Job creation is an ongoing process, one that requires sustained efforts and innovative approaches. This fact has been reflected in the work of the 129th Ohio General Assembly since the very start of our current legislative session. We have passed numerous bills to benefit Ohio’s businesses, promote economic recovery and grow our job market. Beginning with the formation of JobsOhio, a non-profit economic development engine, the state legislature has made a commitment to getting our economy back on track.

There is no doubt that JobsOhio has been an integral factor in Ohio’s standout job growth numbers in recent months. The entity has helped to encourage development of key industries, incentivize business expansion and relocation, and remove government obstacles that deter job creation. While the JobsOhio network continues its important mission, the House has passed Senate Bill 314—companion legislation to House Bill 489—to induce further job growth. The bill will accomplish this task by reforming Ohio’s system of economic development. Governor Kasich signed Senate Bill 314 into law in late June, solidifying this most recent effort.

Specifically, the legislation finalizes the transition of the Ohio Department of Development to the Ohio Development Services Agency (ODSA). This process will make government operations more efficient, paving the way for more job creation now and in the future. The bill also includes provisions that support the work of JobsOhio. For instance, Senate Bill 314 will oversee the administration of tax credits and loans to businesses.

Another crucial component of the legislation is TourismOhio. This new five-year pilot program will be housed within the ODSA and will offer funding for tourism marketing. In Ohio, the tourism industry employs 439,000 individuals, a significant portion of our workforce. Investment in this prominent sector of our economy is a worthy endeavor and will, no doubt, result in impressive returns. To back up this claim, we need only look back to 2011, a year in which Ohio received a $14 return on every $1 invested.

As I reflect on all of the job creation efforts taken by the Ohio House during this General Assembly, I am confident that the passage of Senate Bill 314 has been one of our most important actions. ODSA will ensure that Ohio can sustain long-term job growth so that our state can look forward to a positive economic outlook for years to come.


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