Senator Sherrod Brown pushes for passage of legislation that will address the skills gap and match workforce development with the needs of the region.
The Workforce Investment Act passed the Senate and is moving to the House. Senator Brown said this legislation will help train Ohioans for high paying jobs and provide employers with workers they need to compete.
He believes by training workers for the jobs available young people are more likely to stay in the State. He said this program is personal.
"I know how important it is to have your grandchildren at least in the same state," said Senator Brown democrat from Ohio. "I want people to help make that happen by helping to create job opportunities in rural Ohio or Appalachia."
Local Jobs Ohio agencies are helped through the Workforce Investment Act. With the help of this act they can assist with funding for tuition, help provide career counseling and work with employers to find workers.
One local woman took advantage of the program after losing her job.
"It was extremely successful. I didn't know which direction to go and they pointed me in the right way in every situation," said Angela Bednarczek. "They helped with what classes to take next to helping me get financial aid to finish paying for school, to printing off resumes to go to job interviews."
Senator Brown said estimates show 180,000 unfilled jobs in Ohio. He said those jobs are in cities, suburbs and rural areas and include all different types of career fields.
Wednesday's event took place at Zane State College's new Advanced Science and Training Center.