Archived Story

Collins leaders against idea to privatize JVS boards

Published 9:14am Tuesday, June 25, 2013

As the Ohio General Assembly races the clock to pass its biennial budget by July 1, locally, members of Lawrence County’s vocational school board are worried what recently added provisions would mean to them if passed.

At a meeting Monday, Steve Dodgion, Collins Career Center superintendent, encouraged board members to call their legislative leaders and oppose the last minute add-ons by the Senate to the budget that would essentially privatize joint vocational school boards across the state.

The Ohio Senate signed off on its version of Gov. John Kasich’s $61 billion budget earlier this month, adding a proposal by Sen. Chris Widener that would replace elected JVS board members with appointed, private members.

“The problem is it destroys the relationship and close ties we have with the home schools,” Dodgion said.

Right now, the Collins board has five members who are also elected members of local school boards of education.

Dodgion said if the budget passes with Widener’s proposal, the Ironton, Chesapeake and county boards of education would have to appoint people from the business community.

“We are a taxing entity because we can levy taxes,” Dodgion said. “I don’t think appointed people should have the power to tax. They wouldn’t have to answer to the public at all.”

Specifically, the bill would require the appointing board to select JVS board members who represent regional employers and who are qualified to consider a region’s workforce needs. The bill requires that two members of the board to be selected based on their experience in career development and career counseling for grades K-12 and career counseling for adult education.

The Ohio School Boards Association is opposed to the plan and sent out a letter to JVSD board members saying the “governance structure works and does not need to be changed. This is a solution looking for a problem.”

Ray Malone, CCC board member, agreed the existing governance structure should remain in place.

“We should keep it exactly like it is,” Malone said. “I think our boards have been doing a good job.”

Malone also noted voters should decide who the members of the board should be.

The letter also encouraged those board members to contact their senators to ask them to remove the provision from the budget.

The Ohio House unanimously voted down the Senate’s amendments to the budget on June 12, sending the legislation to a conference committee for final negotiations.

 

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  • mikehaney

    Greenblatt, president of metal fabrication company Marlin Steel Wire Products in Baltimore, said machines in his factory sit idle because even at $30 an hour, he can’t find people to operate them.

    “This isn’t a theoretical thing,” he said. “We’re in a position where we need more talent, fast.” Without workers to operate his equipment, Greenblatt said he’ll lose project bids to foreign competitors.–NBC NEWS Business
    ——————————————–
    Industry has to be included, “how”, I can’t answer that.
    Working at the refinery storerooms, I was always amazed at the expertise of the men/women that worked in the shops. Whether done in house or off site, there was a lot of talent seen in electricians, instrument,welder,machinist,pipe fitter etc. In a refinery, their work was/is critical.

    outoftowner–liked your comment.

    (Report comment)

  • outoftowner

    I currently work at a automotive camshaft foundry in Michigan. We are in dire need of skill trade trained employees to the point that 60 Minutes did a story on us a couple of months back. I worked at Ironton Iron until it closed. I can tell you first hand that we do not condider candidates fresh out of Vocational. They lack the basic skill set and general industral disipline to be functional in today’s work place. Our data showed that only 10% of the welders tested could pass the practictal test that our company has in place. Less than 5% passed the math portion. It is based on a 10th grade level. Change something, make it better.

    (Report comment)

  • mickakers

    Poor Richard; I am not that familiar with The Collins Career Center and the quality of education they furnish but I am a proponent of Vocational Education. I feel it ranks alongside and is equal to a college or university education. When you attend college or university, if you do not receive a Liberal Arts degree you are in effect receiving a vocational education. Please do a search on liberal arts education. I think Lawrence County is very fortunate to have the Collins Career Center and I feel it should be supported by the electorate. I concur with Superintendent Steve Dodgion’s way of thinking.

    (Report comment)

  • mickakers

    Poor Richard; I am not that familiar with The Collins Career Center and the quality of education they furnish but I am a proponent of Vocational Education. I feel it ranks alongside and is equal to a college or university education. When you attend college or university, if you do not receive a Liberal Arts degree you are in effect receiving a vocational education. Please do a search on liberal arts education. I think Lawrence County is very fortunate to have the Collins Career Center and I feel it should be supported by the electorate.

    (Report comment)

  • Poor Richard

    I am not sure that is a bad idea, industry should have a role in education. Everyone that completes a degree of whatever type then looks for a job. Industry knows their own needs better than anyone. We’ve watched special after special news reports on TV that workers cannot function in todays manufacturing environment because they do not have the skills needed to operate the new equipment. I don’t see that the Collins center is providing anything like what is needed.

    Another problem with this board is I think we have more school districts than they have board member positions which means that all schools in the county are not represented. It also means that only five board members from industry are by far not going to represent all of the different types of industry in the county or in southern Ohio. This means that ALL INDUSTRY in the county would NOT be represented and is likely not going to have their worker needs met.

    Kind of a skewed, fly by night decision which our governor is known for.

    But the old time outdated Vocational Schools need to step into present day needs of todays businesses and manufacturers. This is where I disagree with throwing more money their way, I would rather that task AND THE FUNDS fall to colleges and universities and that it was tied into their own courses. An example is the Robert C. Byrd Institute for Advanced Flexible Manufacturing (RCBI). RCBI is the only WV statewide facility that provides manufacturers with regional access to advanced CNC equipment, affordable workforce development and technical training programs.

    The Collins Career Center cronies have become complacent in continuing the status quo, I’m not sure they meeting the needs of industry.

    (Report comment)

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