Miami U. using West Chester campus to help smaller Butler County employers

Butler County’s largest employer met with some of the region’s smaller employers Friday in the latest twist of a growing strategy by Miami University to better partner with area industries.

The half-day event attracted state officials, chamber of commerce heads and was also addressed by Miami University President Gregory Crawford at the school’s Voice Of America (VOA) Learning Center in West Chester Twp.

This year’s “Workforce Solutions Summit – How To Find Talent in a Tight Labor Market” attracted dozens of representatives from area businesses who interacted with professors and administrators from Miami’s undergraduate and graduate business schools.

The event also marked Miami’s opening of a Commerce Innovation Hub on the VOA campus, which will offer a new commerce degree program.

With nearly 5,000 faculty, staff and graduate student employees, Miami is the largest employer in Butler County.

Besides the VOA campus, the university’s main Oxford campus is joined by regional campuses in Hamilton and Middletown.

“We are very excited about this and this effort could not be done without partnership. All of our campuses working together toward a common vision and this (event) signals that today,” Crawford told the participants.

“We couldn’t be more happy to see all this convergence. It brings together partnerships with small businesses and it’s very important for the Ohio economy … through our expertise of our faculty or the talents of our graduates.”

Among the seminars offered Friday to participating business leaders were discussions focusing on the hiring of former military personnel and those with disabilities, hiring qualified former felons and improving employee recruitment.

Ohio Congressman Warren Davidson (R-Troy) was one of leading forces in creating the new Commerce Innovation Hub at the VOA campus and he said “this campus and this investment by Miami University … is out engaging in campuses all across the area.”

Ohio Senator Bill Coley (R-Liberty Twp.) said Miami’s strategy of partnering “employers around the region and they help them develop their talent and their pool of talent.”

“This is the next chapter in Miami’s regional campus work,” said Coley.

The latest expansion of academic and private industry partnerships will impact the economy throughout Butler County, said Cathy Bishop-Clark, associate provost and dean of Miami’s regional campuses.

And next week, said Bishop-Clark, the Miami University Middletown campus will open a new Career Services Suite.

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