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June 2, 2020

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For a moment this morning, Bluffton was the center of Ohio

State officials sign House Bill 2 at GROB Systems

For a moment this morning, Bluffton was the center of Ohio, as state government leaders held a bill-sign event here.

Attending a signing ceremony for Ohio House Bill 2, held at GROB Systems, were Gov. Mike DeWine, Lt. Gov. Jon Husted, Ohio Senate President Larry Obhof, and Jon Cross, of the 83rd district, a primary sponsor of the bill.

The event was witnessed by about 60 persons including area elected officials, the media and GROB associates.

House Bill 2 codifies the TechCred and Industry Sector Partnerships programs and creates the Individual Microcredential Assistance Program in Ohio.

Click here for a video explaing TechCred.
Click here to read the 21-page House Bill 2.

Opening remarks from Grob CEO
Michael Hutecker, CEO of Grob Systems, welcomed the officials, saying, “The products that we build at Grob are highly technical and are an example of how complex products in the future will be.

“In order for us to continue being a world leader in high technology, we must have a highly skilled workforce.

“Grob has always had a very strong apprenticeship program, which has been an integral part of our success.

“The cost of having such an apprenticeship program is very high, but our company would not be successful today without one.

“By creating a partnership between the government and the industry, we have a strong base to develop an excellent workforce, which will allow our country and companies as Grob, to succeed in the world market in the future.

Remarks from Gov. DeWine
“No matter where we go in Ohio, we hear from businesses that can’t find people for the positions that need to be filled. 

To help remedy the shortage, our budget set aside $15 million a year for a workforce credentialing program. 

“Today, we are connecting business with the talent they need and giving employees the ability to earn industry-recognized, technology-focused credentials through the “TechCred” program launched in September. 

“Bluffton’s GROB Systems has 15 apprentices participating in the program in partnership with Rhodes State College. 

“It codifies TechCred, and codifies and creates two related programs: the individual micro credential assistance program and the industry sector partnerships program. 

Today, I will sign House Bill 2, sponsored by Representative Cross of Kenton, who is here today, and Representative Michele Lepore-Hagen of Youngstown.

Lt. Governor Husted
Lt. Governor Husted told the Bluffton audience that the next online application period for TechCred will be open throughout the month of January. 

TechCred connects businesses with the talent they need and gives employees the ability to earn industry-recognized, technology-focused credentials, better preparing them for a job in today’s advanced, technology-infused economy.

“TechCred’s first application period demonstrated the value Ohio businesses see in upskilling their existing workforce,” said Lt. Governor Husted. 

“Based on feedback we received from businesses, we expanded the credentials eligible for funding, and I encourage Ohio employers to connect with us and learn more through TechCred.Ohio.Gov.”

TechCred allows businesses to identify the specific qualifications they need and employees they want to upskill toward a more advanced position. 

Then, in partnership with a training provider, the employer can apply online at TechCred.Ohio.gov and the state will reimburse up to $2,000 of training upon completion of a credential.

“Businesses are looking for workers with the skills needed to compete in the global marketplace,” said Ohio Economic Development Director Lydia Mihalik, who also attend the signing at Bluffton.

“TechCred will help upskill workers with up-to-date credentials to advance their careers.”

Following the first round of TechCred, applications were approved for 234 Ohio employers, resulting in 1,576 credentials that will help upskill Ohio workers. Over 200 additional technology-focused credentials were also approved for inclusion and potential funding through the TechCred program, as requested by Ohio businesses.

Businesses wishing to apply can visit TechCred.Ohio.Gov.