Higher education, degree completion keys to driving prosperity, President Hopkins says

Wright State University President David R. Hopkins touring Vantage Career Center in Van Wert, with Staci Kaufman (back right), superintendent of the career center.

Getting more Ohioans to attend college and complete their degrees is critical in order to produce a more competitive workforce, Wright State University President David R. Hopkins told dozens of business leaders in the Lake Campus area.

Hopkins spoke to about 150 business leaders, educators and others at the Celina event Sept. 24 as part of his annual “Report to the Community.” The event was one of many visits Hopkins regularly makes in the Lake Campus area.

“I’m very passionate about restoring this great state to prosperity,” Hopkins said. “The role of higher education has never been more important than it is today to address this.”

As part of his visit, Hopkins also traveled to Van Wert, where he spoke to the Van Wert Rotary Club and toured the Vantage Career Center.

Wright State partners with Northwest State Community College at the career center.
The newly renovated 193,000-square-foot center features business and nursing programs as well as an array of trades programs for about 450 students from 13 high schools. It also serves 1,400 adult students each year.

Hopkins said he was impressed with the facility, commending the center’s effort to connect graduates with jobs.

In Celina, Hopkins told the gathering that Wright State’s Lake Campus is going strong, with significant enrollment increases in engineering and business.

“We need you to encourage people to get an education,” Hopkins said. “We can zoom ahead of a lot of states if we make higher education a priority in Ohio.”

Hopkins told the Rotary Club that Wright State works hard to connect its students with co-ops and internships, which helps land them jobs and keeps them in Ohio.

He also said the university is doing a better job of tracking graduates to make sure they were given the skills that matched available jobs.

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