As Part of His JOBS Act and Workforce Tour, Portman Delivers Remarks at the Investiture Ceremony of the Central Ohio Technical College’s Second President

April 26, 2019 | Press Releases

NEWARK, OH – Today, U.S. Senator Rob Portman (R-OH) continued his JOBS Act and Workforce Tour by delivering remarks at Central Ohio Technical College’s Investiture Ceremony for President Dr. John Berry.


“I want to congratulate Dr. Berry on this special day for him and the entire COTC family.  I was honored to participate in the ceremony welcoming him back to COTC to serve as its second president.  He has the right experience in higher education, whether it’s in Career and Technical Education or the community college system, for this role,” said Portman.  “There are exciting things happening here at COTC.  The planned John and Mary Alford Center for Science and Technology will allow COTC and Ohio State Newark to expand their academic programming and offer more majors, which will help meet the needs of today’s workforce.  That’s more important today than ever before.


“Career and technical schools like COTC are incredibly important because we have a shortage of skilled workers,” Portman continued.  “I recently introduced legislation called the JOBS Act to help close the skills gap and make students in shorter-term CTE programs eligible for federal Pell Grants, which are currently reserved only for students in traditional college programs.  This bill will benefit the students here at COTC who are using these shorter-term programs to put them on the right path to a good-paying job.  The JOBS Act is one of my top legislative priorities for this year.  I’m pleased to say it was included in the President’s FY 2020 budget request and I will work hard to ensure that we enact this legislation as part of the Higher Education bill this year.” 


NOTE: Ohio and our nation are seeing economic growth, new job creation, and rising wages for the first time in nearly a generation. However, employers are saying they can’t find workers with the skills to fill the available jobs.  Portman has taken the lead to address this skills gap by authoring the JOBS Act. In addition, his Second Chance Act is working to help people exiting the prison system rebuild their lives by getting the mental health treatment and skills training they need to reenter the workforce.  Finally, Portman has also led the effort to combat the drug crisis hitting our state, helping those battling addiction get the treatment needed to return to the workforce. 


As co-chair of the Senate Career and Technical Education Caucus, Portman has led efforts in the Senate to strengthen CTE programs and help Ohioans find meaningful employment. Recently, Portman and Senator Tim Kaine (D-VA) introduced the bipartisan JOBS Act, which would expand Pell Grant eligibility to cover high-quality and rigorous short-term job training programs so workers can afford the skills training and credentials they need for today’s job market. President Trump included the JOBS Act in his FY 2020 budget request and Rob is working to include this measure in broader legislation to reauthorize the Higher Education Act this year. 


So far on his JOBS Act and Workforce Development Tour, Portman has visited Warren Fabricating and Machining in Trumbull County, Stark State’s Akron Campus in Summit County, Staub Manufacturing in Montgomery County, Rhinestahl Advanced Manufacturing in Warren County, a Department of Justice Reentry Conference in Franklin County, and a Drug Addiction and Workforce Roundtable in Knox County, Venture Products in Wayne County, and Eastern Ohio Development Alliance’s Annual Meeting in Holmes County.  


Photos from the event are below: