers, and the employers you saw sitting around the table today, they need them.”

Attendance at Buckeye has increased from a little over 600 a decade ago to more than 900 today and is expected to top 1,000 next year. Alsept thinks it has a lot to do with the state’s commitment to showing kids that they don’t need a college degree to be successful.

“Oh, absolutely. Number one, they’ve invested for us to have equipment, for us to start new programs – you know the Energy Operations facility and what we were able to do there – and they talk about it, the importance of it. When you hear the governor of your state and the lieutenant governor, they support career technical education, that’s a real boost for us.”

Buckeye is getting almost $2.9-million from the $300-million Husted and Governor Mike DeWine requested for career tech expansion to build a healthcare learning center on its University Drive campus. Husted says he will talk with lawmakers about tapping into the state’s oversaturated ‘Rainy Day’ fund to make even more funding available.

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