COLUMBUS - The Senate passed legislation today, sponsored by Senators Troy Balderson (R-Zanesville) and Bill Beagle (R-Tipp City), aimed at making Ohio's education system more responsive to the workforce demands of the state's 21st century economy. 

As part of an ongoing effort by state leaders, the legislation will help in developing 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 legislation seeks to connect job creators and educators to ensure alignment between the skills being taught in the classroom and the skills required for the workplace," said Balderson. "Economic development leaders and education officials will be charged with crafting meaningful career service opportunities based on regional workforce needs, such as the oil and gas industry here in southeastern Ohio." 

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.

A significant gap exists between the number of workers expected to hold degrees and certifications and the estimated labor force demands over the next ten years. The bill seeks to narrow this gap by strengthening the connection between the state's business and education communities. 

Senate Bill 3 will now be referred to the House for further consideration.
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