State Rep. Lauren McNally announced that the state Controlling Board has approved $62,776 for Youngstown State University as part of the Ohio Department of Public Safety's and Chancellor of High Education's Campus Safety Grant Program. 

"Students safety must be priority in Ohio, and these upgrades are a necessary part of that," said Rep. McNally. "I'm glad YSU's campus will get these improvements." 

The Campus Safety Grant Program provides funding to state institutions of higher education for eligible security improvements that assist the institutions in improving the overall physical security and safety of all their buildings on public campuses throughout Ohio, awarding grants competitively to eligible state institutions of higher education. 

Upon release of the funds, YSU will purchase and install new video camera systems and their association equipment, improving the function and reliability of the system on campus and increasing safety and security.

"As an anchor institution, both in the Mahoning Valley and the state, it is imperative that we continue investing in YSU," said Rep. McNally.

According to the Controlling Board Request, YSU will purchase the video equipment from CDW-G who, in November 1, 2019, entered into a Master Price Agreement with the Inter-University Council Purchasing Group, a purchasing consortium comprised of the purchasing officers of the state institutions of higher education, allowing for the deepest discounts available to YSU who is a member of the consortium.

The $62,776 awarded to YSU will go toward the equipment purchase and installation by Zenith Systems LLC.

In addition, the Controlling Board approved of $263,994 in support for YSU from the Ohio Department of Education's Workforce Based Training and Equipment line item as part of the ODE's Regionally Aligned Priorities in Delivering Skills (RAPIDS) program. 

"We have a problem with keeping young people in Ohio after they graduate with a four-year degree. I'm glad the state is doing its part to give our students and businesses in Mahoning Valley the resources they need, but let's be clear that more investment in people is needed," said Rep. McNally. "We need to create more economic options for employment, goods, and services, as well as a supportive cultural environment, if we want these investments to pay off down the road."

The ODE Workforce Based Training and Equipment line item is meant for the education and skill training of students and incumbent workers in meeting the current and future talent needs of growing, emerging and high demand industries through investment in capital equipment and facilities, while the goals of the RAPIDS program are to retain and expand existing businesses, attract new enterprises and further entrepreneurship.

The proposed equipment purchase by YSU will directly impact the capacity and capability of the institution in serving students and regional businesses. It will be used for manufacturing education, training and up-skilling current and future workers of Ohio and developing a talent pipeline that addresses the skill and workforce needs of Ohio's growing and high-demand businesses and industries.

"I believe in the people of this region and their ability to work hard," said Rep. McNally. "I'll be excited to learn more from the folks on the ground when these programs roll out."