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Ohio University receives RAPIDS grant for Collaborative Workforce Development

The Department of Higher Education announced that Ohio University’s Athens and Southern campuses would receive the latest round of regional RAPIDS awards, a share of $5.3 million approved for Collaborative Workforce Development.

With this grant, students will be able to enhance their education and job preparedness in several fields thanks to funding approved by the state Controlling Board to purchase state-of-the-art equipment. Through partnerships with area businesses and higher education stakeholders, Ohio University was able to secure $168,933 in total funding.

“We are grateful to the State of Ohio for making workforce development funding a top priority,” said Ohio University President M. Duane Nellis. “These funds will allow us to continue providing the best equipment available to our students to help them successfully compete for in-demand jobs in the community.”

Governor John Kasich and the legislature targeted $8 million in the state capital budget to assist Ohio’s public universities, community colleges and career technical centers in providing the most up-to-date education possible in an effort to provide a skilled workforce for in-demand jobs.

This latest round of funding will allow for the purchase of equipment in the fields of information technology, advanced manufacturing, healthcare, additive manufacturing, cloud manufacturing, smart business automation and cybersecurity. The purchases are funded by the Ohio Department of Higher Education’s (ODHE) Regionally Aligned Priorities in Delivering Skills (RAPIDS) program.

ODHE Chancellor John Carey said the RAPIDS program has helped different regions in Ohio address their most pressing workforce needs while preparing traditional and nontraditional students for successful careers.

“When our schools collaborate to secure funding through the RAPIDS program, it gives students more opportunities to succeed while strengthening regional businesses and Ohio’s economy. It’s a win-win,” Chancellor Carey said.