When we think about boosting Ohio’s economy and expanding the job market within the state, we must look at it on a national scale. As opposed to what things were like many years ago, individuals and businesses have an increased capability of moving into and out of states depending on the economic climate they are surrounded by. With greater mobility comes greater options.

Unfortunately, the state of Ohio has seen this play out in a negative way, as hundreds thousands of people have moved to other states to pursue their careers because the options simply were not available in Ohio. It is not that they would not have preferred to stay in our state, but just that the job opportunities had got up and left.

That is why issues like job creation and workforce development are so important. The two go hand-in-hand. We cannot attract people to move to, or stay, in Ohio unless viable job opportunities are available, but we cannot fill new job positions unless our workforce is ready and capable to fill those positions. Both issues have been major topics for the state legislature during the current General Assembly.

The focus that has been placed on both job creation and workforce development became abundantly clear to me quickly upon my being sworn in to Ohio House of Representatives on April 25th. I would like to express my gratitude to the selection committee and the speaker of the House for selecting me to serve the citizens of the 85th House District. It is truly a humbling experience and I look forward to meeting and working with constituents to solve issues within the district.

The top priority at this time for so many families in the district and throughout Ohio is jobs. Late last year, the House issued a report that analyzed the state’s current workforce development system after hearing testimony from job seekers, job creators and other interested citizens with ideas on how to improve the system. Currently there are 77 different workforce development programs dispersed among 13 state agencies. With so many programs and departments working on the same issue, the goal of developing the workforce could obviously get bogged down by bureaucracy and paperwork.

Those statistics should serve as a reminder that government does not create jobs. But by changing the way it interacts with businesses and workers alike, it can harbor a better atmosphere for job creation, while making sure that aspiring workers have the proper skills to take on those jobs. As job creation is beginning to improve in Ohio, so too are the efforts to create a strong, healthy workforce. The House has been engaged in finding ways to link technical schools and community colleges with the job market. With economic prospects, such as expanded energy production, on the rise, more streamlined workforce development efforts will be needed to fill new jobs.


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