The newly created JobsOhio is designed to empower local economic development officials with the tools they need to negotiate quickly and efficiently with business to spur job growth, state officials said, according to a report in the Toledo Blade.
“What we are creating is a business-friendly climate in Ohio,” said Mark Kvamme, interim chief investment officer for JobsOhio.
The functions of the semiprivate JobsOhio, formed this year to oversee the Ohio Department of Development’s job creation responsibilities, were outlined to about 100 elected and economic development officials from northwest Ohio at the Hilton Garden Inn in Perrysburg.
Gov. John Kasich is shifting key economic development functions handled by the Department of Development, including strategic business investment, loans and loan servicing, and a portion of the grants and tax incentives program, to the new nonprofit organization.
To carry out the program, the state has carved out six regions, with each being handled by regional partnerships to oversee economic development efforts. The Toledo Regional Growth Partnership will be the lead agency for 19 counties in northwest Ohio. The growth partnership’s territory includes Allen, Auglaize, Crawford, Defiance, Fulton, Hancock, Hardin, Henry, Lucas, Mercer, Ottawa, Paulding, Putnam, Sandusky, Seneca, Van Wert, Williams, Wood, and Wyandot counties.
State officials said the regional groups partnering with JobsOhio will concentrate on business retention and expansion and implement development strategies around targeted industries. Dean Monske, chief executive officer of the Growth Partnership, announced at the presentation that Gary Thompson, the economic development director in Oregon, will join the growth partnership to concentrate on local JobsOhio efforts.