Other states have reaped dividends from internship-co-op programs, linking college students with businesses to keep talent close to home. Now Ohio has taken a key step toward having such a program of its own.
On Thursday, the Board of Regents unveiled how $11 million would be routed to Ohio colleges and universities, including Kent State University and the University of Akron. Remaining is final approval from the State Controlling Board in January. The money will set in motion as many as 3,500 internships and co-ops, involving 1,500 businesses. The participating businesses can be found at www.ohiohighered.org/omic/employer-partnerships.
Such companies as Honda, Procter & Gamble and FirstEnergy will put up matching money. All of this is part of an effort, pushed by Gov. John Kasich, to develop a stronger work force. It seeks to slow the “brain drain,” too many talented young people leaving to fulfill their promise elsewhere. The thinking is: Build early ties to local companies, and productive relationships will blossom.
Know that Ted Strickland and Jon Husted originally advocated the idea. They had in mind a much larger sum to make the desired impact. It may make sense to test the concept now. Still, Ohio should be prepared to ramp up. Other states already have taken the lead.