Dear OCEA Members and Partners,

We are thrilled to welcome many of our members and supporters to the 2024 Annual State Conference, hosted by the Ohio Cooperative Education Association in the vibrant City of Cleveland this May! Known as the "City of Bridges," Cleveland's numerous swinging, lifting, and soaring bridges in The Flats area, spanning the Cuyahoga River, make it a fitting backdrop for this year's theme: "Bridging Education & Industry: The Power of Work-Based Learning."
This year, OCEA has renewed its commitment to serve as a bridge connecting services, resources, organizations, economic development initiatives, government agencies, companies, universities, and community colleges. Our shared goal is unwavering: to strengthen resources and cultivate connections to enhance Ohio's workforce.

Throughout the years, OCEA has been instrumental in Ohio by uniting stakeholders who champion early student engagement in work, even before they earn their certificates or degrees. The increasing support for work-integrated learning across Ohio—including co-ops, internships, and apprenticeships—demonstrates a clear trend: students are actively seeking hands-on field experiences, and companies are increasingly welcoming students to practice and explore within their chosen fields. We are proud to facilitate these vital connections.

The OCEA Annual State Conference offers a dynamic opportunity to unite, engage in shared learning, network, and celebrate the achievements in our field, as well as those of the thousands of students gaining meaningful work-based learning experiences throughout Ohio each year. I would like to extend a special thank you to our conference Co-Chairs and Board members, Genine Apidone (Case Western Reserve University) and Emily Kadas (Park Place Technologies) and other members of the conference planning committee for working hard to make our conference a successful and memorable experience! Listed on our website and conference program, we would like to acknowledge the generosity of our conference sponsors as well!

Whether you are a seasoned veteran of OCEA or a new member and attendee, the OCEA Board extends a warm and inclusive welcome to everyone committed to nurturing students on their path into the workforce. We look forward to having you join us for this event and in the years to come. Together, we will make a meaningful impact on the development and success of Ohio's students and workforce.

Warm regards,


Eric McGarvey

President, OCEA Board
Executive Director, Summer on the Cuyahoga
2023-24 OCEA President 

Thank you to our 2024 Sponsors!