Despite being in her job since May, Strickland’s Director of Development is highlighted in the latest issue of Columbus Business First in an article strangely titled, Development Chief Ready to Sell State.
You’ve been on the job since May and just now you’re ready? Well, considering Lisa Patt-McDaniel is a 19-year career bureaucrat at the Department, apparently five months is speedy in government-speak. It’s all relative, I guess.
But I digress.
In the interview of McDaniel, she states the following:
…things like business tax reform have made companies from outside Ohio definitely look at us. We have lower taxes than most of the states around us. We have to promote that.
This is exactly why NCR left Dayton for Georgia (18 places higher than us) and Carbon Motors chose Indiana (35 places higher than us) over Ohio for their manufacturing plant. Ohio simply doesn’t provide an attractive business climate.
Patt-McDaniel goes on to elaborate on her grand plan to solve the infamous brain drain plaguing Ohio: a promotional campaign called “Ohio Means Home”.
Apparently Ohio is suffering from a dreaded motto-gap.
The facts are these, Ohio is facing the sharpest decline in its labor force in years. This isn’t because Ohioans don’t love their state or aren’t loyal Buckeyes. In fact, a Fordham study on the Ohio brain drain found that 88 percent of the state’s higher ed students are proud of Ohio.
Instead, the reality is this:
Almost nine in 10 Ohio college students (89 percent) say good jobs and career opportunities will be a very important criterion to them when they decide where to live during the first few years after graduating. Yet only 11 percent of them give Ohio an excellent rating on this front.
In short, they understand Ohio businesses don’t have any jobs to offer, so they are going elsewhere to get them.
Grandiose government-sponsored public relations campaigns won’t fix this perception. Jobs will.
Fix Ohio’s business climate. Create an environment that welcomes all businesses and inspires innovation and competition.
Bring jobs to Ohio.