Columbus, Ohio – Today, in conjunction with the Governor’s Executive Workforce Board meeting, Ohio business, government and higher education leaders announced how a unique partnership to ensure more Ohioans have the skills and training to fill in-demand jobs in data analytics and cybersecurity has led to the creation of a new Office of Talent Strategy at Columbus State Community College. This new workforce development center is the continuation of the Business Roundtable Workforce Partnership Initiative (WPI) for the Ohio region – a partnership among higher education leaders, Ohio employers and government to design curriculum that meets the needs of multiple employers in the Columbus region and creates pathways for internships and careers. The establishment of the Office of Talent Strategy comes one year after the launch of the Ohio WPI.
Ohio Lieutenant Governor Jon Husted, who chaired the meeting, was joined for the announcement by leaders from American Electric Power (AEP), JPMorgan Chase & Co., Business Roundtable, the Ohio Business Roundtable and Columbus State Community College.
“We get the best workforce solutions when businesses, educators and community leaders collaborate, and in this case, AEP, Columbus State, the Business Roundtable and JPMorgan Chase are leading in a way that benefits everyone,” said Ohio Lt. Governor Jon Husted.
“By joining forces with other local employers, we’ve been able to work efficiently with educators to map curriculum taught in local two- and four-year institutions to the digital skills needed for jobs here at AEP and other companies in the metropolitan area,” said Nick Akins, Chairman, President and CEO of AEP, who is leading the Ohio WPI. “Our objective is to equip potential employees with the skills needed to fill these jobs, create pathways to on-the-job training and other opportunities and ensure the benefits of economic growth are more broadly shared among all Ohioans.”
The new Office of Talent Strategy will initially focus on programs directly linked to data analytics, cybersecurity and cloud technologies, and training and retraining workers for long-term viable employment in these fields. The core curricula for each of these disciplines have been developed and some students have already enrolled in programs.
“The Office of Talent Strategy recognizes the unique positioning of Columbus State as Central Ohio’s intermediary for workforce talent development,” said David Harrison, President of Columbus State Community College. “This is an outstanding opportunity to scale up our existing efforts with community partners toward the creation and retention of even more good-paying jobs within our region.”
As part of the Ohio WPI, several Columbus area-based companies have agreed to place interns and new hires as well as take advantage of programs offered by the Office of Talent Strategy to provide existing employees with new skills. The Ohio WPI is coordinating closely with other state government workforce initiatives to maximize resources and program effectiveness.
“As one of Central Ohio’s largest employers, we play an important role in creating and supporting workforce solutions that keep our region growing and thriving for all residents,” said Corrine Burger, Managing Director and Columbus Location Leader for JPMorgan Chase & Co. “In partnership with Business Roundtable and many local organizations, we’re connecting the next generation with the tools and skills they need for the jobs of tomorrow.”
The Ohio WPI is part of a national effort spearheaded by Business Roundtable to solve the challenge of recruiting and reskilling the local workforce across 10 regions of the country. Through WPI, CEOs are partnering with higher education institutions and community organizations to accelerate and scale best-in-class workforce readiness programs to develop a steady talent pipeline that meets the changing needs of each region’s growing industries.