Local small business leaders had a chance to express their concerns about the job market to gubernatorial candidate Lt. Gov. Mary Taylor.
Taylor, one of four Republicans running for governor in 2018, held a roundtable Tuesday (Oct. 17) at the Orange Branch of the Delaware County District Library to hear input from business leaders and roll out the third initiative in her platform.
“It’s about cutting red tape and bureaucracy to make it easier to create jobs in the State of Ohio,” she said. “We truly review every single regulation that goes through any state agency that has a business impact. We measure that business impact and the agency has to justify the business impact is necessary. Because of the work we’ve done, over 7,000 business regulations have been changed.”
Taylor was appointed to head the Common Sense Initiative (CSI) by Governor John Kasich in 2011. CSI was established to create a regulatory framework promoting economic development and to provide predictability to businesses. She wants to build on the work of CSI, staying focused on small business and making Ohio “more business friendly.”
Taylor believes through a common sense approach there is a way to strike a balance between regulation and job creation.
“I will create a jobs cabinet whose mission will be to establish a jobs friendly attitude in every corner of state government,” she said.
Taylor said the jobs cabinet would include members from the Ohio EPA, Bureau of Workers Compensation, Department of Taxation, Department of Commerce, and Department of Transportation. She said the cabinet would report directly to CSI, which reports directly to the governor.
Taylor said the agencies would work together to “come up with solutions that make sense across all state agencies.” She said one of the keys to her plan is to define “job friendly” and hold agencies accountable to what that means. She wants to work with the legislature to find “statutes that don’t make sense” and get rid of them.
Judd Scott, president and COO of Hydraulic Products, said Delaware County is a little different when it comes to job creation.
“In Delaware County, it’s not the lack of jobs, it’s the lack of workers,” he said. “In our three businesses, we’re looking for almost 60 people.”
Delaware isn’t alone, Taylor said.
“We hear this everywhere,” she said, noting that the same issue was presented to her Tuesday morning in Wooster.
“There is no doubt that we do have an issue in the State of Ohio with having an adequately trained workforce to take the jobs that actually exist,” she said.
Taylor said she has plans to roll out another policy proposal focused on workforce training and education.
“First, we need to fix our public education system so that students understand they can get career training and choose a career path if that’s what they want to do,” she said. “You don’t have to go to college. I want skill training in every single high school across the State of Ohio.”
Taylor said Ohio is losing the “best and brightest” to out-of-state colleges. She said the state needs to grow the population and it needs to find ways to keep people here.
Bruce Daniels, owner of Marysville Honda, said he established a driving school as an outreach to 13 to 16 year old children.
“The primary reason is to address the opiate and heroin issue, we’re trying to get in front and give them some alternatives,” he said. “The other reason we’re doing it is so we can talk about some things they can do if they feel college isn’t right for them.”
Daniels said in his company there are six auto technicians that are making $75,000 per year.
“We’ve got a lot of success stories in our small business,” he said. “Our people are having very successful lives, raising families, and being good community stewards. We all benefit from other people’s businesses. What goes around comes around.”
D. Anthony Botkin may be reached at 740-413-0902 or on Twitter @dabotkin.