I couldn’t agree more with The Blade that Ohio’s two-year students deserve access to state need-based aid (“Higher education” editorial, Sept. 21).
Community colleges continue to be a key driver of work-force development training and high-quality and affordable undergraduate education. That students at community colleges can’t get access to state need-based aid is unconscionable.
Tying two-year student access to the Ohio College Opportunity Grant (OCOG) program to work-force development in a performance-based manner, as suggested by your editorial and by the Ohio Association of Community Colleges, would direct aid to a critical state priority and provide accountability for taxpayers.
As a member of the state House Higher Education Study Committee, with Columbus State Community College in my district, I urge my fellow lawmakers to consider opening access to OCOG for two-year students. It’s the right thing to do.
Ohio House of Representatives 18th District Columbus
College grants to aid labor pool
As Henry County’s economic development director, I have seen firsthand the struggle local manufacturers go through to recruit and maintain skilled labor .
Our skilled-labor shortage is an alarming issue that must be dealt with proactively by supporting our community colleges, which are the main suppliers of skilled labor. Yet, Ohio prevents community college students from participating in the OCOG program.
OCOG supplements student tuition at nearly any post-secondary institution, public or private, in Ohio and even at some institutions in Pennsylvania. But it is not extended to students at the very institutions that will play the most crucial role in continuing our economic recovery.
I hope the legislature will soon allow community college students to participate in OCOG.
Islamic Center expresses thanks
Sept. 30, 2012, is seared in my memory. There was a fire at the Islamic Center of Greater Toledo. It was the result of a hate crime.
The fallout of the fire had every room of the center out of commission for almost nine months.
As if to balm grief on the anniversary, God sent an unprecedented number of visitors to the Islamic Center’s International Festival last month (“International Festival returns, honors diversity, site’s survival,” Sept 15). A continual stream of people came for the tours. Many expressed solidarity when they talked about the fire.
The fraternity and support of the greater Toledo community speak of the wonderful place where we live. The Islamic Center thanks each visitor who came to the festival. We look forward to seeing you again next year.
WWII veterans saluted for action
As a Vietnam veteran, I salute the World War II veterans from Mississippi who crossed barriers to the World War II Memorial, refusing to comply with signs declaring the memorial closed because of the government shutdown (“Visiting WWII vets find way to view closed memorial,” Oct. 2)
North Kennison Drive