Gongwer Reports

Gongwer Reports
Posted on 01/28/2019
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Governor Pledges Financial, Moral Support For Career-Tech
Gov. Mike DeWine on Wednesday told career-technical educators he would look to find ways to direct more state funding toward their facilities and equipment while working to bolster the field's image in the state.
The governor said part of his role will be highlighting the good work being done within the state's career centers and joint vocational schools.
"As we look to the future, and as we work with the legislature, this is a governor who's going to be very mindful of how important the career centers are," he said to applause during a speech at the Career-Technical and Adult Education Legislative Seminar in Columbus.
Gov. DeWine said he knows many of the state's career centers face challenges because they were established in the 1960s and 1970s and have since become somewhat outdated.
"Some are operating maybe not with all of the equipment that they should have," he said. "We've got to figure that out. We've got to figure out how the career centers can access the state money more in regard to building, maybe access it more in regard to having the real equipment that you need."
While the governor did not lay out any policies he intends to support, he said he looks forward to having discussions with leaders in the career-tech field to find out how he can best help them.
"I don't come here with a specific proposal, but I'm telling you…we want to work with you," he said.
Gov. DeWine said he has been impressed in his trips to career centers across the state. He said he encourages members of community groups he speaks with to visit their local career centers to see how much they have improved over time.
"They're doing some just amazing, exciting things," he said. "I think part of the job of the governor, frankly, is to talk about that and to maybe change the culture a little bit so that parents understand what really goes on in career centers today."
The governor said he also hopes to correct the false premise that career center students are not cut out for higher education. He said such students often see career-technical education as a step before college or other educational opportunities.
"That's another thing we've got to change people's perception about," he said.

Husted Says Budget Will Reflect Campaign Promises
One of the biggest challenges facing the new administration is quickly developing an operating budget, Lt. Gov. Jon Husted said Thursday.

Speaking to reporters after addressing the Ohio Association for Career Technical Education Annual Legislative Seminar in Columbus, Mr. Husted said Gov. Mike DeWine's campaign promises will be reflected in the two-year spending outline.

"We are actively engaged in trying to prepare for the operating budget," Mr. Husted said. "We essentially have two months to put the blueprint together for two years of state spending and we have both opportunities in that there are priorities for early childhood, which the governor has talked about, and helping us power through a solution to the opioid addiction crisis."

He added that workforce development will also be a high priority in the budget proposal.

The lieutenant governor said the challenge lies in the more granular details of the biennial spending outline.

"You not only want to make sure that it's balanced, that it's fiscally responsible, but you also want to make sure that the language connected with the appropriation and all those things are done in the right way," he said.

Mr. Husted, a former House speaker and senator, said the administration understands that lawmakers will leave their fingerprints on the spending outline.

"We understand the General Assembly has an important responsibility in this as well, so we want to get it to them in a timely fashion, but we also want to get them a quality budget prepared and ready to go," he said.

The operating budget must be submitted to the General Assembly by March 15.

Transportation Budget: The administration, meanwhile, is also preparing its first transportation budget, which must be approved by lawmakers by March 31.

"I know that the governor is right now preparing to put the blue-ribbon commission together and trying to make it…inclusive and include all of the people who might have a concern, ideas, a voice about what the future of infrastructure should be in Ohio," Lt. Gov. Husted said.

One issue the administration will have to contend with is dwindling revenue for transportation infrastructure. (See Gongwer Ohio Report, January 18, 2019)

Lt. Gov. Touts Career Technical Educational Opportunities
Among his many roles in the administration of Gov. Mike DeWine, Lt. Gov. Jon Husted said Thursday that one will be to champion vocational education.

The lieutenant governor told those gathered for the Ohio Association for Career Technical Education Annual Legislative Seminar in Columbus that too few Ohioans are aware of the doors that can be opened through vocational training in secondary school.

"There's a lot of confusion about education pathways in general because adults carry with them their history, the history of what they experienced, the history of what they experienced in high school or college," he said.

However, he said that history does not reflect what is going on right now in the world of education, noting that a student in Ohio can graduate with a certificate in the field of robotics and make $60,000 per year with no student loan debt.

One of Mr. Husted's roles in the administration will be overseeing workforce development.

"To me, where we will focus is on delivering talent to somebody who needs it in a very short period of time," he said of that charge, in which he believes vocational training will play a key role.

He also encouraged those in attendance to think of their students as their customers and touted the ability of an education to improve one's opportunities.

As the leader of InnovateOhio, Mr. Husted also encouraged those in education to recognize the ways in which technology is changing the world. He said in his former role as secretary of state it allowed him to streamline operations in his office, resulting in a 40% staff reduction, 21% lower fees and improved customer service.

Technology, though, can also create a disruption in the workforce, and Mr. Husted spoke of the need to "upskill" those that could lose jobs because of technological advances.

"We can change things for the better and I really believe the states that get this right are going to be the ones that succeed," he said of technology.

Lt. Gov. Husted also told the group that economic development will be one of his focuses in the administration. While he said lower taxes and less regulation help in that area, a readily available talent pool is more important.

As an example, he pointed to the recent announcement by Amazon that it would build new headquarter facilities in New York and near Washington, D.C., neither of which are known for their low tax rates. But, he added, both have large talent pools of individuals well-versed in technology.

"When we get it right, everybody wins," he said.