News and Analysis
On March 9, the OMA board met virtually for its first meeting of 2021. Led by Chairman Jane Neal, senior vice president of AMG Vanadium LLC, the meeting featured a briefing on OMA activities and the association’s key performance indicators. The following new directors were elected to the board:
- James Batchelder, president of The M.K. Morse Co., Canton;
- Bobbi Dillon, senior manager, state government relations for The Procter & Gamble Co., Cincinnati; and
- Mary Garceau, senior vice president, general counsel and secretary, The Sherwin-Williams Co., Cleveland/Akron.
General Counsel Chris Slagle and OMA staff briefed the board on Statehouse activities and regulatory developments that could impact Ohio’s economic competitiveness. The board will meet again June 8. 3/9/2021
The latest federal COVID-19 bill — the American Rescue Plan Act, which authorizes another $1.9 trillion in spending — is now law. It contains a total of $11.2 billion for Ohio, according to reports. Here are the press releases from Ohio’s U.S. Sens. Rob Portman and Sherrod Brown.
Among other things, the law expands the employee retention credit, extends payroll credits for COVID-19-related paid sick leave and paid family leave, and adds funding to the Paycheck Protection Program. It also extends the additional pandemic unemployment payments at $300 (versus $400) through Sept. 6. The $15 minimum wage provision is not included. 3/12/2021
U.S. manufacturing employment has risen in nine of the last 10 months, according to the recent employment report by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. (Here are Ohio’s most recent manufacturing employment data.) The National Association of Manufacturers reports that manufacturers’ optimism in its first outlook survey of 2021 has increased to nearly 88% — the highest reading in two years.
Chad Moutray, NAM’s chief economist, reports that the average hourly earnings of production and non-supervisory workers in manufacturing rose to $23.19 in February, up from $22.50 (3.1%) from a year earlier. 3/9/2021
OMA Connections Partner RSM writes that American manufacturers need to pay attention to the impact of Brexit due to the large U.S. manufacturing and distribution footprint in the U.K. The firm says now that the U.K. is no longer part of the EU, U.S. manufacturers will need to consider two certifications — one for exporting to Europe and one for exporting to the U.K. Read more of RSM’s insight. 3/9/2021
The Ohio House and Senate this week approved a measure to give more legislative oversight to state health orders. Senate Bill 22 has been sent to Gov. Mike DeWine, who has said he will veto it because the bill’s passage would leave Ohioans vulnerable to future threats such as Ebola. “There’s no governor I can think of in Ohio that would not have vetoed the bill,” the governor said.
Senate President Matt Huffman (R-Lima) has said he would schedule a veto override vote on SB 22 at the next session after Gov. DeWine’s veto. House Speaker Bob Cupp (R-Lima) has said he has the votes to override the veto. 3/11/2021
Marcia Fudge Confirmed as New HUD Secretary; Ohio’s 11th Congressional District Seat Currently VacantMarch 12, 2021
This week, the U.S. Senate confirmed the appointment of former U.S. Rep. Marcia Fudge (D-Warrensville Heights) as secretary of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. This leaves Ohio’s 11th Congressional District seat vacant until a successor is chosen in a special election, which must be called by the governor. 3/10/2021
Ohio House lawmakers recently stripped Gov. Mike DeWine’s proposal to crack down on distracted driving from the upcoming two-year budget. Nonetheless, the OMA continues to support efforts to address this growing problem. To illustrate the human toll of distracted driving, Ohio Farm Bureau recently published this story of Leah Fullenkamp, whose husband, John, was killed in 2018 when the tractor he was driving was hit from behind by a large SUV. The driver had been using her cell phone. 3/11/2021
Celebrating its 10th anniversary, JobsOhio has released its 2020 annual report. Despite the pandemic, the statewide economic development corporation last year helped encourage 307 projects, which are expected to create more than 19,000 new jobs with $1 billion in payroll, and $7.8 billion in new investment.
JobsOhio has also published this summary of key issues impacting economic development, including workforce, infrastructure, taxes, energy, and employment law. The report notes that labor policy has been “a reason to consider or reject locations at an early stage during national site selection projects, especially within the automotive and advanced manufacturing sectors.” 3/9/2021
For the second year in a row, Ohio has captured the Governor’s Cup awarded by Site Selection magazine for the most new corporate facility projects per capita in 2020. For total projects overall, the Buckeye State came in No. 2 with 419, second only to Texas. Of Ohio’s largest 25 projects, 14 were manufacturing related. Gov. Mike DeWine credited Ohio’s manufacturers for recognizing the critical need and unprecedented opportunity to produce PPE as a key component to the state’s success during the pandemic.
Several Ohio metro areas made Site Selection‘s population-based top 10 lists, including Toledo, which was ranked No. 1 among metros with 200,000 to 1 million residents. Ohio’s micropolitan areas — with populations between 10,000 and 49,999 — fared especially well, comprising 25 of the nation’s top 100. Findlay took top honors with 22 projects. 3/1/2021
Central Ohio’s U.S. 33 Corridor is getting more national attention. In an IndustryWeek article, J.P. Nauseef, JobsOhio president and CEO, discussed how the 33 Smart Mobility Corridor — a 35-mile stretch of highway that is both fiber-connected and hardware-enabled — has been used for innovation for the automotive sector. The corridor runs through Marysville, which is home to many manufacturers such as Honda, Honda R&D, Nestle, Scotts Miracle-Gro, and Parker Hannifin. 3/4/2021