The University of Findlay and Owens Community College-Findlay Campus’ (OCC) School of Science, Engineering, Technology, and Math (STEM School) jointly received a $367,491 grant from the Ohio Board of Regents (OBR) to help college students prepare for productive careers through new and expanded co-op and internship programs.
UF and Owens are benefiting from the state investment of close to $11 million over the next two years with matching dollars from key industries across the state.
“We are very excited to be able to provide better streamlined and more efficient career centered services to UF students and alumni. The ultimate goal of The University of Findlay is to equip students for meaningful lives and productive careers,” said Phil Gunder, director of internships and cooperative education at Findlay. “We will have the capabilities to create more and better relationships with employers in Ohio – relationships that cultivate internships and full-time jobs for our students after graduation. This is a great opportunity for both students and the community!”
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 postsecondary 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.
With this grant award, UF and Owens will build infrastructure to provide all students with at least one work-integrated learning opportunity over the next four years; create personalized career paths for prospective students; and enhance relationships with all partners to address the needs of the regional economy.
Both institutions are focusing their attention and priorities toward addressing emerging workforce needs associated with the region’s continuous economic growth and diversity in JobsOhio key industries: advanced manufacturing, agribusiness and food processing, automotive, biohealth, financial services, and information services and software.
UF has additionally focused its attention towards initiatives aimed at fulfilling its newly adopted strategic goal of providing all students in every academic program a minimum of one experiential learning opportunity, a task that requires an additional 2,000 student placements within the next four years.
The University will hire four experiential learning and career development specialists who will assist with every aspect of the internship and placement process. These professionals will help facilitate employer-University relationships. “We are looking for dynamic individuals with passions to work with students in higher education,” said Gunder.
Interested applicants should contact Gunder at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
The grants are part of Governor 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 talent receivers.