Simply creating jobs is not always enough to improve the economy. There have to be qualified, educated workers ready to fill those positions, or else those jobs remain unfilled, and the applicants looking for work must continue looking. The Ohio House and other state agencies have remained committed to finding ways to prepare the workforce we need to fill the available jobs. With oil and natural gas drilling taking off in Southeast Ohio, the demand for capable, drug-free workers has never been greater. We want to fill these jobs with qualified Ohio workers, rather than be reduced to looking elsewhere.
One of the most definitive findings of the committee was the urgent need to consolidate certain workforce development programs—which had grown over time to 77 distinct programs spread across 13 different state agencies—in order to eliminate services that are inefficient or obsolete. Furthermore, we needed to strengthen the collaboration between colleges and the business community, in order to ensure the relevancy of the training provided.
These are critical steps forward on the path to full employment for our workforce.