Friday, November 7, 2008

Educating and Welcoming Returning Veterans

A story ran in the Enquirer today about a project I am thrilled about--a new local effort to make this area as attractive as possible to returning veterans seeking an education and, ultimately, a long-term home for themselves and their families:

Basically, under the new GI Bill passed through Congress this year, there are very generous new educational benefits for returning veterans--something long overdue. But this also opens up opportunities for areas like our's, and strong universities and community colleges, to take advantage of these new benefits.

The strategy is simple: do everything we can to reach out to and attract potential veteran-students from across the Midwest and beyond, and to be as veteran-friendly as possible once they arrive, which also means being sensitive to the unique needs of veteran-students. (A great New York Times story recently highlighted some of those unique needs in stark terms --

This effort is further helped by the fact that Governor Strickland earlier this year signed the Ohio GI Promise--mandating that all veterans get to attend Ohio schools on in-state tuition.

The bottom line: this approach will pay off in numerous ways. Most importantly, it is the right thing to do because our veterans have earned it through their service and sacrifice. But for our region, putting out a clarion call that we are a destination to veterans seeking their education helps the educational institutions involved, and carries an even bigger long-term and strategic benefit in growing our population, and assuring that our population is as educated as possible.

For this reason, our County's Veterans' Service Commission, which works in all sorts of other ways to assist veterans, is excited about this opportunity, and plans to partner with and assist U.C. and the other institutions in any way that they can.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

David - I recently wrote to another commissioner about the need to coorelate the "medic" status of veterans with the high need for doctors and nurses in this area, and an underlining need to create an educational hub for para-professionals here.

However, the VSC here really sucks. They are punitive, slow, and I believe racist. When will the county work with the court that appoints VSC members to address the problems. (Some exposed by an I-Team investigation a couple years back)

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