News and Analysis
Despite facing federal charges of engineering a $61 million racketeering and bribery scheme to bail out Ohio’s two nuclear-power plants, former Ohio House Speaker Larry Householder (R-Glenford) did not end his re-election bid for House District 72 before a key deadline earlier this week, preserving his place on the November ballot.
Gongwer News Service reports that with Householder “seemingly intent on running,” local GOP officials were unable to select a new candidate. The former speaker has informed his colleagues he has no intention of resigning. If convicted, he would be forced to leave office, although that is unlikely to occur before Election Day.
“Multiple write-in candidates have thrown their names into contention,” Gongwer reported. 8/12/2020
The Chinese Communist Party believes the world has entered a period of “great changes unseen in a century,” including a “shift in the balance of power between the U.S. and China” at the onset of the Fourth Industrial Revolution.
That assessment came from the Brookings Institute, a centrist think tank, delivered to members of the U.S. Senate during a recent hearing. Here are the Institute’s recommendations to build resiliency and competitiveness against the China challenge — from auditing the supply chain, to mandating a national strategy, to facilitating high-skilled immigration. 8/11/2020
Industry 4.0 — also known as the Fourth Industrial Revolution — continues to gain momentum. Many small and medium-sized organizations wonder how it can enhance their processes, but haven’t developed a comprehensive strategy to succeed.
OMA Connections Partner CliftonLarsonAllen has published this insight, urging businesses to look at their short- and long-term plans to help inform where Industry 4.0 fits into their overall strategy and vision. 8/13/2020
On Tuesday, Aug. 18, at 9 a.m. (ET), the Ohio-Pennsylvania Stateline Export Initiative will host a two-hour online workshop, providing hands-on training for implementation of the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA). Topics covered will include certification, record-keeping, and supplier relations. Learn more here. 8/13/2020
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) says it’s tracking an unknown cyber actor sending phishing emails and pretending to be the Small Business Administration’s coronavirus relief loan website. “These emails include a malicious link to the spoofed SBA website that the cyber actor is using for malicious redirects and credential stealing,” the agency said.
The phishing emails consist of the subject line “SBA Application – Review and Proceed,” with [email protected] as the sender. To prevent this scam from impacting businesses, CISA recommends that business system owners and administrators take multiple steps to increase cybersecurity, including enforcing a strong password policy, using up-to-date antivirus software, and scanning for suspicious email attachments. 8/13/2020
According to a new report by DataPortal.com, more than half of all the people on Earth (3.96 billion) use social media. Facebook remains the world’s most widely used social media platform, but there are now six social media platforms that claim more than one billion monthly active users each. Four of those six platforms are owned by Facebook. 8/13/2020
Late Thursday evening, Aug. 6, it was reported that Gov. Mike DeWine does not have COVID-19 after he was given a second, more sensitive test at The Ohio State University’s Wexner Medical Center.
Earlier in the day, the governor had tested positive as part of the testing protocol required to greet President Donald Trump, who was in Ohio to tour Whirlpool Corp.’s plant in Clyde. The earlier test was an antigen test — new technology that delivers quick results, but is viewed as less accurate.
The governor said he has confidence in the results of the second test — called a PCR test — which looks for the genetic material specific to the virus that causes COVID-19. The governor and first lady will take additional PCR tests on Saturday, Aug. 8, and the results will be made public.
The governor said he would work with the manufacturer of the antigen test “to have a better understanding of how the discrepancy between these two tests could have occurred.” 8/6/2020
One of the biggest uncertainties facing manufacturers — in Ohio and across the country — is the lingering threat of COVID-19-related lawsuits. This week, OMA President Eric Burkland and National Association of Manufacturers Senior Vice President and General Counsel Linda Kelly teamed up in an editorial to address the need for federal and state liability protection.
Burkland and Kelly wrote: “Right now, manufacturers that have been doing the right thing all along to protect their employees and produce needed goods are being targeted by trial lawyers. … Without action by leaders in Washington — including Ohio’s elected representatives — and at the Statehouse in Columbus, frivolous litigation could undermine our manufacturing base and disrupt the production of food, medicine, and other essentials.” 8/5/2020
The OMA has joined forces with 50 other state organizations by sending a letter to newly elected Ohio House Speaker Bob Cupp, urging him to prioritize legislation that would provide legal liability protections for employers and others.
The Ohio Senate completed action on two different legislative vehicles in June. But now the House must act in order for businesses to have targeted protection from frivolous lawsuits. 8/6/2020
Ohio’s manufacturing employment has experienced a modest recovery since April, a month in which the Buckeye State lost roughly 95,000 manufacturing jobs. Federal data show Ohio had approximately 658,000 manufacturing positions in June, up from 603,000 in April — but still well short of the 700,000 manufacturing jobs that existed in February. 8/4/2020