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OMA Reps Appointed to Governor’s Workforce Panel

June 14, 2019

Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine this week appointed more than two dozen Ohio citizens to serve on his Executive Workforce Board. The board advises the Governor’s Office of Workforce Transformation, as well as the governor himself, on the development, implementation, and continuous improvement of the state’s workforce system.

Most board members are from the business community, but also included are representatives from the Ohio General Assembly, local government, state agency, labor, and higher education.

Among the appointees were:

  • OMA President Eric Burkland;
  • OMA board member Lissa Barry, president and CEO of Delta Systems Inc.;
  • OMA Workforce Leadership Committee Chair Scot McLemore, manager of talent acquisition and deployment at Honda North America, Inc.; and
  • Randy Niekamp, vice president – human resources for Crown Equipment Corp.

All new appointees started their terms June 10. 6/10/2019

OMA President Eric Burkland addresses the June 12 quarterly meeting of the Governor’s Executive Workforce Board. Burkland briefed fellow board members on industry sector partnerships and ways to encourage regional workforce innovation.

House Passes Funding for Industry Sector Partnerships

June 14, 2019

The Ohio House of Representatives this week passed House Bill 2, priority legislation that is supported by the OMA. If enacted, HB 2 would create the TechCred program to reimburse employers for costs associated with training current or prospective employees who earn an industry-recognized credential.

The bill would also provide $2.5 million a year, for two years, to help support business-led industry sector partnerships. For the past several years, the OMA has worked to created a network of manufacturing sector partnerships statewide. These partnerships would be eligible to receive grants individually or as a network for their efforts to promote manufacturing careers, while also helping individuals attain the skills necessary to enter the manufacturing workforce.

Meanwhile, the Senate Finance Committee has included portions of HB 2 in its substitute version of the state budget bill (HB 166) — but the amount of funding available for the programs has been reduced considerably. The OMA is working to restore the funding amounts in the Senate. 6/13/2019

June 14, 2019

Last year, 14.3% of Ohio employees were represented by a labor union, up from 13.6% one year earlier. That’s according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) and its newly revised data on union membership.

According to the BLS, roughly 639,000 Ohio workers (12.6% of those employed) belonged to a union. Another 83,000 wage and salary workers in the Buckeye State were represented by a union, but weren’t members themselves. Of Ohio’s neighboring states, only Michigan had a higher percentage of union-represented employees at 15.4%.

Nationally, the highest rates of union representation in 2018 were in Hawaii (24.3%), New York (24.1%), and Washington (20.5%). The lowest rates were in South Carolina (3.6%), North Carolina (4.0%), and Arkansas (5.3%).

Despite claiming the 16th highest percentage of union-represented workers in the U.S., Ohio’s 14.3% figure is far below its level from 1990, when 23.2% of Ohio employees were represented by a union.

Meanwhile, additional analysis by UnionStats.com shows a large disparity in Ohio’s union representation. Half (50.0%) of Ohio’s public employees were represented by a union in 2018, compared to only 8.4% of private-sector workers. 6/13/2019

Cleveland Experts Examine European Education Models for Ideas to Close Skills Gap

June 14, 2019

Earlier this week, The Plain Dealer published a report on possible ways Northeast Ohio could reform its K-12 education system to better meet the state’s workforce needs and fill existing jobs.

The report — which was part of the newspaper’s “Pathways to Prosperity” series to examine European education models that have been successful in helping close the skills gap — offered key recommendations from business and academic professionals. The suggestions included:

  • Start as early as middle school to motivate students with visions of a meaningful career.
  • Make the experience count. High schoolers are ready to do demanding work, especially from internships to apprenticeships.
  • Fit training to in-demand jobs. Teach specific occupational skills, as well as general academic skills.
  • Include soft skills, such as collegiality and dependability.
  • Consider students’ finances. Early training gives students valuable skills before graduating from high school. That helps them earn a living wage upon graduation, instead of piling up more training costs.
  • Keep the pathway open for adult workers.

The story notes that there are “exemplary local programs” already in existence, such as Cleveland’s Early College Early Career program, which offers high school students paid internships with manufacturers and tuition-free community college classes. 6/10/2019

Work Continues on Priority Workforce Legislation

June 7, 2019

House Bill 2, a priority measure that aims to enhance Ohio’s workforce, was advanced earlier this week from the House Workforce and Economic Development Committee and was quickly referred to the House Finance Committee due to the bill’s proposed appropriations. The OMA supports HB 2.

Reps. Jon Cross (R-Kenton) and Michele Lepore-Hagan (D-Youngstown) provided sponsor testimony Thursday before the Finance Committee to summarize the need for the bill. The bill would continue to provide $5 million over the course of two years for industry sector partnerships, while also funding a new TechCred program, which would reimburse employers up to $2,000 when their employees receive short-term training that results in an industry-recognized credential.

To help lead the way in workforce development, the OMA has established a network of manufacturer-led industry sector partnerships throughout the state. HB 2 is expected to be on the House floor next week. 6/6/2019

Bill to Boost Industry-Recognized Credentials, Certificates Clears the House

June 7, 2019

The second of two workforce priority bills offered this year in the Ohio House of Representatives cleared the floor on Thursday.

House Bill 4 would require the Governor’s Office of Workforce Transformation (OWT) to act as a liaison between the business community and the Ohio Department of Education or the Chancellor of Higher Education with regard to industry-recognized credentials or certificate programs.

The goal of HB 4, in its current form, is to use the OWT and the infrastructure it already has in place to help guide businesses as they develop or utilize the industry credentials recognized at the state level. 6/6/2019

$11M Grant Aims to Help Address Workforce Issues Related to Opioid Epidemic

June 7, 2019

This week, Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine announced that the state will invest $11 million over the next two years to help employers and unemployed workers across the state overcome issues related to the opioid epidemic. Using resources from a U.S. Department of Labor grant, the state will support employers who hire individuals in recovery, and provide job training and other services to help unemployed workers recover from substance use disorder and find jobs. 6/6/2019

Analysis: Residents and Their Money Leaving Midwest, Northeast States

June 7, 2019

An estimated 5 million Americans move from one state to another every year. When residents leave a state, they not only take their families, they also take their financial resources.

According to a new Bloomberg analysis of federal data, Florida, South Carolina, and Idaho are enjoying the top economic gains from state-to-state migration, while Connecticut, New York, and Illinois are experiencing the biggest financial drains. In 2016 — the most recent year available — Connecticut’s “leavers” cost that state the equivalent of 1.6% of its annual adjusted gross income (AGI), while Florida took in $17.2 billion more than it lost due to migration, boosting its AGI nearly 2.9%.

The Midwest and Northeast are losing the most residents with high incomes and net-worths. In 2016, Ohio lost of $1.8 billion (0.54% of AGI) due to inter-state migration — seventh worst among the states.

Meanwhile, a study by the Cato Institute contends that high income earners are far more mobile when it comes to relocation. The migration rate for those earning between $50,000 and $200,000 per year is 1.4%, while those earning over $200,000 have a migration rate of 2.1%, Cato reported. 6/4/2019

House Continues Consideration of Workforce Bill

May 31, 2019

House Bill 2, priority legislation that is aimed at enhancing and growing the state’s skilled workforce, has received a fresh coat of paint as the House Economic Development and Workforce Committee accepted a new substitute version of the bill.

The main tenants of the HB 2 remain the same: $2.5 million in FY 2020 and FY 2021 for industry sector partnerships, and $15 million a year to reimburse employers for training current or prospective employees who receive an industry-recognized certificate. However, the new version of the bill adds complexity in some areas and vagueness in others.

The OMA is supportive of the bill’s purpose, and last week provided proponent testimony at the Statehouse. The OMA will continue to work with House lawmakers and the administration to improve the bill so manufacturers can make effective use of the programs and funding. 5/30/2019

Study: Ohio is a Good Choice for Millennials

May 31, 2019

A new study by financial website WalletHub.com finds that Ohio is among the nation’s better states for millennials, who are now ages 23-38. The Buckeye State is ranked 15th best overall by WalletHub. When comparing neighboring states, only Pennsylvania is ranked higher.

For its study, WalletHub looked at 36 key metrics across 50 states and the District of Columbia to determine where the millennial generation has thrived and struggled. Categories include millennial unemployment rates, percentage of millennials living with their parents, and quality of life. According to WalletHub, Ohio is fourth best for housing affordability, eighth best for overall affordability, No. 14 for civic engagement, and No. 19 for quality of life. Ohio’s worst ranking came in the area of “economic health,” in which it was No. 35.

Meanwhile, another study — this one from the National Association of Realtors — found that Dayton, Cleveland, Akron, and Toledo are all in the top 10 most affordable metro areas for millennial homebuyers. Roughly half of all homes on the market in these cities are priced right for millennials, according to the realtors group. 5/29/2019