April 12, 2013

Portman Co-Hosts Ohio Jobs and Workforce Development Summit

Announces CAREER Act Will be Reintroduced in Senate Next Week

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senator Rob Portman (R-Ohio) co-hosted a statewide Ohio Jobs and Workforce Development Summit.  The Summit brought together over 300 educators, employers, and other stakeholders from over 80 counties across the state to discuss collaboration on best practices on workforce development issues.  Panelists who participated in the Summit represent over 200,000 employees in Ohio. 

“Today’s Summit brings together Ohio businesses and educators from over 80 counties across the state to learn more about ways to address our workforce challenges,” Portman said. “We have a real opportunity to address the skills gap and highlight Ohio’s unique potential to lead in workforce development, and to train our workers for the job opportunities of the 21st century.”

Portman introduced the Careers through Responsive, Efficient, and Effective Retraining (CAREER) Act last Congress to make federal job training programs more responsive to the needs of the 21st-century job market.  During panel remarks at the Summit, Portman announced the CAREER Act will be reintroduced next week.

“The CAREER Act is perfect for us at the Cincinnati State University. It's great for us at the community college level,” said panelist Dr. O’dell Owens, President of Cincinnati State Technical and Community College. “We are training people with the credentials and skills that are needed in our region.”

“What community colleges and tech schools do well is react to the reality on the ground. What I like about the CAREER Act is that it helps clean up the federal system so that more money comes back to these folks in the state,” said Tim Timken, Chairman of the Timken Company, who also participated in the panel discussion.

Dr. O’dell Owens and Tim Timken were joined on the panel by Scott Rotruck, Vice President of Corporate Development and State Government Relations for Chesapeake Energy Corporation, who oversees the company’s Ohio operations; Thomas F. Zenty III, President & CEO of University Hospitals; Judy Wells, Superintendent of the Apollo Career Center in Lima; and Amar Naga, Director of North America Delivery Centers for Tata Consultancy Services.

Sue Suver, Vice President of Human Resources at U.S. Steel Corporation and Chair of HR Policy Association's Workforce Development Public Policy Committee, was the luncheon keynote speaker and said, “We are glad that Senator Portman is taking the CAREER Act back to Washington, and we at U.S. Steel and at HR Policy Association want to partner in that effort.”

The Ohio Jobs and Workforce Development Summit is co-hosted by U.S. Senator Rob Portman, U.S. Steel Corporation, Nationwide Insurance, Huntington Bank, The Ohio Manufacturers’ Association, Ohio Association for Career and Technical Education, HR Policy Association, Ohio Association of Community Colleges, Bio Ohio, Worthington Industries, EWI, Inter-University Council of Ohio, and the Association of Independent Colleges and Universities of Ohio. The event also featured remarks from Tracy Intihar, Executive Director for the Office of Workforce Transformation.  In the afternoon, over 90 business and educational leaders from across Ohio participated in breakout sessions to provide companies with best practices from successful case studies of partnerships in order to help them train and hire skilled workers.