BSL By the Month for Education

Aligning Champaign County's Workforce and Schools

September 2022

What is a BSL?

Hello! My name is Chris Flowers and I am the Champaign County Business County Liaison (BSL). What in the world is a BSL?! The purpose of my role is to support both the county businesses and the county schools by being a central point of contact to improve the local career opportunities for our youth and retain employees with our county. I will also create avenues for career exploration and assist the schools in establishing their roadmap to success. Each district has identified a representative that will work directly with me. We will meet monthly so be sure to share your needs with your district representative so that they may share it with me.

BIG PICTURE? I'm here to serve you.

Let me know how I can help your school and how I can connect you to the businesses in Champaign County!

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Monthly Focus

Each month I will place a focus on a different industry to help build awareness of what we have to offer in Champaign County. I will be working with school districts (including after school programs) and businesses to coordinate events and to increase career education during this time as well.
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Legislation Update

Senate Bill 166

Senate Bill 166 was passed by the Ohio legislature on March 23, 2022. SB166 was created to provide additional workforce opportunities to students while benefitting employers providing the learning and mentorship experiences. SB166 offers eligible employers tax incentives, removes age barriers and protects the employer from liability claims associated with the Work Based Learning (WBL) experience. Any employer who is a taxpayer that employs a WBL student as well as provides an experience that is associated with an approved career technical education (CTE) pathway is eligible to receive the benefits of SB166. Businesses will need to use the QR code to determine if they qualify for the benefits of this bill.

What does this mean for schools? We can look to get more students into businesses that were not an option in the past. Let's capitalize on this opportunity! Talk to your students, find out their interests and reach out to me if I can set up a job for them. Businesses are on board and excited to get started!

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As I am sure you are well aware, pre-apprenticeships are a new pathway to graduation. Unfortunately, there is currently only one business (Rittal) that is approved for apprenticeships and pre-apprenticeships. I am currently working with businesses and the state to increase the number of businesses that offer apprenticeships across all career pathways. Not only do businesses need to complete this paperwork, but schools do as well. You can learn more about this and access the paperwork by visiting ODE's web page. I have included the link below. Please let me know if there is a specific business(es) that you would like to offer pre-apprenticeships so that I may reach out to them to get this process started. As West Liberty Salem can attest, this can be a long process so the sooner we begin the better. Thank you to West Liberty Salem for being pioneers in this process!

Here's the basics of apprenticeships and pre-apprenticeships:

Apprenticeship stakeholders – employers, educators, and workforce professionals – across the country are launching pre-apprenticeship programs for youth ages 16-24. These programs combine classroom instruction with paid work experience. Schools connect students that are in career-tech programs to local employment opportunities during their junior and senior years to increase the potential for career success. Businesses gain access to a talent pipeline of entry-level workers to address skills shortages in the workplace. High schools and businesses can work together to develop pre-apprenticeship programs that make a difference in the lives of youth while supporting economic and workforce development. They provide new opportunities for youth and ways for businesses to recruit new talent.

Manufacturing Mentorship Program

The Ohio Manufacturing Mentorship Program allows any 16 or 17-year-old student to work in a manufacturing setting without being enrolled in a specific educational program like a career center or technical education school.

School Connection

Interested in arranging a field trip? Interested in having a business speak in your classroom/district but don't know where to get started? Complete the survey below and I will reach out to you and your district representative to coordinate it.

Jobs and Careers in Champaign County

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Save the Date!

Monthly District Representative Meetings

District Representatives,

Just a reminder to join me on Friday, September 16th at 9 am. We will be meeting at The Depot in Urbana. I look forward to seeing you on Friday!

Business Advisory Council Meetings


Mark your calendars for our upcoming Business Advisory Council Meetings!

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Thank You!

Thank you to those businesses that have opened your doors to me for tours and initial meetings to build our partnership! I would love to meet with more businesses throughout the county. If you would like to meet with me, please reach out to me.