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Strickland and Fisher agree: They surrendered jobs to other states

The Toledo Blade has been running an interesting series the past couple days detailing the large number of factories and jobs that have left northwest Ohio for other states and countries.

Totally going against Strickland’s excuse that Ohio is suffering just as other states are suffering, the series discovered that just in the past two years “northwest Ohio lost at least 15 factories with 2,200 employees to other states — including four factories to Indiana.”

Speaking of Indiana, while Ohio is getting shallacked, they seem to be doing pretty darn well.

Indiana’s unemployment rate in August was a hair higher than Ohio’s (10.2 percent in Indiana compared to Ohio’s 10.1 percent), but Indiana gained about 40,000 jobs since August, 2009. Ohio gained about 7,300 jobs since August, 2009, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

The average salary for manufacturing employees in Ohio was less than in Indiana in 2009 ($43,011 in Ohio, $45,643 in Indiana), but electricity costs (6.19 cents per kilowatt hour for industrial users in Ohio versus 5.71 cents in Indiana) and average worker compensation rates ($3.37 per $100 of payroll in Ohio and $2.22 in Indiana) favor Indiana.

More from the Blade:

In three recent cases of plants closing or massively downsizing in northwest Ohio and shifting work to Indiana, those companies were offered about $4 million in incentives to relocate. Ohio did not make a counteroffer in any of those cases.

Ohio was criticized by mayors whose cities lost those factories for having a complicated, drawn-out process for approving incentives in which outside boards and commissions must study incentive applications before giving the go-ahead.

Interesting fact: This is how Indiana’s Department of Development is organized:

The Indiana Economic Development Corporation (IEDC) is the State of Indiana’s lead economic development agency. The IEDC was officially established in February 2005 to replace the former Department of Commerce. In order to respond quickly to the needs of businesses, the IEDC operates like a business.

Led by Indiana Secretary of Commerce and IEDC Chief Executive Officer E. Mitchell Roob, Jr., the IEDC is organized as a public private partnership governed by a 12-member board. The IEDC Board of Directors is chaired by Governor Mitch Daniels and reflects the geographic and economic diversity of Indiana. The IEDC focuses its efforts on growing and retaining businesses in Indiana and attracting new business to the State.

Sound familiar?

Yep. It seems to very much reflect John Kasich’s idea to privatize Ohio’s Department of Development.

Works pretty well, eh? Looks that way according to the people that matter – business owners and developers.

But what was most shocking?

Strickland and Fisher both recognized that they weren’t “faster or more efficient” than Ohio’s competition.

And what have they promised to do about it?

Meh. Nothing.

He was given a perfect opportunity by the Blade to highlight new efforts to fix the process and what did he respond with?

“I don’t pretend to have solved all the problems,” Governor Strickland said. “But I do think that even in the most difficult economic circumstances, challenges unlike anything we’ve experienced in many, many decades, my administration has worked to lay a solid foundation for future growth going forward.”  

Once again he blames the recession. The same recession Indiana and every other state that is taking Ohio jobs has suffered from. 

Indiana and many other states found a way. Why can’t Ted and Lee?  And even more frustrating, why do they seem so damned ok with it?

The status quo is good enough for Strickland and Fisher.

Is that good enough for the 600,000 out of work Ohioans?

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Third Base Politics is an Ohio-centric conservative blog that has been featured at Hot Air, National Review, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, and others.


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