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    Since 2007, the Ohio Workforce Coalition has been bringing together leaders from education and training institutions, economic and workforce development organizations, business and industry, labor, and human service providers. The Coalition promotes public policies that build the skills of adult workers, meet employer skill needs, and strengthen the workforce system to ensure opportunity and prosperity for Ohio families.

Ohio Skills Bank win! Central Ohio logistics training program wins DOL funding

Columbus State Community College was awarded $4.6 million in DOL Recovery Act Health Care and High Growth Grant Funds. This award was for the “Logistics Industry – Attracting and Retaining Talent” grant the Center for Workforce Development at Columbus State submitted in October of 2009. The Logistics-ART project is geared to develop an entry to mid-level workforce for logistics businesses residing in the Columbus MSA (defined as: Delaware, Fairfield, Franklin, Licking, Madison, Morrow, Pickaway, and Union Counties in Central Ohio).

These funds will provide a three-year focus on training 1,080 new potential employees for logistics business in the Columbus MSA over a three-year time frame (the job classifications listed as a focus for this work can be found at the end of this communication). The funds also provide skill upgrades for 300 incumbent employees – first – for the logistics businesses who partnered in the grant submission and worked to develop the plan over the past year, and then will expand to logistics businesses expressing interest in the work as a result of the grant. The incumbent training portions of the project are focused on assisting businesses with identified skill gaps that inhibit their growth or effective operations. This is the first home run for the Ohio Skills Bank (OBS) effort in Region #1 and the Logistics businesses who worked so diligently in the development of the workforce plan.

The Ohio Skills Bank sub-committee for the program consisted of: Dr. Bill Lafayette, Columbus Chamber, Michael Linton, ODW Logistics, Lenee Pezzano, ICAT Logistics and Steve Youll with Midwest Express (all representing the Columbus Regional Logistics Council). The CSCC – Ohio Skils Bank development team consisted of: Cheryl Hay, David Meyers, Ann Signet, Jeff Spain, Patty Devlin and Susan Stump. Providing Ohio Board of Regent direction for the regional effort was Nithya Govindasamy. Supporting both the grant submission and a local pilot effort was the Franklin County workforce agency, the Central Ohio Workforce Investment Corporation who has been a workforce partner in the Ohio Skills Bank effort for the region since May of 2009. Also supporting the work and conducting logistic industry outreach was the Columbus Region Logistics Council staffed by Daniel Ricciardi, Columbus Chamber. In addition, team members in the Business & Industry and Continuing Professional Education areas at CSCC worked on various program elements for the DOL submission. Steve Tirpak and Megan Gordon-Lakey of the Ohio Department of Development are partners in the regional Ohio Skills Bank work. All are to be commended for the year they have spent in moving this work towards this exciting opportunity for Central Ohio. Key to this effort was the launch of the Ohio Skills Bank strategy funded by the Ohio Department of Job & Family Services and directed by the Ohio Board of Regents in a joint effort with the Ohio Department of Development in providing a framework that made industry sector strategies approaches possible in Ohio. Also the support of Ohio Senator Sherrod Brown and Ohio Representative Sandra Williams who are strong advocates of industry sector approaches such as those applied under the Ohio Skills Bank program. We are so excited at this combination of government, workforce agencies, education and businesses working together to strengthen our region and our state.

We cannot wait for the work to begin! As with any new program, the state date for the work is not immediate. There will be formal contracts and planning meetings required with DOL and CSCC as well as attendance at financial training sessions in Washington DC for CSCC staff. Once a start date for the program is determined with DOL, it will be posted at: http://www.cscc.edu/workforce Logistics Businesses interested in attending a meeting to be set in March or April which will explain the program and determine business interest in participating, should e-mail chay3@cscc.edu to be placed on the logistics business meeting announcement list. Individuals in our Ohio workforce who are dislocated, returning veterans, underemployed or in need of skill upgrades and have an interest in the logistics industry may also send their resumes or an e-mail expressing interest to be placed on the program list for when training activities begin. There will be a Logistics-ART program e-mail established for the work which will be publicized this week on the CSCC web site, however, until that time, please also e-mail chay3@cscc.edu with your interest in exploring logistics careers.

The official description of the grant awards can be found at the Department of Labor web site at: http://www.dol.gov/opa/media/press/eta/eta20100177.htm AND AT http://www.doleta.gov/factsheet/ARRA_Health_and_Other.pdf

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