PIQUA, Ohio (WDTN) — Lt. Governor Jon Husted toured the Miami Valley on Tuesday promoting career, technical and vocational education, while encouraging young people to take advantage of the free and low cost options.

Husted said the training offered at Upper Valley Career Center is one of the keys to making sure Ohio’s economy recovers from the pandemic.

“Any career basically you want, you can get your start right here,” said Husted.

Upper Valley Career Center offers 25 programs with a 93% placement rate in college, career or military. Husted pointed out that some students start off making $50,000 right out of high school with no debt.

“For today, I signed at Emerson, and its actually a really good company and I hope that I can have a really good future there,” said Hayden Schmidt, a junior at Upper Valley. “If you’re really more hands-on you definitely wanna come here because you’re going to find a really good job out of here and if you don’t want to go to college and get college debt, this is a really good way to make money right out of high school.”

Husted and Governor Mike DeWine are hoping to allocate $25 million of the upcoming state budget to incentivize tech and vocational skills. The money would pay for certification tests and award schools for graduating more students with in-demand credentials.

“It’s 58 students who made over a million dollars while going to school here. They’re earning a lot of money and learning how to wisely spend that money once they’re out in the world,” said Husted.