On September 28, 2021, Ohio Lt. Governor Jon Husted, OOD, Wilberforce University, and Central State University announced the expansion of Ohio College2Careers to ensure students with disabilities have the support they need to complete their degree and/or credential, earn higher wages, and meet the demands of tomorrow’s labor market. As part of Governor Mike DeWine’s Executive Budget for fiscal years 2022-2023, Ohio College2Careers immerses a full-time, dedicated vocational rehabilitation counselor in the disability services offices at Wilberforce and Central State Universities.
“The Ohio College2Careers program provides students with disabilities that extra support to help them prepare for in-demand careers,” said Lt. Governor Husted. “Whether it’s providing them with assistive technology, working on their interview skills and resume or connecting them with internships and jobs, the program helps set them up for a better quality of life and future success.”
“This initiative not only allows us to offer additional supports to students with disabilities but also connects student participants to our expansive network of employer partners," said Kevin Miller, Director of OOD.
Dr. Elfred Anthony Pinkard, President of Wilberforce University, said, “We are excited about this opportunity to partner with our sister institution, Central State University and Opportunities for Ohioans with Disabilities, to develop comprehensive academic and vocational programming for students who are differently-abled, thus giving them the skills, confidence, and ability to craft productive futures for themselves.”
“With today's signing of the partnership with Wilberforce University and Opportunities for Ohioans for Disabilities, Central State University expands its resources to serve students with disabilities to help them gain the confidence and skills needed in their academic and professional careers," said Central State University President, Dr. Jack Thomas. “We are excited to usher in this next-level era of access, independence, and pathways to success.”
With the addition of these two schools, Ohio College2Careers is now available at 17 colleges and universities. Dedicated vocational rehabilitation counselors assist students with disabilities with career exploration and counseling, assistive technology, resume and interview preparation, and job placement. Staff with OOD’s business relations team connect college students with disabilities to internship and permanent employment opportunities. Approximately 1,500 students will be served annually.
OOD liaison counselors also work with students with disabilities at any college and university in Ohio. To get started, students can visit OODWorks.com to explore vocational rehabilitation, take a self-assessment, and apply for services.