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  • Press Release

AU awarded $200,000 for Ohio Teacher Bootcamp Program, as announced by Lt. Governor Husted

During a February roundtable discussion at Ashland University’s Dauch College of Business and Economics, Ohio Lt. Governor Jon Husted announced AU has been awarded approximately $200,000 in grants to expand its Ohio Teacher Bootcamp Program later this year. The program serves as a way to build bridges and make connections between educators and local businesses so that educators can learn about the in-demand skills needed to be successful in today’s workforce and help better prepare students for career readiness upon graduation.

“If we’re going to continue to be a thriving economic state, we’ve got to innovate. (Innovation) requires talent, and talent can come from a variety of places. Whether college is for everybody or not, learning is for everybody, skill development is for everybody, wisdom is for everybody,” remarked Lt. Governor Husted at the roundtable.

During bootcamps, educators complete related coursework and participate in business tours to learn about in-demand skills firsthand. Through these experiences, educators are exposed to new industries, jobs and skills so they can use real-world knowledge when teaching their students, helping to better prepare them for a career in their community upon graduation.

Of the eight institutions of higher education across Ohio to receive funding this round, AU was awarded the largest grant.

Led by Jim Powell, executive director of professional development services, AU held 19 teacher manufacturing bootcamps during 2023. Those bootcamps engaged 118 business or advanced manufacturing companies, 300 educators across 75 school districts who earned a total of 900 graduate credit hours, 19 business advisory councils, 19 economic development boards, seven educational service centers, four career tech schools, three community colleges and several chambers of commerce.

“I see the power that whenever we do these, I hear teachers say things like ‘I didn’t know that existed in my community.’ I hear economic development people say things like … ‘our largest export is our human capital.’ There’s all this opportunity in the community for them. So, it’s a powerful thing for communities to go through and it takes all those people to pull together,” said Powell.

The roundtable featured leaders from nearby school districts, educational service centers and businesses spanning construction, manufacturing and robotics. They were unanimous in their support of the Ohio Teacher Bootcamp Program and praised its value in breaking down barriers and developing workforce talent.

Lt. Governor Husted may have summed it up best. “The world’s going to change. It has been changing fast. The pace of change will continue to accelerate, which will create … opportunity, or missed opportunity, for the young people coming forward. We’re all going to have to constantly re-educate ourselves. That’s what this is,” he concluded.


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