State Offers Microcredential Training to Low-Income Ohioans

COLUMBUS, Ohio — Low-income Ohioans looking to earn credentials to work tech-based jobs can now access training at no cost.

During Gov. Mike DeWine’s briefing Tuesday, Lt. Gov. Jon Husted announced the Individual Microcredential Assistance Program, or IMAP program, will offer training for 71 short-term, industry-recognized technology focused microcredentials “that will help upskill Ohioans inour increasingly tech-infused economy, which COVID, frankly, has only highlighted,” Husted said.

The opportunity is for low-income Ohioans who are either partially employed or totally unemployed. Husted expects the program will help nearly 2,000 Ohioans earn a tech-based credential.

In July, Husted and DeWine announced the program, which provides $2.5 million in grants to help unemployed Ohioans earn credentials for in-demand, technology-focused jobs. Participating training providers can receive up to $3,000 for each credential earned, up to $250,000 per provider, Husted said.

Ohioans interested in training can go to IMAP.development.ohio.gov to see the list of 12 eligible providers and learn how to enroll. From there, they can select which of the 71 microcredentials they want to apply for, 55 of which can be done online.

Providers are paid upon completion, and the Lt. Governor was clear about the state’s expectation.

“We want to see results,” Husted said. “Every one of these credentials is in demand and we know employers are hiring for these skills today.”

This type of training is a boon for the state given the “intense disruption” caused by the coronavirus pandemic to the state economy, Husted said. Last week, the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services reported for the week ended Sept. 12, initial jobless claims in the state ticked up about 1,000 to 17,435, as did continued claims, which increased to 321,057.

“Some types of traditional businesses are laying off and will continue to lay off, and I expect we’ll continue to see those announcements for some time as other businesses are hiring,” he said, citing Amazon is looking to hire more than 3,000 Ohioans. Such employment trends were already underway before COVID-19, and the pandemic exacerbated them, he said.

Retraining opportunities like IMAP are beneficial, “because the types of jobs in our economy are changing, and they will permanently in many cases,” Husted said. But, he added, individuals don’t need to be “a tech person” to work these jobs, and shouldn’t be hesitant to apply.

“If you don’t consider yourself a tech person, believe me, you can still be retrained to do these things,” he said. “You don’t even have to have a tech background to be able to enroll in some of these programs and get a new skill.”

Photo by Glenn Carstens-Peters on Unsplash

Copyright 2022 The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.