DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) – Lieutenant Governor Jon Husted says the future is bright for Ohio’s economy, but that training for in-demand skills is key to continued growth.

He believes many of the new jobs being created require technical skills and Ohio’s workforce will need those skills to keep attracting companies. A program introduced Thursday is one way officials are trying to make that happen.

“We have a record-low unemployment rate. We have a lot of jobs out there with good pay that are available, but we just have to make sure that if we’re going to grow the economy that we have people with the kinds of skills that these jobs demand,” he said.

There’s a reason for Ohioans to be optimistic about economic growth, he says, but admits some colleges and universities need to do a better job of preparing students for today’s workforce needs.

“We need more students to major in or get industry certifications in the areas that the economy actually demands. I think that there is still a disconnect between what young people say they want to do and what they enroll in versus what the economy actually demands,” Husted says.

During an appearance at Sinclair Community College Thursday, Husted discussed the state’s new Industry Sector Partnership Grant Program. He says it’s a way to bring educational institutions and businesses together – to better prepare the workforce.

“Ohio has no options. We have to win. And I look at the Dayton region, and I say the same thing. We have to win,” says Jeff Hoagland, President and CEO of the Dayton Development Coalition.

Hoagland says a well-trained workforce is essential to growing the companies that are already here – and bringing new ones to the Miami Valley.

“That is partnering with our K-8, our high schools, our community colleges and our four-years,” he said.

Officials say the state will invest 5 million dollars over the next two years in the Industry Sector Grant Partnership Program.