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Governor Holds Higher Education Press Conference at OBRT Offices

Updated: Sep 14, 2023

Governor, Lt. Governor, Ohio Business Roundtable CEO Discuss Ways to Address Growing Workforce Needs

(COLUMBUS, Ohio)—Ohio Governor Mike DeWine and Lt. Governor Jon Husted joined Ohio Business Round Table President and CEO Pat Tiberi to discuss the importance of continued investments in education to build a skilled workforce of Ohioans to continue our economy’s growth and momentum.

“Students who attend Ohio colleges and universities tend to find jobs here after graduation and continue contributing to our economy,” said Governor DeWine. “This is why our executive budget includes incentives to make Ohio colleges and universities the most attractive options for Ohio students.”

More than 10 years after receiving a bachelor’s degree from an Ohio public university, more than 64% of graduates are still living and working in Ohio. Retention is very important to growing our workforce and currently nearly 14,000 high school grads a year go out of state for college.

“We are winning deals and creating jobs faster than we can find people to fill them,” said Lt. Governor Husted. “It is crucial we support efforts that encourage our best and brightest to stay right here in Ohio, so we can continue the economic momentum happening in our state.”

Breaking down financial barriers for those considering higher education is one way to encourage Ohio’s college-bound students to stay in-state. Governor DeWine’s budget proposal includes the following incentives to retain Ohio students:

Ohio College Opportunity Grants (OCOG). OCOG grants provide need-based scholarships to Ohio students to attend colleges and universities in Ohio. The budget proposal significantly expands eligibility for these scholarships to ensure more working Ohio families have access to post-secondary education.

Merit Scholarships. The governor’s budget proposal rewards students’ exceptional work by providing a $5,000 per year scholarship to every Ohio high school graduate who finished in the top 5% of their class if they chose to go to school in Ohio. It is expected that this merit scholarship would reduce the loss of Ohio students going to school in another state by 10-15%. Similar merit-based programs in other states have resulted in documented reductions in loss of students ranging from 9% to 28%.

Choose Ohio First Scholarship. The governor’s budget proposal increases funding for the Choose Ohio First scholarship, allowing Ohio colleges to award more scholarships to students studying STEM fields (science, technology, engineering, and math). The appropriation for the Choose Ohio First scholarship has more than doubled since the beginning of the DeWine-Husted administration, increasing from $13.8 million in 2020 to a proposed $32 million in 2025.

The need for college graduates to work at Ohio’s businesses is great now and will continue to grow. It is critical for students and for our business that we support retention efforts, so Ohio’s economy continues to thrive.

"To compete in a global economy, we must be able to attract and retain the best and brightest talent. That can include career certificates, 2-year degrees and apprenticeships, however we must not overlook the importance of 4-year degrees to fill our workforce needs," said Tiberi. "The investments proposed by Governor DeWine and Lieutenant Governor Husted in the state budget will ensure we have the talent necessary to compete for continued economic growth.”

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