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Kasich Budget Would Cut Back State-Funded College Internship Program

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Monday, February 25, 2013 at 2:03 PM

Last year, the Ohio Board of Regents announced $11 million in funding for a program to provide internships for Ohio college students:

The investment is part of Governor John Kasich’s workforce development efforts to continue to align Ohio’s higher education curriculum with skills that are in demand by Ohio’s businesses.

Next year, Kasich's proposed budget would start significant cuts to the state funding for the internship program. Administration officials say they hope private businesses and colleges and universities will make up some of the proposed funding cuts.

Gongwer News Service reports:

The higher education budget proposal would reduce by more than 80% over the biennium the funding to a program that allows students to work in their field while in school, which university presidents say is counterintuitive given the state's focus on workforce development.

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The internship program got a boost this year with a one-time infusion of casino licensing fee money, Gongwer reports.

The program awarded $11 million to universities around the state. The work it funded included:

  • Internships for Bowling Green State University computer science students at local small businesses;
  • Aerospace internships for Wright State University students as well as other changes at the school to better align students with jobs; and
  • Internships in high-tech manufacturing for Youngstown State University students in Appalachia and elsewhere.

The internship program received a total of $12 million for 2013. Under Kasich's budget, it would receive $8 million next year and $2 million the following year.

Gongwer reports:

Board of Regents staff recently told the House Finance & Appropriations Committee the plan for future funding of the program was for it to receive contributions from business partners and the colleges and universities. The program is in its early stages, however, having just awarded the first round of funding, so it is too early to tell whether the shift in funding support is happening as expected.

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