Gov. John Kasich says job training programs will be his seminal issue of 2012.
But as Ohio continues to push for new jobs and retaining the ones it has, a problem has emerged. Employers say Ohio has too few skilled workers, which in turn makes companies leery about moving their business here from outside the state.
The governor doesn’t dispute that notion completely, but asserts that Ohio is trying.
Ohio currently has 77 workforce job training programs across 13 state agencies, Kasich said Jan. 10, 2012, in a boardroom interview with editors at The Plain Dealer. Kasich views that as a weak spot in the state’s economic development plans and wants to reorganize the programs.
Politifact Ohio double-checked to see if the governor had his figures correct.
According to the state, to be defined as a state workforce training program the service has to:
- Receive state and/or federal resources to operate;
- Help people identify, prepare or attain employment or assist and employer with training or retaining its workforce; and
- Not be a program used by a state agency to train its own staff.
By that criteria, the state has exactly 77 workforce training programs, according to the Ohio Department of Development.
The programs are spread across 13 state entities:
Board or Regents Department of Aging
Department of Alcohol and Addictive Services Department of Commerce
Department of Development Department of Education
Department of Health Department of Jobs and Family Services
Department of Rehabilitation and Correction Rehabilitative Services Commission
Department of Transportation Department of Veteran Services
Department of Youth Services
Some, for example, at the Board of Regents, are college scholarship programs but are considered workforce development because they assist students with pursuing education degrees in certain high need fields, like nursing, science or math.
To put the governor’s thoughts in sharper focus, while Ohio has a wealth of workforce training programs, Kasich doesn’t think much of the state’s efforts or efficiency in linking participants in these programs to actual jobs.
"If you have 77 and 13 it means you have zero. That’s how I add that up," Kasich told The Plain Dealer. "Nobody knows what anyone’s doing."
The point the governor is arguing is that the state does not have a strategic plan for how to address workforce training, instead it has a bunch of individual programs working in isolation. The administration is working to change that approach.
Our point here is not to argue which job training approach is best, but rather to check the governor’s claim that there are 77 programs spread through 13 agencies.
On the Truth-O-Meter, we rate the governor’s comment as True.