Stark State College: Low-cost or no-cost education is key to rewarding in-demand job

At the April meeting of the Governor’s Executive Workforce Board, Gov. Mike DeWine and Lt. Gov. Jon A. Husted challenged us to extend In-Demand Jobs Week (running through Friday) to In-Demand Jobs Year.

Why? Husted said there are 180,773 open jobs in Ohio, and 92,886 of those jobs pay $50,000 or more per year. Ohio Means Jobs (OMJ) lists more than 15,000 open jobs in Summit and Medina counties.

The Governor’s Executive Workforce Board is comprised of innovative business, education and workforce leaders who are focused on in-demand, quality wage jobs that empower Ohioans and give our state a strategic economic advantage.

That focus is shared by Stark State College and other Akron/Summit County workforce partners, including employers/companies; educators; OMJ; federal, state and local funders; ConxusNEO, Summit County’s workforce development agency; other workforce agencies; and community and social service agencies. Our priorities include increasing enrollment in programs that lead to in-demand careers; retraining and upskilling incumbent workers; and educating and training disconnected and/or new workers.

Across Ohio and here in Summit County, we are working to fill in-demand jobs with quality, low- or no-cost education and training programs for people of all ages. Employers are working with schools, community colleges, universities and workforce organizations to attract, retain, develop and advance employees.

OMJ Summit/Medina has funds available now, both for individuals seeking short-term credentials for employment, and companies/employers seeking to provide education and training to incumbent workers. For more information, call Marisa Rohn at Stark State College, 330-494-6170, Ext. 4275.

Husted urges Ohioans of all ages to gain skills, credentials, certificates and degrees for better jobs and more prosperous futures by:

• Earning a debt-free college credential, certificate or degree. You can begin and complete college debt-free through Learn to Earn programs. Earn an industry-recognized credential and a pathway to a rewarding career, work and continue your education (maybe with tuition reimbursement from your employer). Learn to Earn is a smart, debt-free pathway to education and career advancement.

Earning college credit while in high school with College Credit Plus (CCP). In the 2019-20 academic year, CCP students in Ohio earned 969 certificates and 2,666 associate’s degrees while they were still in high school, at no cost.

• Graduating from high school career-ready with an industry-recognized credential. With an industry-recognized credential, students can work in good-paying jobs while attending college.

• Starting at a community college, and easily turning a two-year degree into a bachelor’s degree. During the 2020-21 academic year, tuition at an Ohio community college (including Stark State) was around $5,000, which makes community colleges free for students who qualify for a full Pell grant. Stark State student Victoria Metheny shares her debt-free college pathway with Lt. Gov. Husted at

• Earning credentials or a degree while you work. Thanks to programs like TechCred (, employers can help employees gain skills, credentials and degrees. Take advantage of the many opportunities to learn and earn, connect to education and employment and create a better future.

Whether you are a 2021 high school graduate, working, unemployed and/or seeking career advancement, Stark State and our Akron/Summit County workforce partners can help. Contact us today at and let us know how we can work for you.

Stark State College President Para M. Jones serves on the Governor’s Executive Workforce Board and is a member of ConxusNEO’s Board and the Elevate Greater Akron Steering Committee. Jackson Township-based Stark State has an Akron campus and satellite locations in Barberton and Canton.

Read original release here.

Jones, Para M. (2021, May 6) Stark State College: Low-cost or no-cost education is key to rewarding in-demand job. Akron Beacon Journal/  Retrieved from