The first bill passed out of the Ohio House last year created JobsOhio, which addressed the state’s need for jobs and economic development. Over the past year JobsOhio has produced impressive results. It has sparked the creation of more than 21,000 jobs and generated almost $928 million in new annual payroll, based on statistics compiled at the end of 2011.

To continue this success, the House is shifting its focus to further implement the program and ensure that it has proper oversight by state government. With this effort the Ohio Department of Development will become the Development Services Agency (ODSA). The name change will better reflect the mission of the department. The new agency will now stand to provide services to JobsOhio, including administering and overseeing loans and tax credits.

The legislation implementing these changes, known as JobsOhio 2, will essentially make administrative modifications to the operation of JobsOhio. Now that we have had a year to analyze the impact that the job-creating entity has had on Ohio, we can move forward to make it even better. Our primary goal is to create a more efficient, streamlined process of supporting Ohio’s businesses.

Another way of boosting our economy is to attract people from other states to come to Ohio. This includes establishing a more business friendly climate that encourages citizens to move here permanently. With this effort we also look to enhance the state’s tourism industry. JobsOhio 2 creates the TourismOhio Advisory Board, which will consist of industry experts tasked with proposing strategies for making Ohio a top tourist destination. More specifically, it creates a five-year funding pilot program that will link the funding for TourismOhio with the growth in sales tax revenues of tourism-related industries.

Just like individual businesses compete to attract customers to their stores, states compete to bring people within their borders in order to help boost their economies. Warren County particularly has lot to offer in the tourism industry and this legislation will be beneficial to economic growth in our area. I believe that directing our attention to this industry will help to make Warren County’s attractions better known to people all over the country.


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