More co-ops, internships available for Mahoning Valley studnets

Staff report


Students at Youngstown State University, Eastern Gateway Community College and Choffin, Columbiana, Trumbull and Mahoning counties’ career and technical centers are among 2,500 who will benefit from new or expanded co-op and internship programs, thanks to a state investment of close to $11 million over the next two years with matching dollars from key industries across the state.

The grants were announced last week by the Ohio Board of Regents.

Campuses will create new or expand existing co-op and internship programs to better serve students and businesses.

YSU and Choffin, Eastern Gateway and Columbiana, Mahoning and Trumbull career and technical centers received $661,013 to increase the number and quality of for-credit co-ops and internships in the regional economy through incentives to students and businesses, create self-sustaining professional development suites to be used by students and businesses providing soft and hard skills training and to enhance coordination and infrastructure of programs in the region.

The grants are part of Gov. John Kasich’s workforce development strategies to align Ohio’s higher-education curriculum with skills that are in demand by Ohio’s businesses so that students are better positioned for jobs in Ohio after graduation. Ohio businesses benefit by getting a preview of the talent available in Ohio and becoming part of the higher-education/workforce dialogue as talent investors rather than just talent receivers.

“These grants will provide Ohio employers with opportunities to benefit from the talents of Ohio’s college and career technical students,” said Ohio Board of Regents Chancellor John Carey. “And they’ll provide students with valuable internship or co-op experience that will put them on the right track toward a successful career in Ohio.”

The state funding, from casino-license fees, is specifically for this purpose. Funding was awarded to 10 community colleges and 15 public or private universities that are partnering with 30 other post-secondary institutions, including 11 Ohio technical centers. Grantees are required to match at least 100 percent of the awarded money with private funds.

Schools will partner with hundreds of small, medium and large businesses across the state to provide paid and credited internships and co-ops to their students. Businesses in JobsOhio key industry sectors or functions, including advanced manufacturing, aerospace/aviation, agribusiness/food processing, automotive, biohealth, energy, financial services, information services/software, polymers/chemicals, and business functions such as logistics, consulting and research and development — will hire Ohio students as co-ops or interns.

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