The program is made to help students from needy families earn college degrees withoutbeing burdened with large college loan debts.
Miami President Gregory Crawford said that “as we designed and implemented the Work Plus Program we made a conscious decision to consider how other higher education institutions (in Ohio) – and regional employers – could also roll out a Work Plus Program in their own communities.”
Coley said the economic blows from the coronavirus makes the program, which started in the fall of 2019, all the more vital.
“Our employers need workers and we are now putting people who are at the prime of their work life and getting them … from just studying as students and getting them to participate in the labor force as well as get their degrees,” said Coley.
“It’s a great program that will really benefit all of Ohio … and I look forward to watching this program evolve,” he said of the planned expansion to the state’s 22 other regional campus of four-year universities and Ohio’s 20 community colleges.
A converted downtown Hamilton office building is the possible site for student housing in the program in the next year or two, he said.
“We are still working with (local downtown developers) regarding the housing that is available at 3rd and Dayton Streets in Hamilton. The building is up and running with absolutely fantastic facilities for the residents. We are still trying to coordinate additional services,” he said.
Miami Hamilton sophomore Jeremiah Watene, who is majoring in small business management, has been working with the sales marketing team at the Fairfield-based Fischer Group more than a year.
Watene described Work Plus as a “such a blessing for me.”
“It’s given me an opportunity to get a Miami education for free and at the same time allowing me to work in the same sales and marketing field I’m currently studying in school,” he said.