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MANSFIELD — The state of Ohio is reimbursing employers for the cost of “upskilling” their employees.

Ohio’s Development Services Agency is accepting applications for the second round of its TechCred program, which reimburses employers for the cost of employees earning industry-recognized, technology-focused credentials.

Businesses with successful applications can be reimbursed up to $2,000 per credentials. Applications are due Jan. 31.

Technology credentials are defined as credentials that rely on science, technology, engineering and/or math related education, as well as technical skills, to benefit an employer dependent on the development, deployment and investment in new and emerging technology, including software development, advanced manufacturing, data analytics, cybersecurity, computer hardware and design, military applications and other emerging fields.

A list of pre-approved credentials can be found here, but applicants can also make a case for a credential not included in the list.

“This is an opportunity for employers to identify successful employees that they already have in their business and assist them in taking the next step,” said Clint Knight, workforce development director at the Richland Area Chamber of Commerce.

Knight pointed out there are multiple credential providers in the area, such as the Madison Adult Career Center, North Central State College and the Ohio State University at Mansfield; however, credentials don’t have to be earned in the state of Ohio to be eligible for reimbursement.

“If there’s a program that applies locally, we want to encourage employers to take advantage of that, but it’s not limited to that,” said Knight.

The first round of the TechCred program took place in November. According to Knight, all seven of the local companies that completed the application received at least part of the funding requested.

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