Improving Ohio economy up to us | News, Sports, Jobs


Ohio’s economy has seen a few glimmers of hope lately, but the state’s Chamber of Commerce has released a report warning there’s still plenty of room for improvement.

“While there is much to be proud of in Ohio, the state and its policymakers must also focus on laying the groundwork for continued investment and creating economic and business growth.” reads part of the introduction to the summary of “Blueprint for Ohio’s Economic Future”, a report from the Chamber.

Areas the Ohio Chamber of Commerce hopes lawmakers and other officials will focus on include education and the workforce; sense of place; taxes and costs; business friendliness; innovation and collaboration; and infrastructure. While most of these are self-explanatory, “feel of place” requires definition. The Chamber says indicators in this category include public health, affordability and housing, economic opportunity and recreational facilities.

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For ordinary Ohioans, education and work and a sense of place probably seem to be the areas where there is the most work to do. They are also the areas where sociocultural factors represent the largest piece of the puzzle. The executive summary authors suggest that Ohio needs to improve affordability that enables generations to build wealth, improve health outcomes and address the drug crisis, and better understand the opportunities for Ohio’s natural environment and amenities. They should also lower barriers to employment, expand education and job training, increase Ohio’s population and attract workers from abroad, and modernize Ohio’s workforce for needed jobs now and in the future.

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just right?

It is precisely because these difficult challenges are to be overcome that we have failed to address them adequately for so long. Legislators can’t do everything – although they might stop being part of the problem; King Bureaucracy can’t (remember, they stay in business if we don’t improve). No, this part is largely up to Buckeye State residents to solve themselves. It begins with a shift in thinking that too many have not been ready for, regarding everything from the value of education to the stigma surrounding mental health and substance abuse. It begins when we shed self-destructive fatalism and too many fantasies that returning to the norms of the past should be our goal.

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These are not the types of changes that can be made top-down. The decision as to whether Ohio goes ahead is ours.



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