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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

OMA President Joins Lt. Gov. on Panel About Ohio’s Economic Recovery

April 2, 2021

OMA Connections Partner Roetzel has organized a panel (via Zoom) on Monday, April 5, 2021 12:30 – 1:30 p.m. to address the state’s path forward from the COVID-19 pandemic, with a focus on workforce and economic development.

The event features Ohio Lt. Governor Jon Husted, OMA President Ryan Augsburger, and Keith Lake VP, Government Affairs, Ohio Chamber of Commerce.

Participants will have the opportunity to ask questions of the panelists. Register here. 3/31/2021

DeWine Inks State Transportation Budget

April 2, 2021

Last week, the legislature wrapped up work on the state transportation budget and this week Governor DeWine made it official. With his signature, House Bill 74 authorizes $8.3 billion to be invested in Ohio’s transportation system over the next two years. The funding greenlights more than $5 billion for roads and highways, $74 million for public transit agencies, and $8 million in Ohio EPA grants for electric vehicle charging stations. 4/1/2021

‘Ohio Is for Leaders’ Campaign Touts Business Investment in Ohio

April 2, 2021

JobsOhio, the state’s private economic development coordinator has launched an ad campaign titled, Ohio Is for Leaders. The campaign is running print and electronic ads in top business press outlets including WSJ and Forbes. The ads are designed to be punchy and are targeted at business decision-makers, especially those on the coasts that control significant venture capital. The ads promote Ohio’s 0% corporate income tax and value-added manufacturing supply chains. 4/1/2021

Manufacturing Institute Research: Manufacturers Say 5G Technology Important to Their Businesses

April 2, 2021

The Manufacturing Institute, the workforce development and education partner of the National Association of Manufacturers, just released new research that explores how manufacturers perceive 5G capabilities and their plans to utilize the potential of 5G connectivity.

The study asserts that 5G is a key ingredient in defining the next generation of manufacturing in America. According to the research, nearly all manufacturers (91%) believe 5G connectivity will be important to the overall future of their business, with three-fifths (61%) indicating it will be “extremely important.”

Find the report here. 3/31/2021