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Ohio Association for Career and Technical Education

Career TEchnical AND Adult Education News

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  • January 24, 2024 1:11 PM | Anonymous

    CLICK here to learn more about the Dr. G. James Pinchak Memorial Scholarship.

    CLICK here to go directly to the application

  • December 21, 2023 2:44 PM | Anonymous

    Braydon Steele, a Pickaway-Ross student on job placement at the MHC RoadReady Center, is able to earn school credits, a paycheck and experience in his field while working.

    Shelby Reeves | Chillicothe Gazette

    CHILLICOTHE— Getting a job in high school is not out of the ordinary for many students. The students at Pickaway-Ross Career & Technology Center, however, are often not only getting jobs but being actively recruited by businesses.

    Job placement coordinators Allen Koker and Jeff Metzler said the school holds a job fair during the spring of a student's junior year where businesses can come and hire students to work during the summer and the following school year. These fairs have grown over the years to include more and more businesses looking for workers.

    "Employers seek us," said Koker.

    As a senior at Pickaway-Ross job placement is a voluntary program where eligible seniors can work full-time or part-time in their field to earn money and school credit. To be eligible a student must be on track to graduate and receive permission from the school and employer. Students must also turn in their pay stubs to prove they are working.

    So far this year Pickaway-Ross has almost 100 students out on job placement. This number could continue to grow as the coordinators say they often get reached out to by businesses to see if any students are available. Students make anywhere from $10.50 an hour to $25 an hour depending on their field of study.

    Last year 226 students set a school record by earning $2.1 million on job placement by working over 121,000 hours.

    While students are getting paid and earning high school credits several also earn the extra benefit of being a part of a union and counting their time towards their apprenticeship. This can help students get a head start in their careers.

    Jason Vesey, director of secondary education, said job placement is a big reason why many students choose to come to Pickaway-Ross. He said it not only helps them learn their chosen career but also gives them more opportunities than what they would regularly have at that stage in life.

    Braydon Steele, a current Pickaway-Ross outdoor power student, is on job placement at the MHC RoadReady Center. As a technician, he works with his partner to make new semi trucks and customize them with decals, equipment and technology that specific companies want.

    By working second shift Steele earns his regular pay plus a shift differential that earns him a total of over $24 per hour. At only 17 years old Steele said it feels nice to be making so much money. While on job placement he has also been able to learn a lot more about his career and the little details of all the trucks.

    Joey Mendel, general manager of the center, said he enjoys having students coming in working at the center as it offers them a career path, not just a job. With competitive wages and benefits many technicians that start working thanks to job placement end up staying in the facility. Currently, nine of the 72 technicians are students on job placement.

    "We've had a lot of success working with the school," said Mendel.

    Shelby Reeves is a reporter for the Chillicothe Gazette. You can email her at or follow her on Twitter@Shelby_Reeves_

  • December 21, 2023 2:21 PM | Anonymous

    Ohio's recently revamped education department has a new director

    By Associated Press | Dec. 6, 2023

    COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Ohio's recently revamped education department has a new director, approved by the Republican-majority Senate on Wednesday.

    Steve Dackin, who will head the new Department of Education and Workforce, was already appointed by Republican Gov. Mike DeWine earlier this month, but required the final go-ahead from upper chamber lawmakers.

    Dackin said in an emailed statement to The Associated Press that he was both honored and excited to lead the department, adding that with the governor, they "have a significant opportunity to shape the outcome for Ohio’s students and families, the future workforce and, ultimately, the success of our state and its residents.”

    Dackin attended the University of Dayton and has a master's degree in education administration. He is a former teacher, principal, Reynoldsburg school superintendent, superintendent of school and community partnerships for Columbus State Community College and vice president for the State Board of Education.

    He's also the former state superintendent of public instruction, a role that headed the previous Ohio Department of Education. However, he resigned 11 days into the job following the launch of an ethics investigation into his professional conduct.

    The Ohio Ethics Commission investigated Dackin for ethics violations after his resignation as the vice president of the state board. He then applied for the state superintendent position. Dackin had been in charge of the search committee looking for a new superintendent, then resigned from the board and applied for the job himself.

    Dackin reached a settlement with the ethics commission, did not take pay for the 11 days he was in office and participated in ethics training.

    The new director's confirmation comes in the midst of a lawsuit claiming the overhaul of the education department, passed earlier this summer through the state's budget, is unconstitutional, and asked for an injunction to stop the new department from going into effect.

    The injunction was ultimately denied, but the lawsuit is still making its way through the Franklin County Common Pleas Court.


    Samantha Hendrickson is a corps member for the Associated Press/Report for America Statehouse News Initiative. Report for America is a nonprofit national service program that places journalists in local newsrooms to report on undercovered issues.

    Copyright 2023 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

  • November 18, 2023 10:45 AM | Anonymous

    Deadline December 8, 2023

    Ohio ACTE is once again working with the Ohio Department of Education and Workforce, Office of CTE to identify five outstanding career-technical senior (Class of 2024) students to be recognized as part of the US Department of Education  National Presidential Scholars Program. This is the ninth year that career technical students will be represented among the US Presidential Scholars. Out of all the applicants nationwide, 20 CTE students will be recognized.  Each state may submit up to five scholars.

    CLICK HERE to access the application and criteria

    The U.S. Presidential Scholars Program was established in 1964, by executive order of the President, to recognize and honor some of our nation's most distinguished graduating high school seniors. In 1979, the program was extended to recognize students who demonstrate exceptional talent in the visual, creative and performing arts. In 2015, the program was again extended to recognize students who demonstrate ability and accomplishment in career and technical education fields. Each year, up to 161 students are named as Presidential Scholars, one of the nation's highest honors for high school students.

    Click HERE to learn more about the program

  • November 18, 2023 10:22 AM | Anonymous

    The revitalized Academics and Instruction Division is eager to hear from you! Your input is invaluable as we strive to enhance and shape the only statewide group dedicated to CTE academics and instruction. We invite you to share your thoughts and experiences by participating in our survey using the link below. Your feedback will play a crucial role in guiding our initiatives and ensuring that we meet the diverse needs of our community. Thank you for taking the time to contribute to the ongoing improvement of our academic endeavors.

    Survey Link

  • November 18, 2023 10:13 AM | Anonymous

    Ohio schools and associations issued support for the Career Technical Construction Program after awards were announced last week by Ohio Governor Mike DeWine and Lt. Governor Jon Husted.

    35 Ohio schools were awarded almost $200 million to help expand education and training facilities to serve more students. At the event, they also announced the launch of the new application period for the Career Technical Education Equipment Grant Program, which opened Friday and closes on December 15th. School districts can learn more and apply at

    What They're Saying

    "This announcement not only underscores our unwavering commitment to the future of Ohio's students but also highlights a transparent and meticulous selection process, ensuring that every dollar is geared towards genuine impact. We celebrate the grant awardees and trust in the thoroughness of the selection, confident that these investments will drive transformative results for our state and its bright, upcoming generation."
    -Dee Smith, Executive Director of the Ohio Association of Career Technical Education

    “The Ohio Association of Comprehensive and Compact Career Tech Schools is grateful for Governor DeWine and Lieutenant Governor Husted’s commitment to growing workforce development and career technical education across the state. The $200 million dollars allocated for our career technical education facilities in the state’s budget will support continued opportunity to educate the future of Ohio’s workforce.  We are additionally grateful for Governor DeWine and Lieutenant Governor Husted choosing to announce the allocation of these dollars at an Ohio CCS member school.”
    -Anthony Battaglia, Board President of Ohio CCS

    "Ohio's career technical schools, superintendents and directors are extremely appreciative of the support Governor DeWine, Lt Governor Husted and members of the Ohio General Assembly have consistently provided to our community, including through their recently proposed expansion of career technical programs statewide.  The state operating budget’s $300M allocation toward new and updated career technical labs and equipment is significant and will produce meaningful growth in our sector. The historic investment recognizes the importance of career-tech in this pivotal economic time, and helps our leaders continue to leverage CTE programming as a bridge between education and the workforce. These funds will ensure that Ohio is not only equipping students with the tools to succeed, but also meeting our evolving workforce needs.  The new labs are an investment in the future of our economy; they will be incubators of innovation, where students can explore their passions, develop their talents, and gain the skills needed to pursue meaningful careers. The funds ensure that Ohio continues to produce a skilled workforce ready to tackle the challenges of tomorrow. It’s a win-win situation that benefits students, industries, and society as a whole. We can’t thank our Governor, Lt. Governor, and legislative champions enough!"
    -Margaret Hess, Executive Director of the Ohio Association of Career Technical Superintendents

    “Thanks largely to the leadership of Gov. Mike DeWine and Lt. Gov. Jon Husted, Ohio has become a national leader in modernizing manufacturing workforce development. The OMA was proud to work with the DeWine-Husted administration and Statehouse leaders to ensure adequate funding to enhance Ohio’s career-tech education and equipment. Ohio communities are counting on the continued success of manufacturers to grow local economies and career opportunities – and today’s announcement will help us do just that.” -Ryan Augsburger, President of the Ohio Manufacturers' Association

    “Workforce development continues to be the leading issue for Dayton area employers and we aren’t going to solve the problem without continued public-private investments. Workforce investments today will support jobs and our economy tomorrow.”
    -Chris Kershner, President & CEO of the Dayton Area Chamber of Commerce

    "We appreciate the support from Governor DeWine and Lt Gov Husted to expand opportunities in career technical education at A-Tech for students in Ashtabula County. This funding will enable more students to gain meaningful experiences in our Public Safety Academy, helping them succeed as individuals, and build a stronger workforce for our local community and help Ohio's economy thrive."
    -Scott Wludyga, Superintendent of Ashtabula County Technical & Career Campus

    "On behalf of all of us at Canton Local Schools and The South Stark Career Academy, we are extremely grateful to Governor DeWine and Lieutenant Governor Husted for the funding that has been provided to us for the expansion of our Career Technical Education (CTE) programming. This funding will enable us to add a Heating, Ventilation, and Air-Conditioning (HVAC) program to our CTE offerings, which is a significant step towards meeting the demands of our students and community. Currently, we have approximately 100 students each year on a waiting list, unable to gain access to our popular Trade and Industry programs. Adding the HVAC program will increase capacity and allow us to serve up to 50 additional students each year, an opportunity that would be impossible without this funding. We are thrilled to expand opportunities for our students to acquire valuable skills that will make them immediately employable at a living wage upon graduating from high school."
    -Brett Yeagley, Superintendent of Canton Local Schools

    “The ability to offer additional in-demand training in state of the art facilities to the students of Lake and Geauga Counties will positively impact our communities for years to come. A huge ‘Thank You!’ to the DeWine-Husted Administration for their workforce vision and leadership and to our legislators for supporting Career and Technical Education. We sincerely appreciate the trust you have in us to deliver on this important work for our region and for Ohio”
    -Brian Bontempo, Superintendent of Auburn Career Center

    "The grant funds will significantly benefit Butler Tech students by offering increased opportunities, resources, and support for success in high-demand healthcare pathways. This expansion project directly addresses the growing community need, as a steady increase in student applications necessitates increased capacity to provide quality career education for aspiring healthcare workers. Plus, through partnerships with local hospitals and higher education institutions, the expansion project will provide a high-quality space for students to earn in-demand credentials to become healthcare professionals."
    -Jon Graft, Superintendent of Butler Tech

    "The commitment to Workforce Development by Governor Mike DeWine and Lieutenant Governor Jon Husted has cemented Ohio's status as a destination for employers. This Construction Grant will allow Career Centers, Comprehensives, and Compacts to increase their capabilities in preparing our youths for the careers needed to entice employers. At Buckeye Career Center, the addition of a Medical Facility will help us train more health care workers to meet the needs of our area. This Construction Grant will impact students across our state for generations to come. Thank you to Governor DeWine and Lieutenant Governor Husted for your continued support of Career Technical Education in Ohio!"
    -Bob Alsept, Superintendent of Buckeye Career Center

    "We are thrilled to be a recipient of the expansion dollars. This will help provide career tech education in manufacturing and expand our engineering and robotics lab. Both fields are begging for more workforce and we will have opportunities for more students to be exposed and receive authentic learning experiences in these fields. We are looking forward to collaborating with the business and industries in our region to build the next generation of workforce!"
    -Andy Hatton, Superintendent of Findlay City Schools

    "Being a recipient of the Career Technical Construction Program Grant will allow Upper Valley Career Center to expand capacity in the in-demand pathways of Health Care, First Responders, Carpentry, Electrical, Building Maintenance and Robotics and Automation to help meet our ever increasing regional workforce needs. Upper Valley Career Center has reached capacity and has exhausted options for any additional on-campus programming in our current facility."
    -Jason Haak, Superintendent/CEO of Upper Valley Career Center

    "On behalf of Oregon City Schools and Clay High School, we are so blessed to be selected as one of the Career Technical Education grant award winners. This funding will provide a unique upgrade in facilities for our Agricultural and Environmental Technologies program by providing a new greenhouse and animal housing facility. Over the past several years, our Ag program has doubled in size serving over 100 students. By expanding facilities, we are able to prepare students for careers, in this often underserved industry, using new technology with appropriate space. This grant is a game changer for our program and will allow us to expand learning opportunities for students into the future. Thank you Governor DeWine and Lt. Governor Husted for your leadership."
    -Hal Gregory, Superintendent of Oregon City Schools

    "The DeWine-Husted Administration's steadfast support for career tech expansion has directly paved the way for increased enrollment opportunities at the Mahoning County Career and Technical Center. This generous Career Technical Construction Grant opportunity not only strengthens our current support of local employers but also ensures that a greater number of students can access these invaluable programs. We can now offer a broader range of cutting-edge training programs, bridging the gap between students' aspirations and employers' needs, ultimately fostering a stronger, more prosperous community for all."
    -John Zehentbauer, Superintendent of Mahoning County Career & Technical Center

    "The Westshore Career-Technical District housed at Lakewood City Schools comprises Bay Village Schools, Lakewood City Schools, Rocky River City Schools, and Westlake City Schools. We are delighted to hear that we have received the grant funds for two new exciting programs. Advancing educational and career opportunities for our students is our mission. The Westshore Career-Technical District will be able to expand its offerings by adding Welding and MEMS. Each of these additions accelerates our student's abilities to gain employment in high-demand jobs when they graduate."
    -Maggie Niezwiecki, Superintendent of Lakewood City Schools

    "In recent years awareness about the opportunities provided to students through career-technical education has led to a dramatic increase in application numbers, enrollment, and program demand. Business partners are feeling the immediate impact of a career-technical education by way of our students and graduates and the skills they are able to provide.  Students and their families are experiencing the benefits of a career-technical education through their academic, professional, and personal pursuits. These funds will support Eastland-Fairfield in its mission to serve more students and families in the central Ohio region, as well as support our communities’ local economic needs through skilled workforce growth. Thank you for your investment in our career centers, our students, and thus, the current and future workforce of Central Ohio."
    -Shelley K. Groves, Superintendent/CEO of Eastland-Fairfield Career & Technical Schools 

    “As a school superintendent in a rural community, I have witnessed the unique challenges our students face when it comes to accessing quality educational opportunities and preparing for future careers. The Career Technical Construction Grant offers a promising solution to address these challenges. This grant will enable us to create state-of-the-art facilities that will provide our students with hands-on training in technical skills. By investing in our students' education and career development, we are not only preparing them for success in the workforce but also contributing to the economic growth of our community. The benefits of this grant extend beyond the classroom. We are helping to meet the growing demand for skilled labor in our region. This grant will enable us to make a lasting and positive impact on the lives of our students and the growth of our community. Together, we can create a brighter future for Coshocton County.”
    -Matt Colvin, Superintendent of Coshocton County Career Center

    "The Award-Winning Buckeye Hills Career Center is honored to have been considered to receive this grant. This opportunity will allow our district, located in Southeast Ohio and serves Gallia, Jackson, and Vinton counties, to expand our operations in the following in-demand career fields: electrical trades, broadband, telecommunications, power lineman, and heavy equipment. We will build a brand-new training complex to house these workforce pathways, which serve high school and adult students. We want to thank Governor Mike DeWine and Lt. Governor Jon Husted for their vision, leadership, and support of our Career Technical Planning Districts, including our Ohio Technical Centers. In addition, we want to thank our legislators for their hard work through this biennium budget and their continual support of career technical education. In Ohio, career centers work hard, think big, and find a way. Because in CAREER TECH...It’s what we do." -Jamie Nash, Superintendent of Buckeye Hills Career Center

    “We are incredibly grateful for the facility funding support provided by Governor DeWine, Lt. Governor Husted, and the Legislature to increase our positive impact on students, families, businesses, and the communities in our region. This funding will not only allow us to add substantial square footage to grow our already successful commercial carpentry programs, but also open much needed space to grow current in-demand programs like electrical, robotics and manufacturing, and the space to consider new programs like HVAC, Plumbing, and/or Industrial Maintenance across both high school and our Ohio Technical Center. The space will allow us to serve more high school and adult learners, while at the same time update labs to meet the ever changing industry training needs encouraged by our partner businesses. It is an exciting time to be in Career and Technical Education in the State of Ohio!”
    -Jonathan Davis, Superintendent of Pickaway-Ross JVSD

    “In 12 years as a Career Technical Education leader, I have never experienced the level of support that this administration has consistently shown. Both Governor DeWine and Lt. Governor Husted have been vocal supporters of Career Technical Education, and they have actively advocated for the growth and expansion of CTE in Ohio. Both the Governor and the Lt. Governor have visited our Career Center on multiple occasions, and that level of commitment is definitely noticed throughout our community. We are blessed to have an administration that understands and supports Career Technical Education in Ohio.”
    -Kevin Kratzer, Superintendent of Southern Hills Career & Technical Center

    “We wish to express our profound gratitude to Governor Mike DeWine and the state legislature for their unwavering commitment to supporting CTE and Career Readiness. This funding will allow us to address the growing demand for skilled dental assistants in our region, expand our offerings to include a high school phlebotomy program, and renovate and expand our current welding lab, which will increase our enrollment capacity and provide the updated training to meet the ever-evolving demands of our local workforce.”
    -Kim Redmond, Superintendent of Portage Lakes Career Center

    "The funding from the Governor's Office will be groundbreaking for not only our students, but also our community. The Sandusky High School welding laboratory, which has not been updated since 1957, has only 8 functional welding stations with first-year classes of up to 20 students. The Governor's funding will allow us to renovate our laboratory with the same state-of-the-art equipment used by employers in our region's manufacturing industry which comprises 24% of the region's workforce. We will be able to train our students to fill the upcoming gaps in our workforce, as 25% percent of manufacturing employees in our region are 55 years of age or older. We are incredibly grateful and excited for this opportunity!"
    -Brandy Bennett, Career Technical Education Director & Assistant Principal at Sandusky High School

    "VSCTC has been providing quality education for decades, and we are very blessed with the support from our community and VSCTC continues to grow. However, as the program options have grown the demand has also increased. VSCTC, like many other Career Centers are facing significant challenges in meeting the student interest. VSCTC has reached and exceeded its maximum capacity in many programs and many students are either on a waiting list or in a another program that was not their first choice. The facility dollars allocated by Governor DeWine in this budget will allow us to expand and be able accommodate all students who apply to a program. These expansion dollars will give us the opportunity to move forward if we are fortunate enough to be one of the recipients. If the projects are funded VSCTC will be able to expand our resources, offer more programming for the students in our community to be highly trained and meet the workforce needs."
    -Greg Edinger, Superintendent of Vanguard-Sentinel Career & Technology Centers

    "We are very happy that the State of Ohio is providing grant funds for career-technical schools, like Penta Career Center. The awarding of this funding is a win for the career-technical institutions that are seeing an increased enrollment, to the students that will have new opportunities, and to our region and state that will benefit from a highly trained workforce. At Penta, we are expanding our programs and student access to high-quality career-technical training, and these funds will greatly help us with the construction of a new E-mobility lab space to train technicians for future regional and state-wide, in-demand needs."
    -Edward Ewers, Superintendent of Penta Career Center

    “This grant is not just a financial boost, it’s a game changer for our school and community. This funding will enable us to expand our offerings and enhance our facilities, thus serving more students and bolstering our local workforce. We will now be able to offer year-round driver training courses during evening hours, better meeting the demand for CDL drivers in our community, and will expand our fire and safety training capabilities to help fill the shortage of firefighters in our region. Thank you for your ongoing support and for believing in the power of CTE to transform lives.”
    -Rick Tuner, Superintendent of Vantage Career Center

    "The Wayne County Schools Career Center Administration and Board of Education would like to thank Governor DeWine, Lt. Governor Husted, and the Ohio legislators for their vision and continual support of career technical education, our students, communities, employers, and the state of Ohio. The funds provided through the budget will change lives and prepare students for great careers for up to 75 high school graduates each year. Their families, and future families, will also benefit from enabling our three programs with up-to-date technical preparation and thus enhancing our workforce! The labs and equipment will also enable afternoon and evening classes for adults in our community to help fill the needed positions we can’t possibly fill with high school graduates alone. Initiatives such as this ensure Ohio will be a shining star in the US economy for generations to come; the economic powerhouse of the Midwest with a workforce possessing the values, skills, and work ethic this nation was built on!"
    -Dr. Kip Crain, Superintendent of Wayne County Schools Career Center

    "Four County Career Center and the Northwest Ohio region extend our heartfelt gratitude for the generous CTE Funding that has been granted to our district. These funds will not only expand the horizons for students interested in welding and electrical fields but will also foster skill development and educational opportunities that promise to enrich and positively impact our communities."
    -Jeff Slattery, Superintendent of Four County Career Center

    “This has long been a dream for Career Tech. Students have responded in surveys for years that Welding is the program they would like to see added but the resources haven’t been available to make it happen. It’s exciting to finally give them this opportunity for a manufacturing career after high school, thanks to the Career Tech Construction Grant awarded to Hoover Career Tech and the Stark County Career Compact.”
    -Robert White, Associate Principal at Stark County Career Compact

    "The awarding of the Career Technical Construction Grant will fund additional laboratory space and modern equipment allowing Ohio’s Career Centers to accept an increased number of students. As stated by Rick Loconti, President of Tri County Electric, 'Northeast Ohio’s workforce and economy would benefit if capacity was increased to train more workers. Individuals, corporations, service organizations and governments would also benefit by having more available and reliable contractors to provide services at a lower cost.' This award will have a direct impact on creating stronger communities across Ohio." -David Mangas, Superintendent of Cuyahoga Valley Career Center

    "The ability to design, build, and open this new state of the art, 3.2 million dollar Culinary Arts program would not be possible without this funding from the state, spearheaded by the Governor’s office and supported by our dedicated legislators. We are most excited about the opportunity for 48 additional students from the Alliance, Marlington, and Salem school districts to develop their passions and attain technical skills and industry recognized credentials through this new workforce development program in the Culinary Arts. The graduates produced from this program will be able to supply our local communities with employees ready to directly enter the workforce at our local restaurants, wineries, colleges, hotels, country clubs, sports venues, and more!"
    -Beth Hirschman, Director of Career Programs at Alliance CSD CTPD

  • November 18, 2023 10:12 AM | Anonymous

    State budget funding meant to address capacity limits in career-technical education programs was awarded to 35 schools Friday, the DeWine administration announced.

    Under HB33 (Edwards), $200 million is available in FY24 for construction projects to support establishment or expansion of career-technical education programs, with priority given to programs aligned to a list of top jobs maintained by the Office of Workforce Transformation or that qualify for the Innovative Workforce Incentive Program. Friday’s announcement covers $199.8 million of the funding.

    Award amounts range from nearly $15 million for Four County Career Center in Northwest Ohio, for welding fabrication and electrical systems programs, to $1.6 million for Oregon City Schools for its agribusiness program.

    The full list of awards is at

    Gov. Mike DeWine and Lt. Gov. Jon Husted announced the awards Friday at an event in Kettering.

    “Ohio is on the rise. We have 54 companies coming to or expanding their operations into Ohio, creating thousands of jobs,” said DeWine in a statement. “We need all hands on deck to support this economic growth, and that’s why it’s vital that we help our career centers expand.”

    “With this announcement, not only are we creating more opportunities for all Ohio students to earn a career technical education, but we are also giving them more opportunities to be career-ready when they graduate,” said Husted. “Having access to high-quality equipment that Ohio businesses use will help students swiftly transition from classroom to workplace.”

    "This significant investment means more than just state-of-the-art facilities and cutting-edge equipment. It's an affirmation to every student, parent, teacher, and employer in Ohio that we believe in the potential and promise of CTE. Ohio is not just investing in facilities and equipment; we are investing in dreams, aspirations, and the very future of our state," said Dee Smith, Ohio Association of Career Technical Education executive director.

    The governor’s office also announced that Friday marks the opening of applications for a related budget program that will provide $50 million per fiscal year for equipment purchases to support new or expanded career-tech programs. Applications close Friday, Dec. 15.

    Applications for the equipment program grants are at

    Story originally published in The Hannah Report on November 3, 2023.  Copyright 2023 Hannah News Service, Inc.

  • November 18, 2023 10:04 AM | Anonymous

    The Office of Career Technical Education at the Department of Education and Workforce is offering two Open Office Hour opportunities for schools to ask questions pertaining to the Ohio CTE Equipment Grant. 

    Monday, November 20th at 11:00am-12:00pm

    Microsoft Teams Meeting Link 

    Tuesday, November 28th at 1:00-2:00pm

    Microsoft Teams Meeting Link

  • November 18, 2023 9:58 AM | Anonymous

    There are more than 525 Purple Star Schools in Ohio – a statewide coalition for Military families & PreK-12 students, and the local educators whom support these frontline, hero families.  In 5 years, more than 40 States have joined in replicating Ohio’s model framework of Purple Star – a nationwide network now exists to exchange best practices and new ideas with local educators.

    The Purple Star Award recognizes schools that display a major and purposeful commitment to PreK-12 students & families connected to our nation’s Military here in the Buckeye state.  The Purple Star Schools Advisory Board, formed by the Ohio departments of Education, Higher Education, Veterans Services, and the Adjutant General (Ohio’s Army and Air National Guard) in 2016-2017, helps decide a school’s eligibility for the award.

    To apply, please click here.

    Applications for this upcoming Class of Purple Star Schools will be accepted from November 1 to December 15, 2023.  If you have questions about the application process, or your school’s status as an Purple Star School, please email

  • October 11, 2023 10:58 AM | Anonymous

    2 UVCC teachers receive national teaching awards - Miami Valley Today

    PIQUA — Two Upper Valley Career Center (UVCC) teachers were surprised Tuesday, morning, on Oct. 3, with a total of $150,000 in prizes recognizing excellence in skilled trades education.

    Andy Buehler, UVCC automotive teacher, is one of the five $100,000 grand prize winners of the 2023 Harbor Freight Tools for Schools Prize for Teaching Excellence. Konner Keller, UVCC manufacturing teacher, is one of 20 $50,000 prize winners.

    The Harbor Freight Tools for Schools Prize for Teaching Excellence was started in 2017 by Eric Smidt, the founder of national tool retailer Harbor Freight Tools, to recognize outstanding instruction in the skilled trades in U.S. public high schools and the teachers who inspire students to learn skills to prepare for life after graduation, said a press release from Harbor Fright Tools.

    Buehler was the first teacher surprised Tuesday morning by his students, UVCC faculty members, members of the media and Harbor Freight Tools District Manager Benjamin Moore, and Harbor Freight Tools Program Manager Tae Kang with the $100,000 check in the high school’s auto tech lab.

    “This is pretty awesome,” said a shocked Buehler with big smile. “And this month is a busy month for us. We got the birth of our third child on the way, so it’s a lot going on. But, year, this is awesome. I usually have words, but right now, I’m … (at a loss for words).“

    His family, including his wife Amy and their two daughters were present for the surprise. Amy praised her husband as a role model and hard worker, as did colleges of his at the school.

    UVCC’s skilled trades program is receiving $70,000, and Buehler is receiving $30,000 for his great work as a teacher.

    According to information provided by Harbor Freight Tools, growing up, Buehler had a “fascination with all things mechanical,” which led him to tinker with go-karts, lawn mowers, and eventually his first car. He discovered his passion for teaching when he worked as a heavy truck technician for the Ohio Department of Transportation, where he mentored several interns, leading him to his current job at UVCC. Buehler has earned 23 Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) certifications, which include master automotive, master medium/heavy truck, master automotive collision, advanced engine performance specialist, electronic diesel engine diagnosis specialist, and the G1 maintenance and light repair. In 2018, he received a “World Class Technician Award” from the Autocare Association and ASE. In 2021 and 2022, he participated in the US Autotech National Championship, placing in the top 16 semifinals and fourth in the nation, respectively.

    Buehler treats his classroom like a real-life shop where the students are the “employees,” said the press release. He emphasizes the importance of work ethic, professionalism, and punctuality, providing rewards when they have a productive week. Students use the hands-on skills they learn in the classroom to carry out repairs and inspections on customer vehicles.

    After Buehler, Keller was next taken by surprise when his classroom was ambushed by the same group and his students to announced he has won a $50,000 check.

    “This is just awesome,” said an emotional Keller, as he reached for words. “The trades are really important to me. This is really going to help the family out; help you guys (the students) out — and that’s what it’s all about. So, thank you guys for being good students and giving me the opportunity to teach you what I know and … this is important to me.”

    The school is receiving $35,000, and Keller is receiving $15,000.

    Keller teaches manufacturing and robotics at UVCC. Drawing on his prior career as a robotics programmer and systems integrator, Keller’s passion for solving complex challenges led him to pursue a career as a skilled trades teacher, said the release. Keller’s project-based class prioritizes learning applied problem solving in order to provide students with industry experience that will make them competitive in the job market. The culmination of his program is a capstone project which students must design, program, and build, then present at an open house for industry professionals, program advisory members, friends, family, and the community. These projects have included a robotic coffee barista, a Jenga block-stacking robot, and a robotic black-jack card dealer. Every experience in the classroom is an opportunity to learn, and Keller incorporates automation and programming across the classroom even for simple tasks like taking a restroom break. Keller’s students must master a number of electrical and manufacturing skills, such as electrical wiring, panel building and basic metal fabrication.

    Keller’s students have the opportunity to showcase their skills in robotics and automation, mechatronics, and additive manufacturing competitions through their SkillsUSA chapter. In 2022, two of his students won first place in the Ohio SkillsUSA Robotics and Automation Competition and placed third in the national competition.

    In total, Harbor Freight Tools for Schools is awarding $1.5 million in prizes to 25 skilled trades teachers nationwide, said a Harbor Freight Tools press release.

    With this year’s prize, Harbor Freight Tools for Schools will have awarded more than $7 million to more than 130 U.S. public high school teachers and their schools’ programs — supporting tens of thousands of students along the way, said the release. The 2023 prize drew more applications than ever — more than 1,000, from all 50 states. Winners were selected by an independent panel of judges with expertise in career and technical education.

    Harbor Freight Tools for Schools is a program of The Smidt Foundation, established by Harbor Freight Tools owner and founder Eric Smidt, to advance excellent skilled trades education in U.S. public high schools. With a deep respect for the dignity of these fields and for the intelligence and creativity of people who work with their hands, Harbor Freight Tools for Schools aims to drive a greater understanding of and investment in skilled trades education, believing that access to quality skilled trades education gives high school students pathways to graduation, opportunity, good jobs and a workforce our country needs. Harbor Freight Tools is a major supporter of the Harbor Freight Tools for Schools program.

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Ohio Association for Career and Technical Education

690 Taylor Rd., Ste. 220, Gahanna, Ohio 43230
(614) 890-ACTE (2283)
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