COLUMBUS, OH - Ohio Governor Ted Strickland and U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown visited Project HIRE today to discuss the state and federal government's job retraining efforts in Cleveland. Project HIRE, a state recovery initiative created this past spring through American Recovery and Reinvestment Act's Workforce Investment Act funds, helps provide worker retraining programs and connects Ohio job seekers with potential employers.

"Project HIRE represents what the Recovery Package is all about - putting people back to work and investing in regional economies," Sen. Brown said. "By training Ohio workers for the jobs in high-growth industries, we can strengthen our workforce and bring new jobs and economic development to our state. This is a great example of how the recovery package can address the economic downturn while allowing Ohio to emerge from it more prepared for the 21st Century economy."

"Ohioans who work for a living have been knocked down by this global recession. That's exactly why we're investing in job training and education - because we know that to rebuild Ohio's economy from the ground up, we need to provide everyday Ohioans with every opportunity to obtain the knowledge and skills they need to find good jobs and sustainable careers," Gov. Strickland said. "Project HIRE is a federal-state partnership that's working."

Created by the Strickland Administration and the federal government in 2009, Project HIRE has connected 160 Ohio workers with job placement at the Cleveland Clinic. In addition, a new Cleveland company, SP Data, used Project HIRE for mass recruitment and hiring assistance for hundreds of new jobs. The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act allocates $138 million to Ohio in Workforce Investment Act (WIA) funds. More information can be found HERE.

U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown is an outspoken advocate in Congress for workforce investment programs. Brown is the author of legislation that would help Ohio workers gain new skills to acquire jobs in emerging industries. Brown's Strengthening Employment Clusters to Organize Regional Success (SECTORS) Act provides grants for sector partnerships to focus on creating customized solutions for specific industries at the regional level. A sector approach can focus on the dual goals of promoting the long-term competitiveness of industries and advancing employment opportunities for workers.