Shortly after being sworn into office, Governor Kasich visited the “Big 3” automakers in Detroit to get an assessment of their outlook for business in Ohio. It didn’t look good.
Gov. John Kasich called his meetings with the Detroit Three automakers this week “very sobering” and “in some ways very disturbing,” with two of the three blunt in their assessment of Ohio’s business climate.
“I heard words like ‘not competitive,’” Kasich said Thursday. “I heard words like ‘not cooperative.’ I heard words like ‘created a bad attitude and a bad impression.’”
He added, “We are not viewed in that community as the most forward-looking state.”
After promising to turn that around from the previous administration, Kasich returned to Detroit for more face-to-face meeting with the automakers yesterday. Things are already looking better for Ohio.
Kasich reported that executives from Chrysler, GM and Ford all said they’ve noticed a shift to a more favorable business climate in Ohio, and at least one company official backed the governor’s statements.
“We’re very encouraged by the changes we see happening in Ohio,” Bryan Roosa, GM’s executive director for state government relations, wrote in an email. “The attitude toward manufacturers is very supportive, and it’s helping create a very strong environment for business. We’re very pleased with our relationship with Ohio and like what’s happening there for GM.”
|Ohio-built Chevy Cruze|
Chrysler just announced they are investing in a $72 million expansion at one of their existing Ohio plants. Even better, there are currently negotiations proceding with Chrysler to expand their Jeep plant in Toledo. That would bring $365 million in investments and 1100 new jobs, and the state will meet again with Chrysler next week to work on a plan.
The administration is also working on new project with Ford.
In characterizing his meeting with Ford Executive Vice President Mark Fields, Kasich said he would “have something soon to say” about a new deal or venture with the company.
Obviously, this is all excellent news, and its very encouraging to see Governor Kasich’s efforts to make Ohio more business-friendly paying off.