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On-Demand Webinar: Preparing for Industry 4.0

August 20, 2021

This week, the OMA hosted an in-depth look at opportunities in Industry 4.0 — manufacturing’s integration of digital automation. Experts from OMA Connections Partner Plante Moran examined ways Ohio manufacturers — including smaller and mid-sized businesses — can engage to improve performance and profitability.

Check out the slides and recorded audio from this webinar, which has been added to the OMA’s online video library. 8/19/2021

NAM Commends Senate Action on Infrastructure Act

August 13, 2021

Following U.S. Senate passage this week of the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) President and CEO Jay Timmons released this statement, saying in part:

“… This is the type of infrastructure investment manufacturers have long championed, and the bipartisan approach shows that our legislators can indeed still come together to accomplish transformational change. We now urge members of the House to follow the Senate’s example, pass this bipartisan bill and send it to the president’s desk for his signature without delay. …” 8/11/2021

Compressed Time for Ohio Redistricting Process

August 13, 2021

The Statehouse News Bureau has summarized the process by which Ohio’s new legislative districts — based on the 2020 census — will be created.

Five Republicans and two Democrats sit on the panel. Governor Mike DeWine (R), Secretary of State Frank LaRose (R), Auditor Keith Faber (R), House Speaker Bob Cupp (R-Lima), and Senate President Matt Huffman (R-Lima) are on the panel because they occupy the offices designated by law to be part of the commission. House Minority Leader Emilia Sykes (D-Akron) and Sen. Vernon Sykes (D-Akron) have been tapped by leaders to fill the commission’s minority seats. Cupp and Vernon Sykes will serve as co-chairs.

The commission must meet a Sept. 1 deadline for having the legislative districts drawn. There will be nine hearings throughout the state in the coming weeks so voters can weigh in.

Complicating the process is that the 2020 census data weren’t available until yesterday, August 12; these data include the population counts and demographic characteristics needed to redraw electoral district boundaries. 8/10/2021

Vanderhoff Will Lead Ohio Department of Health

August 13, 2021

This week Gov. Mike DeWine announced that Bruce Vanderhoff, M.D., will become the Director of the Ohio Department of Health and that Stephanie McCloud, who has been serving as Director of the Ohio Department of Health, will resume leadership of the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation as administrator.

The changes are effective Monday, August 16. Both positions require confirmation by the Ohio Senate. 8/11/2021

Hearings Set on Employer Rights Reduction

August 13, 2021

On August 24, the House will start holding hearings again on a bill that would limit employers’ rights with respect to vaccination policy. The House Health Committee will hear testimony on House Bill 248 – a bill prohibiting any public or private entity (i.e. businesses, schools, childcare facilities, universities, or hospitals) from mandating or requesting an individual get any vaccine, not just the COVID-19 vaccine, or from requiring or requesting an individual’s vaccine status.

Ross McGregor, a former state representative and president and owner of Pentaflex Inc., testified on behalf of the OMA against the legislation in June. While his company doesn’t currently mandate COVID-19 vaccinations, McGregor testified that, “Employers are in the best position to make those choices on how best to protect their companies, not the government. Restricting an employer’s ability to safeguard its employees’ health in the workplace not only puts its employees, their families, and communities in danger, but also impacts the manufacturing supply chain, which is already fragile due to the complex nature of our businesses.” 8/12/2021

OMA’s Margaret West Retires After 40 Years

August 6, 2021

After more than 40 years at the OMA, Margaret West — who served as the OMA’s director of financial and administrative services — has retired from the association.

West started her OMA career in April 1981, the same month the space shuttle Columbia made its first voyage. When asked what she will miss most about the OMA, she said “it will be a toss-up between my co-workers and my work,” which allowed her to communicate with OMA members.

Margaret said she’s looking forward to catching up on reading, having lunch with friends, and no longer setting her alarm. The OMA congratulates Margaret on her retirement and thanks her for four decades of service to Ohio manufacturers! 8/2/2021

Ohio’s Economic Dashboard

August 6, 2021

As Ohio’s economy continues to recover, here are the most recent updates of key economic indicators for the Buckeye State:

Meanwhile, the Back-to-Normal Index — compiled by Moody’s Analytics and CNN Business — shows Ohio’s economy at 95% of its pre-pandemic level. 8/5/2021

Intel CEO: Chip Shortage Could Last Another Two Years

August 6, 2021

Pat Gelsinger, CEO of Intel — a leading semiconductor manufacturer — recently said the global shortage of microchips could get worse this year. Moreover, he told the BBC the shortage could continue for another “year or two.”(Other experts say the crisis could last even longer.)

This recent article in TIME spotlights the complexities of semiconductor shortage. It points out that in 1990, 37% of chips were made in the U.S. By 2020 that number had dropped to 12%. 8/3/2021

DeWine Outpaces Challengers in 2022 Fundraising

August 6, 2021

The 2022 general election is still 15 months away, but we now have an idea of where the leading candidates for governor stand in the race for campaign cash.

Late last week, the DeWine-Husted campaign reported raising $3 million during the first half of this year, bringing the campaign’s cash-on-hand total to more than $6.5 million. The two challengers in the GOP race, farmer Joe Blystone and former Congressman Jim Renacci raised $258,000 and $22,000, respectively.

Nan Whaley, the only Democrat in the governor’s race so far, reported raising $1.6 million in the first half of 2020, bringing her cash on hand to $1.8 million. 8/2/2021

Carey, Brown Advance; Favored Going Into Nov. 2 Special Election

August 6, 2021

Democrat Shontel Brown — a Cuyahoga County councilwoman — and Republican Mike Carey — an energy lobbyist — this week won their primary races for Ohio’s two vacant U.S. House seats. The unofficial primary election results can be seen here.

Considering the political makeup of their 11th and 15th congressional districts, both are heavily favored to win in the Nov. 2 special general election. 8/4/2021