New SSCC program gains support in state budget


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COLUMBUS – A new program being introduced in southern Ohio could mean new opportunities for area students interested in careers in computer science.

The Ohio Code-Scholar Pilot Program, originating from various leaders in the 91st House District, is aimed at increasing students’ interest and entry-level skills in competitive careers requiring coding and programming skills.

The Pilot will be designed by a coalition of stakeholder groups, including representatives from local high schools, career technical schools, local Education Service Centers, business leaders and various state officials. Southern State Community College will serve as the fiscal agent and will support the work of the coalition.

Major supporter and concept originator, State Representative Shane Wilkin (R-Hillsboro), who helped secure funding for the program in Ohio’s new two-year state budget, stated, “This is a big deal. I believe in this program and believe it’s going to really make a difference,” Wilkin said. “I’m excited we were able to get this done, and I look forward to seeing it take root and grow.”

Dr. Kevin Boys, president of Southern State Community College, added, “We are honored to assist Representative Wilkin and others in bringing life to the Ohio Code-Scholar Pilot Program. Coding and programming skills are in high-demand globally and there is no reason that people in southern, rural Ohio shouldn’t be competitive in the marketplace.”

House Bill 110, the state budget bill, includes $240,000 in each of the next two fiscal years for the program. State lawmakers gave final approval to the budget plan Monday night. It now goes to Governor Mike DeWine for review. The new budget must be in place by June 30.

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