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Ohio Association for Career and Technical Education

Career TEchnical AND Adult Education News

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  • November 15, 2021 11:18 AM | Ohio ACTE (Administrator)

                    Along with the DeWine-Husted Administration, the Ohio General Assembly remains highly active and in part focused on issues related to the COVID-19 Pandemic.  Earlier in November, Ohio Department of Health (ODH) Director Bruce Vanderhoff encouraged parents to get their kids vaccinated following the Federal CDC’s approval of the COVID-19 vaccine for children 5-11.  Vanderhoff also announced an expansion of the state’s Vax-2-School Program, which will now allow students age 5-25 to apply for up to $100,000 in scholarships to a post-secondary college or technical center (after receiving their vaccine).  These announcements come in the wake of the legislature’s consideration of bills that limit (private and public) employer vaccine mandates and prohibit the discrimination of unvaccinated employees.

                    The Ohio House and Senate continue to consider dozens of pieces of legislation that have been introduced this year and are currently attempting to settle a handful of legislative priorities prior to year’s end.  (The 134th General Assembly will continue through next year and conclude at the end of 2022).  In the education sector, note the following:

    Senate Bill 1 (Financial Literacy): Signed by Governor DeWine on October 28, 2021 and effective immediately, SB 1 requires students who enter 9th grade for the first time after July 1, 2022 to complete ½ unit of financial literacy instruction as part of an elective course or in lieu of one-half unit in math.  The bill also requires instructors to have an educator license validation in financial literacy.  In addition, SB 1 extends the flexibility granted to substitute teachers last year for one more year; for the 2021-2022 school year only, all schools can continue employing a substitute teacher as long as the individual completes a background check, meets the school’s educational requirements, and is deemed to be of good moral character.

    Senate Bill 229 (Blended and Remote Learning): Introduced in September and placed on a “fast track,” SB 229 allows all schools to continue using a blended or remote learning plan during the 2021-22 school year.  We expect SB 229 to be delivered to the Governor yet this month, complete with an emergency clause making the bill effective immediately.

    SB 166 (Career-Tech): Ohio ACTE has advocated for the legislature to approve SB 166, a piece of legislation we helped develop that is intended to enhance workforce development statewide.  Among other provisions, the bill would create tax and insurance incentives for employers who offer work-based learning opportunities to high school students.  It would also incentivize high school students to complete driver’s education and secure a driver’s license.  Having passed the Senate unanimously, SB 166 is up for an additional hearing this week before the House Economic and Workforce Development Committee and could be approved by both chambers prior to year’s end.

    Ohio ACTE will continue to monitor legislative developments  and comment as necessary.

    The 2022 Legislative Seminar will take place Feb. 9-10, 2022 in Columbus.  The Planning Committee is working on speakers/presenters, but all information to date can be found by clicking here.

    - by Will Vorys, Attorney, Dickinson Wright Law Firm and Ohio ACTE Legislative Counsel


  • November 10, 2021 2:00 PM | Anonymous

    Ohio Lt. Governor Jon Husted, who serves as Director of the Governor’s Office of Workforce Transformation, announced on November 10 the launch of the application for Ohio’s Individual Microcredential Assistance Program (IMAP). This is the second round of the initiative, which helps those who are low income, partially unemployed, or totally unemployed participate in a training program and receive a technology-focused credential free of cost.

    The Lt. Governor made the announcement at Global Lynx, Inc., an IT training provider in Central Ohio that participated in the first round of the IMAP program, in addition to TechCred.

    The grant is currently open for training providers, including two-year and four-year colleges and universities, Ohio technical centers, and private businesses or institutions. Training providers who receive awards will be reimbursed up to $3,000 for each completed technology-focused credential issued and up to $250,000 per provider.

    “IMAP helps individuals earn new skills that will lead to a career with more job security and higher pay, while at the same time providing Ohio businesses access to the new talent they need to compete,” said Lt. Governor Husted. “Today, we launched a second round of IMAP in addition to an updated website, making it easier to navigate the program and connect with a training provider to earn a technology-focused credential at no cost.”

    “We want to make it easy for Ohioans to receive the training they need to start on a new career path or advance in their current one,” said Lydia Mihalik, director of the Ohio Department of

    Development. “A highly skilled workforce is essential to growing our economy and keeping Ohio competitive for economic development projects.”

    The first round of IMAP awarded 11 training providers for just under $2.22 million in September of 2020.

    Previously awarded training providers include:

    • Baldwin Wallace University
    • Butler Technology and Career Development Schools
    • Global Lynx, Inc.
    • Goodwill Industries of Central Ohio, Inc.
    • Lorain County Community College
    • MAX Technical Training, Inc.
    • My Career IT LLC
    • National Center for Urban Solutions
    • Strategic Leadership Solutions LLC
    • University of Akron Research Foundation
    • University of Cincinnati

    The application period for training providers begins today, November 1, 2021, and runs through November 30, 2021 at 3:00 PM.

    Individuals and training providers interested in learning more about the program can visit the newly updated IMAP website at:

  • November 05, 2021 2:43 PM | Ohio ACTE (Administrator)

    Participating in a career-technical student organization is a co-curricular experience that enhances classroom learning, technical skill attainment and is a key component of a high-quality educational program. 

    Business Professionals of America (BPA), DECA, Family, Career and Community Leaders of America (FCCLA), The Ohio FFA Association and SkillsUSA are hosting in-person events and programming for the 2021-2022 school year. Career-Technical Student Organization (CTSO) staff continue to work closely with the Ohio Department of Health, local officials and host sites to prioritize the well-being and safety of all attendees. 

    The Ohio Department of Education, Office of Career-Technical Education and listed Career-Technical Student Organizations encourage all Ohioans to engage in the practice of preventative measures, as recommended by the Center for Disease Control (CDC) and Ohio Department of Health.

    Please reach out to the respective Career-Technical Student Organization staff with additional or event specific questions:

    Business Professionals of America (BPA)




    Brenna Bartlett, Assistant Director,

    Family, Career and Community Leaders of America (FCCLA)


    The Ohio FFA Association


    Alyssa Bregel, Assistant Director,


    Robert Kornack, Assistant Director,



  • November 01, 2021 8:28 AM | Ohio ACTE (Administrator)

  • October 25, 2021 7:51 PM | Ohio ACTE (Administrator)

    “Mask to Stay” and “Test to Play” Options Announced

    The Ohio Department of Health, Oct. 25 announced additional quarantine options, “Mask to Stay” and “Mask to Play,” for school districts and local health departments across the state. Out-of-school quarantining has the unintended consequence of reducing in-school learning and can place an added strain on parents, schools, and local health departments.

    “While vaccination and masking remain critical components of ensuring a safe school environment, to support in-school learning, we offer an in-school alternative to out-of-school quarantining for students and school staff exposed to COVID-19 in school settings and during school-related activities,” explained Dr. Vanderhoff. “Those exposed outside of school-related activities, such as in the household, should continue to follow standard quarantine guidelines.”

    The proposed changes incorporate mask-wearing and testing to reduce the chance of spread of COVID-19 within structured school settings and provide a safe alternative to out-of-school quarantine. The options below only apply to direct contacts in a school environment – those individuals who are identified as being directly exposed to COVID-19 by a positive case in a classroom or other school setting. COVID-19 is spread through sneezing, coughing, talking, and breathing. The best practices for distancing are 3 feet with everyone masked, 6 feet if not masked. Tests can be either PCR or antigen tests, but they must be proctored or observed. The full guidance is available at

    “The ‘Mask to Stay’ and ‘Test to Play’ options are informed by a growing body of national experience, as well as from a pilot in Warren County, and experience shared by other local health departments pointing toward a low number of direct contacts that convert to cases within school settings,” Dr. Vanderhoff stated.

    Mask To Stay

    Direct contacts in a school environment, regardless of vaccination or masking status, may remain in the classroom environment if they:

    1. Wear a mask for 14 days after their last date of exposure.
    2. Self-monitor, or parent-monitor, for symptoms of COVID-19.
    3. Isolate and get tested if they start to experience symptoms associated with COVID-19 (regardless of level of severity).
    4. Consistent with guidance for others quarantining in lower-risk environments, students and staff may discontinue these quarantine procedures after seven days — if they meet two basic criteria: one – they don’t develop symptoms, and two – they test negative between days 5-7.

    While parents and students are responsible for symptom monitoring, if school staff or school nurses see a child exhibiting symptoms they should act accordingly.

    Test to Play

    Asymptomatic contacts in a school environment may continue to participate in extracurricular activities if they:

    1. Wear a mask when able. This includes wearing a mask during transportation, such as traveling on a team bus to and from games; while in locker rooms; while sitting or standing on the sidelines; and any time the mask will not interfere with breathing, the activity in which they are participating, or create a safety hazard.
    2. Test on initial notification of exposure to COVID-19.
    3. Test again between days 5-7 following exposure to COVID-19. If they are negative at this time, they will test out of quarantine after day 7 and can resume normal activities.

    School districts are also encouraged to consider same-day testing for athletic competitions where there is the potential of school-to-school exposure.

    Those who are fully vaccinated, as well as those who consistently wear masks in school, can already remain in the classroom i f exposed to COVID-19 in a school setting.

  • October 24, 2021 7:42 AM | Anonymous

    Upper Valley Career Center Electrical Trades Instructor Jeff Bertke was one of three grand prize winners to receive  $100,000 from Freight Tools for Schools. The prize recognizes teaching excellence and the money will be used for the UVCC electrical trades program. 

    Miami Valley Today reported on the story, below. A link to the article can be found here.

    Photo from Miami Valley Today

    Jeffrey Bertke, Electrical Trades instructor at the Upper Valley Career Center (UVCC), won a $100,000 prize recognizing excellence in skilled trades education.

    Bertke is one of three Grand Prize winners of the 2021 Harbor Freight Tools for Schools Prize for Teaching Excellence, and the funds from the prize will go back into the Electrical Trades program at UVCC.

    Danny Corwin, a representative of Harbor Freight Tools for Schools, along with UVCC administrators, staff, and local business partners, surprised Bertke with the award.

    “This program at Upper Valley is spectacular,” Corwin said. This was the fifth year Harbor Freight Tools for Schools has awarded these prizes, and this was also the third time Bertke has applied for it.

    “The application itself is very rigorous,” Corwin said. He read from some of Bertke’s application, which read, “I love the connections I get to make with the next generations of leaders. I love to see the joy on their faces when they solve a problem or can be successful at something that no one else in their family can do.”

    “You’re making a difference, and we appreciate it,” UVCC Superintendent Jason Haak said.

    Bertke has been an electrical trades teacher at UVCC for 11 years. After graduating from the program in 1999, he earned his journeyman license and entered the industry with passion for the trade and a love for learning.

    After six years of industry experience, he was put in charge of teaching apprentices at his place of work—something he truly enjoyed and came in handy when his former high school teacher reached out to him in 2010 to ask if he was interested in teaching.

    Despite complications this past year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Bertke persisted by including electrical simulators, online OSHA and employability skills training, and Cengage electrical curriculum to keep his students on track. He even taught students in-person from the school parking lot at times, maintaining distance and proctoring tests from his car.

    Twenty out of his 23 seniors qualified for a pre-apprenticeship through the Ohio Apprenticeship Council, meaning they can get their journeyman credential a year ahead of others around the state. The remaining three seniors qualified for other placement opportunities in electrical supply and maintenance. His program is one of three programs in the school that fill up within the first 24 hours of availability and has a waiting list.

    “I come to school every day with a smile on my face because I love what I do,” Bertke said following Thursday’s surprise. Bertke said he sought to highlight what his students were doing, saying, “We do amazing things and let’s keep shining that spotlight on us.”

    Bertke’s base curriculum is NCCER Core and Electrical Level 1, which saves his students one year of apprenticeship training. He revisits the curriculum every year with his board of advisory members and makes modifications where necessary to keep the program strong.

  • October 12, 2021 6:11 PM | Ohio ACTE (Administrator)

    The 134th Ohio General Assembly is busy at the statehouse after returning from summer recess last month.  Both the Ohio House and Senate are currently working through the latter part of the first year of the current 2-year biennium, so this (134th) session will continue into 2022.  

    Issues abound on the post-budget legislative agenda, including consideration of bills that address vaccine / mask mandates, sports betting, energy policy, and education / workforce development (among others). 

    Ohio ACTE continues to focus on incentivizing work-based learning and driver’s education via SB 166, which has passed the Senate and should receive a first hearing in the House by Oct. 15.  We also continue to monitor full implementation of the Fair School Funding Plan, which has been delayed until December of 2021.

    Other education-related bills currently under consideration in the Legislature include:

    • HB 73: Reduces number of required end-of-course examinations.
    • HB 105: Requires instruction in sexual abuse / violence prevention.
    • HB 151: Replaces OH Teacher Residency Program (including all performance based assessments) with new local teacher mentoring programs facilitated by a district’s local professional development committee.
    • HB 298: Eliminates 8 Governor-appointed positions at State Board of Education.
    • SB 1: Requires ½ credit of instruction in financial literacy as part of an elective or math course.
    • SB 229: Continues to allow the use of blended learning plans and potentially remote learning plans for this school year.
    by Will Vorys, Attorney and Ohio ACTE Legislative Counsel, Dickinson Wright Law Firm
  • October 11, 2021 9:49 AM | Anonymous

    Ohio ACTE is once again working with the Ohio Department of Education Office of CTE to identify five outstanding career-technical senior (Class of 2022) students to be recognized as part of the US Department of Education  National Presidential Scholars Program. This is the seventh 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 for more information, the nomination form and to read about each of the this year's students and their accomplishments.

    For more information about the Presidential Scholars Program, click here.

  • October 01, 2021 1:31 PM | Anonymous

    On October 1, Ohio Department of Health (ODH) Director Bruce Vanderhoff, MD and Ohio Lottery Commission Director Pat McDonald provided an update on the Ohio Vax-2-School program, announcing that the prize money has been doubled to a total of $2 million in scholarships.

    Beginning Monday, Oct. 4, Ohioans aged 12-25 can enter online at or by phone at 1-833-4-ASK-ODH (1-833-427-5634) to win one of 150, $10,000 scholarships, or one of five, $100,000 grand prize scholarships.

    The scholarships, awarded in Ohio 529 College Advantage plans, can be used at the Ohio college, university, technical/trade school, or career program of the winner’s choice. This includes programs offered at Ohio's Technical Centers.

    The Ohio Department of Health is using a portion of its Coronavirus Relief Funds to fund this innovative public outreach campaign and initiative.

  • September 27, 2021 9:41 AM | Anonymous

    Lt. Governor Jon Husted, Director of the Governor’s Office of Workforce Transformation, announced that the eleventh application period for TechCred will open on October 1st and close on October 29th.

    “TechCred works for both Ohioans and Ohio businesses,” said Lt. Governor Husted. “There is no better time than now for employers to upskill their existing workforce with the skills necessary to remain competitive in today’s tech-infused economy.”

    Since the program launched in October 2019, a total of 1,419 Ohio employers have been approved for TechCred, which will fund up to 26,872 tech-focused credentials to upskill Ohio workers. The results of the tenth round, which closed on August 30th, will be announced in the coming weeks.

    “Thanks to the investment in people being made by Governor DeWine and Lt. Governor Husted through TechCred, thousands of Ohioans now have new, in-demand skills and businesses across the state have a more highly skilled workforce,” said Ohio Department of Development Director Lydia Mihalik. “With another round of TechCred opening now, more companies have the opportunity to boost their business by providing their employees with advanced training.”

    TechCred helps businesses address their workforce needs by upskilling current and prospective employees. Employers simply need to identify the specific skills they need, the number of employees they want to upskill, and which training provider they want to use. Businesses of all sizes, from any industry, can apply online at and the state will reimburse up to $2,000 for each training upon completion of a credential.

    “As of today, Ohio’s workforce and economy are stronger thanks to the thousands of credentials funded through the TechCred program,” said Randy Gardner, Chancellor of the Ohio Department of Higher Education. “The success of this program is a credit to the vision of the DeWine-Husted administration and the ability to respond to the needs of regional employers.”

    The state budget allocated funding for an additional 20,000 credentials through the program in each of the next two fiscal years to help Ohio businesses keep up with the demands of new technologies.

    Learn more about the program by visiting

    Questions about TechCred can be sent to TechCred@Development.Ohio.Gov.

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Ohio Association for Career and Technical Education

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(614) 890-ACTE (2283)
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