At our membership meeting last week, Daryl Revoldt, the Legislative and Community Outreach Director at Jobs Ohio and Karen Conrad from the Ohio Department of Development spoke about job creation efforts in the State of Ohio.
Daryl noted there is a great deal of misperception about Jobs Ohio and its mission. It is a 501 (c)4 not-for-profit created to lead Ohio’s job creation efforts. It focuses on growing jobs by targeting nine industries (energy; polymer and chemical; automotive; aerospace/aviation; advanced manufacturing; financial services; food processing and agribusiness; biohealth; and information technology) and four business functions (headquarters; logistics; research and development; and back office).
By working through 6 regional organizations, Jobs Ohio hopes to speed the process of bringing in new employers and helping existing businesses expand. They also assist businesses with the acquisition of new facilities for expansion. By cutting the time required to put together a package of incentives for new employers, they hope to make the state more attractive to business expansion.
In the Jobs Ohio model, information about business development opportunities passes from one of the regional partners to Jobs Ohio. It then makes requests to various State of Ohio agencies, such as the soon to be renamed Department of Development or the tax credit authority to utilize existing incentive opportunities.
Daryl also spoke about the overall structure of Jobs Ohio and how it will interact with communities and employers. He noted that the next enabling bill for the organization is currently under consideration by the legislature. The legislation was approved by the Senate this week.
Karen Conrad spoke of how the remaining elements of the Department of Development will assist in the job creation effort. As a former manager of the Ohio Labor-Management Cooperation Program, she recognizes the importance both groups play in economic development.
Karen is serving as the liaison between Jobs Ohio and Development during the transition to the new organization. She indicated Development will play a primarily back-office type role, providing support and funding for programs recommended by Jobs Ohio. Development will also maintain its interest in energy and other programs they have managed for the State of Ohio.