Workforce needs are rapidly evolving, and Ohio’s schools need to transform to fill those jobs, said the state’s lieutenant governor during a visit to Butler Tech on Monday.
“The nature of work is changing and the nature of the education system we built around it to serve people also needs to evolve with it,” Lt. Gov. Jon Husted said during a roundtable discussion involving area state legislators and local industry leaders.
“The states and communities that get it (career training) right will be the ones that succeed and ones that don’t, will fall behind.”
Husted said during the discussion that followed his tour of Butler Tech’s Bioscience School in West Chester Twp. that the modern learning center for Butler County high school students studying for careers in medical and health care industries is unusual. But it shouldn’t be, he said, if Ohio is going to meet the needs of private industries for employable and skilled workers.
Butler Tech “is doing something that is really is unique, but it should become the norm in terms of how we treat education in our society and our communities,” he said.
The $16 million career school campus atop a hill overlooking the Interstate 75 and Cincinnati-Dayton Road interchange opened in 2015 and is one of most acclaimed of Butler Tech’s county-wide system of job training programs that together is one of the largest in Ohio.
Last month the main campus of Butler Tech in Fairfield Twp. was visited by U.S. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, who touted the career school as one of the best in the nation.
Dieter Moeller, CEO at Rhinestahl Corporation, which manufactures aviation and jet engine tools and partners with Butler Tech in adding to its workforce, said the lack of understanding by some parents and their teenage children about the job training opportunities “is one of the biggest problems out there.”
“They just don’t understand the critical role that these tech schools have in getting the next generation of work force ready,” Moeller told Husted.
“The hardest people to find are skilled tradesman. I can hire an accountant, a person in marketing, or engineer or a manager. But to hire a skilled welder or machinist is almost an order of magnitude more difficult.”
Butler Tech, said Ohio Rep. George Lang, R-West Chester Twp., “is not only a tremendous asset because of what they do, which is workforce development that is critically important, but you can see the multiplier force this facility will be for us.”
Lang, who was joined by Ohio Senator Bill Coley, R-Liberty Twp. and Ohio Rep. Candice Keller, R-Middletown, praised Butler Tech’s many programs throughout the county as “not only preparing kids for the workforce but also instilling an entrepreneurial spirit in them.”