Rhodes State Announces Super RAPIDS Award

Rhodes State College proudly announces its selection as a recipient of a Super RAPIDS (Regionally Aligned Priorities in Delivering Skills) Award from The Ohio Department of Higher Education (ODHE), solidifying a pivotal investment in the institution's job training and workforce development capabilities. This prestigious recognition celebrates Rhodes State College among 81 educational institutions statewide, collectively awarded a significant $40 million. This funding infusion targets the enhancement of specialized equipment crucial for student training, precisely tailored to meet the burgeoning regional workforce demands.

The ODHE launched the Super RAPIDS to support collaborative projects among qualifying institutions to strengthen education and training opportunities that maximize workforce development efforts in defined areas of the state. These funds shall be used to invest in strategic initiatives that build capacity, remove employment and training barriers for prospective and unemployed workers, develop and strengthen business-led strategies in the impacted industries, and provide local guided solutions to employment for communities in economic transition. Super RAPIDS will connect with businesses to ensure awards address a need for a specific skill or credential in a local community that will be addressed through up-to-date equipment or a specific program to help train students and workers. This partnership is mandatory and one of the strengths of the Super RAPIDS initiative and a cornerstone of ODHE’s existing RAPIDS program.

Governor Mike DeWine emphasized the initiative's paramount significance, affirming its role in equipping Ohio's workforce for the impending surge of job opportunities within the state. "We have thousands of jobs coming to Ohio, and it's vital that our workforce is prepared and ready to fill them," Governor DeWine stated. "This funding provides an opportunity for our students to learn the skills they will need in their future careers using the same equipment Ohio's businesses utilize."

The recent allocation of $416,921.18 in Super RAPIDS funding elevates Rhodes State College's capabilities in advanced manufacturing, semiconductors, and electric vehicle (EV) technology. This influx of resources will facilitate the acquisition of state-of-the-art equipment, addressing the need for EV technology training, semiconductor fabrication education, and smart manufacturing utilizing artificial intelligence and machine learning.

David Haus, Dean of Technology and Liberal Studies at Rhodes State College, underscored the critical role of advanced manufacturing in propelling economic growth within the region. "Advanced manufacturing is a central driver of economic growth and interest in our area," Dean Haus stated. "The RAPIDS and Super RAPIDS programs have been critical in helping us meet this demand."

The Super RAPIDS awards, integrated into the state's operating budget (HB 33 Track) at the administration's behest, reinforce career-tech and workforce training initiatives statewide. This strategic investment fortifies Ohio's position as a hub for innovation and skilled workforce development.

Rhodes State College has been a stalwart participant in the RAPIDS grant competitions over the past six years, resulting in a cumulative funding of nearly $500,000. These resources have directly benefited 1,362 students, enabling over 500 individuals to acquire industry-recognized credentials in pivotal areas such as robotics, pneumatics, and hydraulics.

Dean Haus concluded, "RAPIDS is a real advantage for Ohio and our region, and a strategic investment in our collective success."

For more information, please contact David Haus, Dean, Technology and Liberal Studies at haus.d@rhodesstate.edu or 419-995-8422.