Skip to main content

Columbus State receives $5.7 million federal grant to help grow central Ohio’s engineering technician workforce

Campus News | Wednesday, April 10, 2024

plastics manufacturing

A U.S. Department of Labor grant will support the doubling of female enrollment in advanced engineering technician programs of study.

The U.S. Department of Labor has awarded Columbus State Community College a $5.7 million grant to support advanced engineering technician students at the college along with grant partners Marion Technical College and Central Ohio Technical College.

The Department of Labor grant will support more than 800 central Ohio students toward completion of advanced engineering credentials critical to the region’s rapidly growing workforce needs across emerging and established high-tech production sectors, with 600 students benefiting at Columbus State. It will facilitate doubling female enrollment in relevant academic programs, with an emphasis on engaging underserved populations.

“With unprecedented growth in the semiconductor, bioscience, and clean energy industries, expanding Ohio’s engineering technology workforce will be the determining factor in sustained economic prosperity for students and families throughout the state,” said President David Harrison. “This grant will be important and necessary venture capital as Columbus State works to expand the talent pipeline to advanced manufacturing careers, with a specific emphasis on increasing economic opportunities for women and other groups that have traditionally been underrepresented in these fields. We’re delighted to be on the front lines of this transformational moment, and we’re grateful for this investment from the Department of Labor.”

Grant funding, which will be provided over four years, will support:

  • Development of earn-and-learn programming that enables students to gain practical experience through paid employment while they earn engineering technician credentials from Columbus State.
  • Wraparound services for common student needs outside of the classroom, including childcare support.
  • Enhancing baseline student math knowledge to access engineering technician coursework.
  • Recruitment among underserved women populations, including women of color and women with children.

“Access to timely, relevant and affordable education is an essential part of our strategy to expand economic prosperity throughout the Columbus Region,” said Kenny McDonald, president and CEO of the Columbus Partnership. “With this grant, Columbus State and its partners will continue to prepare residents from all backgrounds for these great careers of the future.”

The Department of Labor’s grant aligns with Columbus State’s efforts as the anchor institution for the Columbus Workforce Hub, one of five such hubs designated by the White House. The Workforce Hub has developed a regional workforce strategy to address key needs in advanced manufacturing and construction trades, which includes quadrupling the number of engineering technician graduates at Columbus State and peer institutions.

The grant also aligns with Columbus State’s designation at the state level leading the development of education and training programs throughout Ohio designed to prepare future employees of Intel, Amgen, Honda and other advanced technology companies.

To learn more about engineering technician career programs at Columbus State, visit

Go to 2024 Archive Go to Campus News