Contributing to a Thriving Community

Miami and Ohio

2019-20 Government Relations Network Report

Contributing to a Thriving Community

Dale Savage in front of the BCRTA bus that he drives as part of the work+ program

Work+ expands – more jobs, less debt for Miami Regionals students

The Work+ program at Miami Regionals will add another employer in fall 2020—Community First Solutions—expanding Miami’s groundbreaking jobs program that enables students to graduate without accumulating student debt. Three of the original employers maintained those jobs through the economic disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic in spring 2020. 

One student involved in Work+ in spring 2020 was Dale Savage, who drove a bus for the Butler County Regional Transit Authority - providing him with a healthy dose of perspective.

“I have seen the importance of providing transportation to people who don’t have the privilege of driving a car,” said Savage, a 2019 Badin High School graduate who is pursuing a bachelor’s degree in computer science at Miami’s Hamilton campus. “It’s kind of humbling for me.”

About 30 students from the Hamilton and Middletown campuses participated in spring 2020, said Kelly Brown, interim director of Work+. Besides BCRTA, other employers included Deceuninck, thyssenkrupp Bilstein and The Fischer Group.

What is Work+?

Started in fall 2019 with four employer partners, Work+ allows Miami Regionals students to pursue a degree and work 24 hours a week. Employers pay students’ tuition in addition to a salary, allowing them to graduate with no debt.

Work+ is a success

More than 90% of the students in the program earned spring 2020 credits and had their tuition covered, with an average GPA of 3.31—better than the student body as a whole.

Miami Entrepreneurship Network – COVID-19 response

Miami’s Institute for Entrepreneurship is leveraging the expertise of faculty and students to help small companies and non-profits operated by Miami alumni. The Miami Entrepreneurship Network launched in spring 2020 served as a hub for educational and consulting services. “We can give these founders and small business owners a visibility and a voice,” Director Tim Holcomb said.

College@Elm Innovation and Workforce Development Center – an innovation hub in Oxford

Miami has launched College@Elm, a project with Oxford and Butler Country to transform an Uptown block into a thriving technology, entrepreneurship, and creativity hub. The hub will help recruit high-tech companies to Oxford, accelerate innovation, educate entrepreneurs, synergize technology and the arts, and empower collaboration. Using the building housing the Oxford Community Arts Center, an adjacent park area and a new Miami innovation and entrepreneurship building, College@Elm will become a model for small-town America with its boundary-crossing innovation that will trigger breakthrough discovery and accelerate economic development.