Historically Black universities in Greene County expanding opportunities to those with disabilities

GREENE COUNTY — The College 2 Careers program expanding to Wilberforce University and Central State University not only offers additional support to students with disabilities, but it also connects them with an expansive network of employers based in Ohio.

“It’s an expansion that’s long overdue,” said Ohio Lt. Gov. Jon Husted. “Right now, in Ohio we are creating jobs faster than we can find people to fill them so it’s important that we enable everybody who wants to participate in this growing economy.”

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Husted joined university leaders in Xenia Tuesday to formally announce the expansion of the program to the two historically Black colleges.

As part of WHIO-TV’s commitment to cover community issues in our Dayton Gets Real series, News Center 7′s Candace Price found out how the two universities are working to help students with disabilities to gain independence and find work in the Buckeye State.

The latest U.S. Census Bureau data shows 15 percent of Ohioans, which is about 1.7 million people, have a disability.

“These are our family members, our friends but they’re also people looking to work and find their purpose,” said Kevin Miller, Director of Opportunities for Ohioans with Disabilities. “We’re announcing an embedded counselor at both Wilberforce and Central State to help students with disabilities be able to graduate and get into the workforce.”

Jack Thomas, President of Central State University said the addition of the counselor is something that is needed at the school.

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“We believe in diversity and inclusion and we are able to reach out to anybody…as many people as possible to make sure they get a quality and we’ll rounded education,” Thomas told News Center 7′s Candace Price.

Funding for the expansion of the College 2 Careers program to Wilberforce and Central State come from the state executive budget from the fiscal years of 2022-2023.

Across the state, over 980 students are already participating in the College to Careers program, according to Husted.