News and Analysis
This week, DuPont broke ground on a new, $220 million expansion of its Circleville facility. Already one of the largest employers in Pickaway County — employing 500 full-time workers — the company is expected to add around 50 new jobs. The expansion will allow DuPont to increase its ability to manufacture Kapton® — a durable and versatile plastic film used in numerous applications, from cell phones to space travel.
Steve Irwin, plant manager and an OMA board member, led this week’s groundbreaking, which was attended by Ohio Senate President Larry Obhof (R-Medina) and District 17 Sen. Bob Peterson (R-Washington Court House). 10/1/2019
This week it was announced that Rep. Louis Blessing III (R-Colerain Township) has been selected this week to fill the Ohio Senate’s vacant 8th District seat, representing a large section of Hamilton County. The seat was formerly held by Lou Terhar, who resigned for health reasons. 10/2/2019
A recent comparison by the Small Business & Entrepreneurship Council shows Ohio’s Unemployment Insurance (UI) fees are 21st lowest among the 50 states. The rankings were determined by applying each state’s maximum UI tax rate to its wage base, then taking that figure as a share of the state’s average pay. Ohio fell six spots from its 2018 position due mostly to other states lowering their UI fees. 9/30/2019
In a victory for the state’s legal climate, as well as common sense, the Supreme Court of Ohio has reversed a lower court’s award of $360,000 — which had been reduced from more than $1.3 million awarded by a jury — in a suit against a grocery store chain. The case involved a customer who was injured by another driving a motorized shopping cart in 2012. The Sept. 19 decision is a blow to trial lawyers pushing similar injury lawsuits against Ohio businesses.
In a rare 7-0 decision, the court said Giant Eagle was not liable because there was insufficient evidence that the store’s actions caused the incident. Justice Melody J. Stewart, a Democrat, wrote on behalf of court: “It is not enough for the plaintiff to assert or speculate that the defendant’s actions or failure to act might have caused the injury.” 9/23/2019
State Rep. Ryan Smith (R-Bidwell) — a former speaker of the Ohio House — has announced his resignation. He will step down on Thursday, Oct. 3, to lead Rio Grande Community College and the private Rio Grande University.
Rep. Smith, who is term-limited next year, was elected speaker in June 2018 after the resignation of former Speaker Cliff Rosenberger. He lost a hard-fought campaign for the speaker post to Rep. Larry Householder (R-Glenford) earlier this year. 9/26/2019
The National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) this week released the results of its Manufacturers’ Outlook Survey for Q3 2019. For the second consecutive quarter, the survey showed a drop in manufacturers’ optimism amid uncertainties, a softening global economy, and worsening workforce shortage. While 68% of manufacturers had a positive outlook for their business in the third quarter, that was down from 79.8% in the second quarter and 89.5% in the first quarter. 9/25/2019
The National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) reports that the Trump administration successfully negotiated changes to the Universal Postal Union (UPU) to protect manufacturers from counterfeiters and other bad actors who have been exploiting the international system by shipping packages to the U.S. at highly subsidized rates.
The NAM notes that some countries in the UPU, such as China, pay lower rates because they were classified as “developing countries” when the terms of the UPU were originally agreed to. NAM President and CEO Jay Timmons says the changes announced this week will “level the playing field.” 9/25/2019
If your company is utilizing social media, check out this infographic at VisualCapitalist.com. It explores recent trends in social media use by generation, while providing insight into which social media platforms are seeing the most growth. 9/24/2019
On Tuesday, Sept. 17, the OMA’s board of directors held its quarterly meeting at OMA headquarters. Key actions included the board’s election of the following new directors:
Emily B. Elizer, Director of Government Affairs, PPG;
Stephen C. Jetter, VP – Engineering, Fort Recovery Industries, Inc.;
Jeff Oravitz, Board Director, Hunt Valve; and
Brent Rosebrook, VP of Finance & Administration, Pro-Tec Coating Co., LLC.
Directors heard from guest speakers, including Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation (BWC) CEO/Administrator Stephanie McCloud, who briefed the board on the BWC’s Better You, Better Ohio!™ — a free health-and-wellness program for workers of small and mid-sized businesses in higher-risk industries, including manufacturing. She also discussed the BWC’s recent 20% reduction in the average premium rates paid by private employers.
This week’s board meeting, which was heavily focused on workforce development and energy policy, was the first under the leadership of new OMA Chairman Jane Neal, senior vice president of AMG Vanadium. During the meeting, OMA General Counsel Chris Slagle of Bricker & Eckler was presented a memorial donation from the board to the Tunnell Leadership Development Program — established by former OMA General Counsel Kurt Tunnell, who passed away last month. 9/17/2019
Ohio BWC CEO/Administrator Stephanie McCloud was among the guest speakers at this week’s meeting of the OMA’s board of directors.
According to the U.S. Chamber, half of America’s manufacturing jobs are dependent on exports. So when it comes to trade-related taxes, Ohio has much at stake. A new infographic by HowMuch.net shows that tariffs could negatively impact Ohio to the tune of $3.2 billion.
In some good news, federal data this week show U.S. factory output increased by 0.5% in August — more than forecast — signaling that U.S. manufacturing may be starting to stabilize. The increase included a 1.6% jump in the output of machinery, and a 0.9% expansion in fabricated metals. 9/18/2019