EATON — On Friday, Dec. 7, U.S. Senator Rob Portman toured Henny Penny World Headquarters, an employee-owned manufacturer of premium commercial food equipment based in Eaton.
Following the tour, Portman participated in an employee town hall with Henny Penny employees and members of the Center for Innovative Food Technology (CIFT).
CIFT is a membership consortium comprised of food industry businesses, suppliers, and academic institutions, to enhance the economic viability of Ohio’s food and agricultural sector through advanced technology, research projects, and job creation.
“I enjoyed visiting Henny Penny today and hearing from their leadership as well as from members of CIFT regarding workforce development and what they, as business leaders, are doing to help boost their local economy,” said Portman. “We had very productive discussion, and I will take their ideas, feedback, and the good-work I saw here back to Washington because we need more like it. I will continue my work at the federal level to make sure that Washington is an effective partner with local communities in providing Ohioans with the skills training they need to succeed.”
As co-chair of the Senate Career and Technical Education Caucus, Portman has led efforts in the Senate to strengthen CTE programs and help Ohioans find meaningful employment. In July, the president signed Portman’s Educating Tomorrow’s Workforce Act, legislation he crafted with Senator Tim Kaine (D-VA) to allow states and localities to use Perkins grant funding to establish CTE-focused academies.
Portman has also worked on other measures to strengthen CTE programs, including introducing the bipartisan CTE Excellence and Equity Act to support re-designing the high school experience to include courses more relevant to the 21st century workforce to better prepare students for future careers. He introduced the bipartisan JOBS Act to expand Pell Grant eligibility to cover high-quality and rigorous short-term job training programs so workers can afford the skills training and credentials they need for today’s job market. Lastly, he introduced the Creating Quality Technical Educators Act to create a teacher residency grant program to help address the CTE teacher shortage in schools.
Reach Eddie Mowen Jr. at 937-683-4056 or on Twitter @emowen_RH.