HAMILTON, Ohio (WKRC) – As presidential candidates continue to talk about the rising cost of student debt and possibly eliminating it, Miami University is already doing something about.
A new program at the Hamilton regional campus will begin in the fall. The end game: a college degree and no debt.
Ohio State Sen. Bill Coley helped bring the program to Butler County and Miami University. They’re modeling it after a similar program the University of Louisville has with UPS.
"When you talk to the folks at Miami, they say we can make this better. And so, they've done just that,” said Coley at a press conference earlier in June.
Here’s how it’s going to work in Butler County:
A student will apply to the Hamilton campus and apply for a job at one of three companies: Deceuninck North America, The Fischer Group and Thysssenkrupp Bilstein of America.
While enrolled in the school, the university will pay for housing and books while the employer pays the tuition and the student a wage for their work. As long as the student maintains good standing at school and at the job, they’ll graduate with no debt. And the companies get workers they can groom.
"We saw it as an opportunity to get some laborers in here to help with our workforce and give back by allowing them to grow and develop in a large manufacturing organization,” said Amy Padgett with Deceuninck.
All three companies focus on manufacturing and building products but are not limited to it. In the case for Deceuninck, the Monroe facilities are the company’s North American headquarters. While most of the entry-level positions would be on the floor, there are other opportunities in areas of research and development, engineering, tech support, accounting, finance, marketing and sales.
“We have pretty much all the positions and manufacture would have. So we are standalone self-sufficient in the U.S.,” said Padgett.
Miami University President Dr. Gregory Crawford calls the partnership a win win win win! Students, businesses, Miami University and Ohio all win.
"From Miami's perspective, we will be able to interact with companies and industries in a big way and the way we have not been able to before,” said Crawford.
The opportunity this program gives students is unmatched by internships and co-ops. It will give students real work experience and a head start with no financial hardship.
"We have a tuition reimbursement program here, so this ties right into what we are already doing. But it just gives the students maybe a way they otherwise would not have to attend college, to get a two-year or four-year degree,” said Padgett.
The program hopes to have 50 students enrolled for the fall. Click here to learn more.