Building a Stronger Ohio


Originally published in Ohio Business Magazine
by Corinne Minard

Each year, the need for more Ohio talent grows. According to the report, Aligning Opportunities in the Northeast Ohio Region, which was prepared by Team NEO, to meet projected labor demand, 65% of Ohio’s workforce will need to have a 2- or 4-year degree, or certified marketable skill by 2025. As of 2021, only 38% of the state’s workforce had such a degree or certificate.

How does one go about addressing this? Companies, nonprofits and governmental organizations are implementing a variety of initiatives, but one nonprofit is working to help young Ohioans earn their degrees so they can meet that labor demand.

The Ohio Foundation of Independent Colleges (OFIC) supports the state’s independent colleges by connecting donors and partners with students in need so as to positively impact Ohio’s economic engine. The organization does this in a variety of ways, but one way is by helping companies and nonprofits sponsor scholarships for students who attend independent colleges.

One such organization is the Nord Family Foundation, which is based in Lorain County. A successor to the charitable trust established in 1952 by entrepreneur, industrialist and philanthropist Walter G. Nord, the organization’s mission is to advance equity, expand access to opportunity, and build thriving and inclusive communities.