A photo of Senator Bill Coley

A state senator is touting a new program that helps connect young people with employers. And it also pays for college. Lawmakers say this can play a critical role in college affordability and workforce development.

Miami University’s Hamilton Campus is partnering with local employers. Together they will take in 50 students who can pursue any major they want while working part-time for one of the companies.

In turn the companies will pay a wage, pay tuition, and provide supportive housing.

photo of prison

A quarter of  Ohio jobs are legally off limits for anyone with a criminal conviction, according to a new report from Policy Matters Ohio.

The report finds that as many as one in three Ohioans are barred from certain work due to state laws that restrict access to jobs, housing and civic rights for anyone with a conviction.

Michael Shields is the co-author of this report. He says these laws are too broad and end up hurting businesses as well.

Connie Pillich and Rich Cordray
Dan Konik / Statehouse News

Here are your morning headlines for Thursday, Feb. 15:

graph of midwest employment for 2016

New data from the Census Bureau's Annual Survey of Manufactures rank Ohio in the top three states for manufacturing employment, behind California and Texas.

The number of Ohioans working in manufacturing has risen each year since the Great Recession ended. Employment peaked in 2015 at about 650,000. Last year it dropped by 10,000. But the state still leads manufacturing employment in the Midwest. Nationally, Ohio ranked 17th in terms of employment growth since 2010. Employment grew 10 percent during that time.

Cleveland is a health care town. Three of its largest employers are hospital systems. But when it comes to filling slots in medical manufacturing, One local company says the lack of training in local colleges and universities could be hindering the region’s growth.

“You are saving lives,” said John Kasich.