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ODOT Investing Nearly $2 Billion in Infrastructure

April 16, 2021

The Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) has announced it will invest more than $1.9 billion into 956 projects statewide. The 2021 construction program includes improvements to 876 bridges and 4,596 miles of pavement. To see the construction projects planned for your region, check out this ODOT map or use this search tool. 4/14/2021

House Budget Includes 2% Income Tax Cut

April 16, 2021

The House Finance Committee this week unveiled its $74.7 billion biennial budget (House Bill 110). Included in the FY 2022-23 budget is a 2% across-the-board income tax cut. Other budget highlights include the following:

  • Retains the governor’s proposals for $2.5 million to be spent both years on industry sector partnership grants and $8.3 million for the TechCred program;
  • $155 million in COVID-19 relief for small businesses;
  • $1.8 billion increase in K-12 school funding, phased in over six years;
  • $170 million over the biennium to H2Ohio;
  • Eliminates the requirement for high school students in the next school year to take a national standardized college admission assessment; and
  • Does not include a $50 million ad campaign supported by the governor to encourage people to move to Ohio.

The full House is expected to vote on the budget next week, so it can be sent to the Senate. Under state law, the General Assembly must pass a balanced budget by June 30. 4/14/2021

Virtual Trade Mission to Mexico, June 21 to July 2

April 16, 2021

Mexico is Ohio’s second-largest export market. That’s why Great Lakes St. Lawrence Governors and Premiers is offering a multi-sector virtual trade mission to Mexico from June 21 to July 2. According to the Ohio Development Services Agency (DSA), the registration deadline is April 23 and the fee to participate is $1,000. Grant funding may be available through the Ohio International Market Access Grant for Exporters program. For more information, click here or email the DSA. 4/13/2021

Report: Chip Shortage Could Cost Automakers $61B

April 16, 2021

The global shortage of semiconductors and its impact on automakers continues to dominate manufacturing headlines. This week, Bloomberg reported that one estimate says the chip shortage could cost automakers $61 billion in lost sales this year. Bloomberg has compiled a summary of actions taken in response by the major auto manufacturers in North America.

Chad Moutray, chief economist for the National Association of Manufacturers, said this week that while there continues to be supply chain challenges and rising costs, U.S. manufacturers overall continue to expand, with production down just 2.1% since the pandemic began. Moutray expects a return to pre-pandemic levels by the third quarter of this year. 4/14/2021

Ohio’s Election Laws Shine as Example for the Nation

April 16, 2021

In the latest story of America’s political divide, more than 100 U.S. companies this week declared their opposition to voting reforms being considered by several state legislatures. Reuters reports that Republicans in these states say the changes are needed to restore or ensure election integrity; activist groups say the proposals could disenfranchise those who tend not to vote Republican.

Fortunately, Ohio’s election laws are held in high regard by both sides of the political aisle. Secretary of State Frank LaRose has noted that Ohio has some of the most voter-friendly, accessible early voting opportunities in the nation. He also points out that in Ohio, the county boards of elections require both Democratic and Republican board members to make decisions. 4/15/2021

OSU Sees Strong Interest in Manufacturing-Focused Engineering Program

April 9, 2021

The Ohio State University recently launched its new bachelor’s degree program to prepare engineering students for the highly automated world of manufacturing. The Bachelor of Science in engineering technology (BSET) with a concentration in manufacturing is offered through the Lima, Mansfield, and Marion campuses. The program will expand to the Newark campus in autumn 2023.

Forty-nine students enrolled in the new program during its first year, with enrollment expected to grow 55% next year, according to OSU’s College of Engineering. Learn more. 4/7/2021

Governor Calls for Long-Term Fix to Ohio’s Unemployment System

April 9, 2021

This week, Gov. Mike DeWine recommended to legislative leaders that Ohio use some of the federal funds received under the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) to repay the $1.46 billion loaned to the state to cover unemployment compensation (UC) costs. Doing so will free Ohio employers from this burden, the governor said.

The State of Ohio will receive more than $5 billion over two years from the ARPA, with a similar amount going to local governments. The governor’s recommendation to use the funds to repay its UC debt comes after the OMA and its business allies advocated to use the ARPA dollars for such a purpose.

The governor has also asked the General Assembly to address the long-term “structural problems” that have hindered the UC Trust Fund, last deemed solvent in 1974.

Over the past 55 weeks, the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services has distributed more than $9.3 billion in unemployment payments from the state. This is in addition to $10.1 billion in supplemental unemployment payments from the federal government.

Meanwhile, Ohio will pay Google Analytics $1.4 million to help combat unemployment fraud, which the state says has cost taxpayers more than $200 million. 4/8/2021

Ohio’s 2022 U.S. Senate Race: Who’s in? Who’s Out? Who Has Yet to Announce?

April 9, 2021

While the 2022 election is nearly 20 months away, this has been an active week for developments in the campaign to succeed U.S. Sen. Rob Portman.

Former Ohio Health Director Dr. Amy Acton announced she will not seek the Democratic nomination, while Northeast Ohio entrepreneur Bernie Moreno joined the field of Republicans seeking the seat. Jane Timken, former chair of the Ohio Republican Party, announced that her campaign raised $2.1 million by the end of March.

There are no Democrats officially in the race yet. U.S. Rep. Tim Ryan (D-Warren) is viewed as one of a handful of potential Democratic candidates.

Smart money says several more announcements are forthcoming. 4/7/2021

The Value of Industry 4.0

April 9, 2021

OMA Connections Partner RSM has published this interactive article that examines Industry 4.0 or the Fourth Industrial Revolution. The online document investigates how this data-driven revolution can help your business thrive in the area of sales, operations, warehousing, logistics and more. It also examines key risks and challenges. 4/7/2021

Legislation Introduced to Create Office of Manufacturing and Industrial Innovation Policy

April 2, 2021

The bipartisan, bicameral Office of Manufacturing and Industrial Innovation Policy Act was introduced this week to create a new Office of Manufacturing and Industrial Innovation Policy (OMII). The office would be overseen by a Chief Manufacturing Officer and report to President Biden.

This new office is intended to help strengthen the U.S. manufacturing industry and workforce and improve global competitiveness following the coronavirus pandemic. Here’s a one-page factsheet.

Ohio’s congressional members introducing the legislation are Congresswoman Marcy Kaptur (D-OH), U.S. Senator Rob Portman (R-OH), and Representative Tim Ryan (D-OH). The National Association of Manufacturers is among the many endorsing organizations. 3/30/2021