Watching the national news reminds us daily of the nation’s still sluggish economy. The United States recently surpassed $16 trillion in debt and the unemployment rate remains above 8 percent. On top of all that, the country faces the possibility of being downgraded for just the second time since our founding—the first time was in August of last year.

Here in Ohio, on the other hand, the economy is moving in the right direction. While we still have a ways to go, jobs and businesses are returning, as evidenced by Ohio ranking fourth nationwide in job creation over the past 12 months. Last August, when the country and some states’ credit ratings were being downgraded, Ohio’s credit rating was actually upgraded.

Additionally, a recently released JobsOhio report indicated some good news for the state regarding job creation. During the second quarter of this year, which included the months April through June, JobsOhio secured the commitment of 4,666 new jobs. The organization worked with 77 different companies, ranging from manufacturing to technology to energy.

JobsOhio already has a strong resume of helping businesses meet their needs to create jobs for Ohioans who want to get back to work coming out of these tough economic times. Furthermore, JobsOhio has a proven track record of producing positive returns on investment. That is, the tax revenue that is generated from the increase in jobs surpasses the total amount invested by the state, often within three years of the investment being made.

There are other factors, of course, that contribute to the increase in jobs. I am proud of the fact that my Republican colleagues entered this legislative session with the understanding that Ohio needed more jobs and that the best thing for government to do was to unleash the innovation and initiative of the private sector to make that happen. We have cut taxes, eliminated our state’s budget deficit and have scaled back the burdensome regulations that hurt small businesses.

These decisions weren’t always easy, but they needed to be done. The results thus far have been promising. But there is still a long way to go.


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