Central Ohio's economy has rebounded from the Great Recession, but there are still too many unemployed workers. Paradoxically, there are also thousands of jobs unfilled. That's where Columbus State comes in.
We're working with our industry partners to identify "skills gaps" in the workforce and tailor our academic programs to fit them. And we're taking a holistic approach to "career pathways," determining individual paths from training to a job.
We've created new programs and changed others in response to industry feedback. A few samples:
- Logistics: We created the LogisticsArt program, a three-week program to train entry-level logistics workers. Some 1,463 Central Ohioans went through the program, which had a job placement rate of nearly 80 percent.
- IT: IT workers are always in high demand. We've tailored our IT programs to both entry-level programmers and experienced code jockeys looking to upgrade their skills. And we're training hundreds of network and security engineers, two of the state's fastest-growing careers.
- Health Information: With new federal mandates, doctors and health providers are making the transition from paper-and-fax to digital records. Our Health Information Management grads are leading the charge, and a grant-funded program trained hundreds of federally-certified health information professionals. Those health IT certificates are now part of our regular academic programs.
- Advanced Manufacturing: The days of dropping out of high school to work in a factory are long gone: today's manufacturing jobs require advanced knowledge of materials and computerized equipment. Our students get cutting edge skills through our Engineering Technologies department and train on industry-standard machines in our Integrated Systems Technology lab.
- Insurance: Columbus is an insurance hub, and we've entered a partnership with local insurance companies to ensure a steady pipeline of new workers. We're looking not only at insurance agents and claims adjusters, but also investigators, actuaries, customer service reps and IT specialists. This partnership kicks off in Fall 2013 when we offer a Principles of Insurance certificate for the first time.
Our workforce programs include not only two-year associate degrees, but also short-term certificates to get people job-ready skills quickly. These programs give workers the skills to get a job, and employers the confidence to grow in Central Ohio. Businesses can't expand if they can't find good people.
We're developing our Workforce Plan through a comprehensive Strategic Planning process. With the help of a consulting firm, we queried business, leaders, community leaders, faculty, staff, students and alumni.