Many professions that require more graduates to enter the workforce in the near future are hindered by a lack of education funding to grow their programs. Fields like occupational therapy and engineering are suffering, but the nursing field especially is in desperate need of more nurses. In the midst of a nationwide nursing shortage, the best solution is to increase education funding so that nursing schools can hire more faculty and graduate bigger classes of students into the workforce each year.

As a solution to the critical job demand in certain fields, Ohio is seeking state money for a “venture fund” to expand education programs with high-demand and plentiful job opportunities after graduation. With the help of venture funding, Ohio public colleges can add more students to their programs and require them to work in Ohio for a set period of time after.

Ronald Berkman, president of the Inter-University Council of Ohio which represents Ohio’s 13 public universities, is planning to present a proposal on behalf of all schools. Berkman is also President of Cleveland State University (CSU) and his proposal will highlight the successful partnerships between CSU, Cuyahoga Community College (Tri-C), and University Hospitals (UH). Tri-C has a transfer agreement with CSU to ensure nursing graduates can continue on for their bachelor’s degrees, and Tri-C graduates who accept jobs at UH receive help toward earning their bachelor’s.

According to Berkman, the number of qualified applicants for high-demand CSU programs far exceeds the openings and job opportunities for students after graduation. He told, “We need to keep young intellectual capital in Ohio and in Cleveland the way we can do it is to create this chain – a pathway between institutions. We know a very large number of students who do internships and co-ops stay.” Money from the venture fund will serve as a resource to increase the number of nursing and healthcare graduates.

To read more about Berkman’s plan for the Ohio venture fund, visit here.

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