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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

OMA Leaders Testify in Support of Workforce Bill

May 24, 2019

On Wednesday, May 22, OMA board member and Brilex Industries President Brian Benyo testified at the Ohio Statehouse in support of House Bill 2, priority legislation aimed at enhancing and growing the state’s skilled workforce. HB 2 would complement the OMA’s workforce development strategy. Click here to see Benyo’s full testimony.

Benyo, founder of the Mahoning Valley Manufacturers Coalition (MVMC) — a sector partnership in Trumbull, Mahoning, and Columbiana counties — told the House Economic and Workforce Development Committee that “workforce development is the single most important issue facing Ohio businesses today.” The MVMC has enabled Youngstown-area manufacturers to work with educators and other partners to meet “an aligned set of priorities and needs,” Benyo said.

Also appearing in support of the bill were:

  • Jessica Borza, executive director, Mahoning Valley Manufacturers Coalition;
  • Jenny Stupica, director of manufacturing engagement, ConxusNEO;
  • Carla Fitzpatrick, business strategy coordinator and HR Manager, Anderson International Corp.; and
  • Amy Meyer, director of manufacturing engagement, Rhinestahl Corp.

As introduced, HB 2 would provide $2.5 million in FY 2020 and FY 2021 for industry sector partnerships, which are used to coordinate industry-led strategies to meet current and future workforce demands. HB 2 would also provide $15 million a year to reimburse employers for training current or prospective employees who receive an industry-recognized certificate. 5/22/2019

Appearing at this week’s hearing in support of HB 2 were (from left): Carla Fitzpatrick of Anderson International Corp.; Amy Meyer of Rhinestahl Corp.; Jenny Stupica of ConxusNEO; Jessica Borza of Mahoning Valley Manufacturers Coalition; and Brian Benyo of Brilex Industries.

Priority Bill Would Boost Industry-Recognized Credentials, Certificates

May 24, 2019

Among the bipartisan priority bills introduced in the Ohio House of Representatives late last week was House Bill 4, legislation that would allow the governor’s Office of Workforce Transformation (OWT) to work directly with employers to develop new industry-recognized credentials and certificates.

Under the HB 4 — sponsored by Rep. Tracy Richardson (R-Marysville) and Rep. Phillip Robinson (D-Solon) — employers proposing the creation of a new job training certificate or industry-recognized credential program would be able to work directly with the OWT rather than trying to navigate the state bureaucracy. The OWT would work collaboratively with the Ohio Department of Education or Department of Higher Education in developing the curriculum, standards, or materials necessary for the credential or certificate program.

HB 4 has been referred to the House Economic and Workforce Development for consideration. 5/21/2019

Ohio Unemployment Rate Hits 18-Year Low

May 24, 2019

Ohio’s unemployment rate has hit an 18-year low, according to state data, falling to 4.3% last month. That is the lowest level since July 2001. Several Ohio counties have seen their jobless rate fall below 3.5%. Meanwhile, the national unemployment rate is 3.6%.

Year-over-year, Ohio’s non-agricultural jobs have grown by 44,000, with 2,900 new jobs in the manufacturing sector. Since February 2010, Ohio has gained 593,900 jobs, according to federal reports. 5/20/2019

Workforce Development Bill Introduced

May 17, 2019

Priority legislation was introduced in the House this week to establish and fund three new workforce development programs. House Bill 2 would complement the OMA’s workforce development strategy with a heavy focus on industry sector partnerships and industry recognized credentials.

The legislation would provide $32.5 million in state funding in FY 2020 and FY 2021 for the three programs. The following is a breakdown of the bill’s program spending:

  • TechCred Program — $15 million a year ($14.7 million for employer assistance and $300,000 for administrative costs) to reimburse employers for training current or prospective employees who receive a micro-credential.
  • Individual Micro-Credential Assistance Program — $15 million a year ($14.7 million for employer assistance and $300,000 for administrative costs) to provide grants to individuals to pay for the costs of training to earn a micro-credential.
  • Industry Sector Partnerships Program — $2.5 million a year to support regional partnerships across the state, including a grant program to develop the partnerships and promote their mission.

See the full summary of HB 2 here. 5/16/2019