• Hearings Continue For Workforce Development Loan Fund
  • April 1, 2013
  • Law Firm: McDonald Hopkins LLC - Cleveland Office
  • The Senate Workforce and Economic Development Committee continued hearings this week on Senate Bill 1, legislation to create the OhioMeansJobs Workforce Development Revolving Loan Fund. The program would award funds to specified educational institutions that would in turn award loans to participants in workforce training programs. The bill appropriates $25 million from casino licensing fees for the program.

    Senators Bill Beagle (R- Tipp City) and Troy Balderson (R- Zanesville) said although a fair number of training programs are currently available in the state, most are federally funded and have restrictions. The goal is for these dollars to flow to in-demand jobs rather than earmarking the funds for specific industries.

    Under the bill, the Development Services Agency would be responsible for awarding funds to qualifying institutions. Students would apply for loans of up to $10,000 through the institution to finance the cost of a training program. The bill requires preference be given to schools that partner with businesses that commit to paying back all or part of the students' loans, or who have provided funding to establish and operate the training program itself.

    “As a business organization, we are in support of programs that are focused on quality, success and businesses having some skin in the game,” said Dan Navin in written testimony on behalf of the Ohio Chamber of Commerce.

    The following institutions would qualify for participation: state institutions of higher education, private career schools, private for profit institutions, private universities, career-technical centers, and joint vocational school districts.