Stark County Leads in Funding for “Seniors to Sophomores” Program – Ohio Board of Regents Chancellor Eric Fingerhut announced 42 first round grant recipients for the new “Seniors to Sophomores” early college credit program. “Seniors to Sophomores” is a dual enrollment program that enables academically qualified high school seniors to get an early jump on college. Students can earn a year’s worth of both high school and college credit at the same time, “for free.” High school seniors who elect to take a full load of courses on college campuses during their senior year will be able to enter a University System of Ohio College on a second-year level, or as college sophomores. The maximum grant available to a school district for this program was $100,000. Chancellor Fingerhut, speaking at Stark State College on Friday, noted that Stark County had 11 school districts that received the grant, all maximum funding, far more school districts than any other county. Fingerhut praised the Stark Education Partnership for forging the link between primary and secondary education and higher education, and setting high standards for the rest of the state to meet. He also said that no other institutions of higher learning in Ohio have forged a stronger relationship of collaboration and cooperation than that created by Stark State College of Technology and its neighbor, the Stark Campus of Kent State University. To read more about Chancellor Fingerhut’s visit to Stark County, click here.

Ohio Passes New Energy Bill – With energy costs rising rapidly, Ohio’s new energy law is on track to preserve affordable, reliable, and predictable electricity rates for all Ohio electricity consumers. Robert J. Lapp, Vice President-Government Affairs for The Timken Company and co-chair of the Ohio Coalition for Affordable Power, said the following: “Ohio has set the standard for other states to follow as they work to protect their citizens and their business climate from devastating rate increases.” The new law protects consumers by giving state regulators the power to cut rates if utilities are earning excessive profits, and it promotes accountability and transparency by requiring all side deals to be open to the public. Utilities benefit by getting guaranteed cost recovery if they build expensive new power plants, upgrade existing plants, or must comply with new environmental regulations. To read an analysis of the new law, click here.

New Starting Wage and Benefit Survey Completed – The 2008 Northeast Ohio authoritative wage and benefit survey is now available. The Stark Development Board, along with other regional chamber partners in Northeast Ohio, Team NEO and the Office of Corporate and Community Services at Kent State Stark, conducted the starting wage and benefit survey of over 400 companies located within Northeast Ohio’s 16 counties. Included in the survey are industry clusters in manufacturing, healthcare, finance, and other service occupations. If you would like to find out more about the survey, click here to email Dan Talarcek at the Stark Development Board.


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