COLUMBUS - State Senator Troy Balderson (R-Zanesville) joined colleague State Senator Bill Beagle (R-Tipp City) today to introduce legislation aimed at strengthening Ohio's workforce development efforts. 

The legislation is part of an ongoing effort by state leaders to create a statewide strategy aimed at preparing the next generation of workers to take on careers in some of Ohio's most in-demand professions.

"This bill will provide opportunities for our next generation to learn high-tech skills, which will prepare them for in-demand jobs in emerging industries such as oil and gas in southeastern Ohio," said Senator Balderson.

In collaboration with the Ohio Department of Education and Department of Higher Education, Ohio's major industries would help to create a statewide strategic workforce plan for enhancing project-based learning and develop professional development programs that address how to build authentic, real-world, project-based learning into the curriculum.

"This legislation will help raise awareness about high-paying, in-demand career opportunities and equip the workforce of tomorrow with the skills required in a rapidly evolving 21st Century economy," added Senator Bill Beagle.

As part of an effort to connect future workers and employers, regional economic development leaders and education officials would be charged with developing meaningful career service opportunities based on regional workforce needs. 

Building on the theme of increasing awareness about potential careers, the legislation would also establish an annual “Ohio In-Demand Jobs Week” organized by the Governor’s Office of Workforce Transformation, in coordination with the Ohio Department of Education, the Ohio Department of Higher Education and the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services. The designated week would allow middle and high school students an opportunity to participate in job fairs and explore job opportunities with local employers.

Senate President Larry Obhof today also appointed Balderson to chair the Senate Standing Committee on Energy and Natural Resources.

“Southeast Ohio is rich in natural resources, and the energy industry here affects everyone," said Balderson. "The industry contributes to a healthy economy in our region as well as the entire state, and I am pleased to have been given the opportunity to continue to work so closely on issues that will directly affect the people that I represent."

The Energy and Natural Resources Committee is charged with overseeing legislation dealing with all of Ohio’s natural resources, including oil and gas exploration. The panel also provides oversight for the Ohio Department of Natural Resources and makes recommendations to the full Senate on the advice and consent of certain governor’s appointments."This bill will provide opportunities for our next generation to learn high-tech skills, which will prepare them for in-demand jobs in emerging industries such as oil and gas in southeastern Ohio," said Senator Balderson.

 
 
 
  
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