By almost every measure, Ohio’s economy has been on a roll, entering the 2020s with greater energy and optimism than at any time in decades. Having thrown off its long-held Rust Belt image, our state has embraced new technologies with a global reach and created an array of jobs for those already in the workforce as well as young Ohioans preparing for careers.
Even with Ohio’s successes, however, our ability to attract job-creating investments in new and expanded facilities has often been hampered by a mismatch of Ohioans’ skills and employer needs. The reason is that, for generations, Ohioans could achieve middle-class prosperity with a high school education or less. It is a belief that, in some quarters, has lingered. Advancements in technology and automation, however, mean that the jobs that once defined middle-class prosperity, many of them routine, manual labor, now require more advanced training. This might be even