- By Michael D. Pitman Staff Writer
Republican Lt. Gov. candidate Jon Husted said the way Ohio creates economic prosperity is with a little math.
“The main components of our Prosperity Plan is a formula — innovation plus investment plus talent multiplied by entrepreneurship is the way we create prosperity,” the Ohio secretary of state said to this news outlet on his way to another campaign stop in Miamisburg.
Tuesday’s campaign stop at Republic Wire, a family-owned and operated manufacturer of copper wire, was chosen to tout the jobs plan because “they’re the kind of company that has positioned itself for the future — it’s competing, it’s automated — but face the same challenge that many other businesses across Ohio face. They’re having a difficult time finding enough people to fill the jobs that they’re creating.”
Republic Wire recently completed its fourth expansion at its West Chester Twp. facility with the plan to add 10 to 15 jobs to its workforce of 125, the Journal-News previously reported.
Husted is running with Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine to be elected the state’s next governor this November. They’re running against the Democratic ticket of former federal consumer protection watchdog Richard Cordray and former congresswoman Betty Sutton.
This DeWine-Husted jobs plan would address the present needs of the economy “and position Ohio to be an economic powerhouse of the Midwest by making the Midwest the best place to do business with the most talented workforce,” Husted said.
“We have to be very aggressive,” he said. “The states that get this right are the ones that are going to prosper and the ones that don’t will fall behind. We don’t think there’s anytime to waste.”
Within the first six months of a DeWine-Husted administration, Husted said aspects of all parts of the economic plan would be initiated, which would mirror the federal jobs and tax cut plan President Donald Trump signed into law last December. They would exempt or defer capital gains taxes for new investment in Ohio’s most economically stressed communities.
“It means a lot of these places are the ones with a higher unemployment rate, a lot of these places are the social service dependency is the highest,” said Husted, adding these locations have been identified in federal law. “What we want people to do when they take those capital gains, reinvest it in Ohio and these places.”
Butler County Democratic Party Executive Chairman Brian Hester said infrastructure, not tax cuts, is why West Chester Twp. has grown exponentially over the years.
“The secret to West Chester’s economic success is, literally, an exit ramp,” he said of the Union Centre Boulevard exit ramp built in late 1997. “West Chester has grown not because of tax cuts for the wealthy, but because when you have a community with good schools, like Butler Tech and Lakota Local Schools, that then invests in infrastructure and is strategically located to move goods using our nation’s interstates, you can build a safe and healthy community to raise a family.”
Husted said a main part of the job-creation of the DeWine-Husted plan is “we’re training people where employers tell us where they can’t fill the jobs.”
“We’re trying to talk about investment in places that already have infrastructure,” he said. “There are factories or offices that we’re in some of these places like Hamilton, for example, or Middletown, where they’ve now shut them down and there’s nothing there. What we want to do is to encourage private investment back into those places where the infrastructure already exists and the people live and where people need jobs and opportunity.”
He said the belief is that project will “attract billions of dollars of investment to some of the more economically stressed areas of our state.”
The multi-faceted plan would:
• attract more collegiate researchers by changing the law to allow researchers to retain intellectual property of his or her work, which Ohio would be the first, Husted said, citing Bloomberg Law;
• keep more graduating high school seniors attending Ohio colleges and universities by increasing the number of students with early college credits. This would reduce the cost of college by allowing more students have a year or two worth of college credits already accrued on Ohio college campuses;
• increase the number of students at career and vocational schools by 10 percent a year who earn industry-credentialed before they leave high school;
• create opportunities for 10,000 Ohioans a year who are already in the workforce their credentials to get “good jobs that pay at least $50,000 a year” and have growth opportunities. This would be paid for by Ohio and cost roughly $13 million a year; and
• make Ohio a low tax, low regulation state that’s attractive to businesses.
“In the end, economic growth only matters when people get the benefit from it, and we’re trying to make it that people everywhere and in every part of our state, from West Chester to Hamilton to Middletown, all get the benefit,” he said.