New Ohio bill to help college students advance education

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(WKBN)- A new bill is focusing on higher education to help tackle Ohio’s population decline and work shortages.

It was laid introduced by State Representative Jon Cross. He called it an investment in Ohio’s future economy and laid it out in five steps.

The first step would modify the Ohio Revised Code and add an appointed representative to the Ohio governors Workforce Development Board. It would propose using college opportunity grants to encourage students to advance their education. Businesses could qualify for a 30-percent tax credit if they partner with schools to offer internships.

It would also offer forgivable loans for out of state students and an income tax break for any graduate if they remain in Ohio after graduation.

“The future of this country depends on innovation exactly in states like Ohio and in the Midwest,” said Ohio State University President Dr. Kristina Johnson.

“This is a big deal toward educating the next part of the work force. The next thing we need to do is get people like John did to move back to Ohio or move to Ohio,” said Ohio Chamber of Commerce President Steve Stivers.

On Monday, leaders from some of the state’s largest universities endorsed the proposal.

Ohio estimates that colleges and universities are losing 10 to 40% of their graduates to job opportunities outside of the state. And with the population decline and workforce shortages, many lawmakers, businesses and schools want to give Ohio a competitive edge.

That’s why state representative Jon Cross introduced the GROW Act. It stands for Graduate and retain Ohio’s workforce.

“We’re not a flyover state. We’re a fly to state. We’re a stay here state,” said state representative Jon Cross.

“Quite frankly, it might cost Ohio. But like I said. It’s an investment,” Cross said.

Representative Cross hopes to see the GROW Act move through the statehouse by December of next year or be included in the 2023 state operating budget.

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Mel Robbins Main Area Middle

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