Dr. Jill Biden Visit

Uploaded by ColumbusState on 23.02.2012

Dr. Jill Biden – the wife of the vice president and a community college professor herself,
arrived at Columbus State with the U.S. Labor Secretary. Their goal for the bus tour was
simple: highlight the unique roll community colleges play in developing a flexible, highly-skilled
21st-century workforce to meet regional business needs.
Dr. Jill Biden, Community College Professor: But what’s extraordinary about today is we have
finally recognized that not only can community colleges change lives, they can change our
country. Quite simply, we’re not getting to the future we want in America without them.
Hilda Solis, U.S. Secretary of Labor: It’s not by accident that we chose Columbus State
to kick off our three-day community college bus tour. America needs to see that this formula
does work. And the partnerships that you’ve created here to put central Ohioans back to
work can be a prototype for this country. Partnerships like the Logistics ART program.
It stands for Attracting and Retaining Talent. A federal grant - along with state and local
money – helped fund the ongoing program that provides several weeks of training for
people who then qualify for mid-level jobs at 16 logistics businesses. Of the 500 graduates
so far, three quarters have found jobs. Among those is Marlon Hariston, who was unemployed
and barely supporting his family when he enrolled in Logistitcs ART.
Marlon: And I told them I didn’t know where this was going to lead, but I know…(clapping)…I
didn’t know where it was going to lead me but I knew I had to get into this program.
It’s an adventure that has never stopped. Marlon was one of several students and business
partners on a panel during the bus tour stop. His employer – ODW Logistics – says this
is just the beginning. Robin Lynch, ODW Logistics HR Manager: So
we’re excited. We think we can expand beyond Logistics. Other areas of business, quality,
maintenance, are areas that are always open for folks, so it’s just beginning for us.
Columbus State President David Harrison – who moderated the panel – emphasized the importance
of the partnerships between businesses and higher ed.
Harrison: They’re working together, to strengthen their companies by strengthening our region’s
workforce. And Columbus State is working shoulder-to-shoulder to ensure that Ohio has the most highly-skilled
and competitive workforce in the world. Mike Keller, Exec. Nationwide Insurance VP
and CIO: (end) Of all of the institutions that I’ve had the opportunity to work with,
Columbus State has done a better job of listening to what we need and responding – and responding
with speed. And I think that is very critical to the partnership.
The College to Career bus tour scheduled stops in three other states before concluding in
North Carolina.