Ohio encourages its kids to get a higher education

COLUMBUS, OH: The Ohio Board of Regents and Northlich Communications have launched a dollars 500,000 PR campaign to encourage the state's high school students to attend college.

COLUMBUS, OH: The Ohio Board of Regents and Northlich Communications have launched a dollars 500,000 PR campaign to encourage the state's high school students to attend college.

COLUMBUS, OH: The Ohio Board of Regents and Northlich Communications have launched a dollars 500,000 PR campaign to encourage the state's high school students to attend college.

Ohio ranks 40th out of the 50 states in the percentage of its residents (17%) who have a four-year college degree. Without a highly educated workforce, the state has had trouble attracting hi-tech and other white-collar jobs.

Steeped in a blue-collar tradition, many Ohio parents do not see the value of a college education, and some even actively discourage their children from going to college.

'We've got a serious problem,' said Michael Brown, director of communications with the board. 'We needed a grassroots way to do a lot with a little money to change these attitudes.'

The campaign features a bus tour, dubbed the Ohio Success Express, that visits high schools across the state and touts the value of higher education.

Ohio colleges and universities are being asked to supply volunteers to staff the bus at its various stops.

Northlich is working with the local community, business leaders and the government to create grassroots groups to stress the value of higher education after the Success Express leaves various locales. The bus made its first stop at the state capital of Columbus on January 10. The tour will continue through June.

The campaign's initial goal is to increase the college application rate of state high school juniors from the 65% seen in the past, Brown said.

The board secured dollars 500,000 from the state two years ago to attack the problem. It hired Northlich last year, impressed by the firm's past work in the consumer products area.





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