The first bill to pass out of the Ohio House of Representatives during the previous General Assembly in January 2011 established JobsOhio. Since that time, Ohioans have created more than 120,000 jobs, moving the state from 48th in the nation in job creation to number four.
Thanks to the commitment of job creators and people eagerly looking to return to work, the unemployment rate in Ohio stands 0.7 percent lower than the national average. Government's role in this process was simply to enact policies that would not hinder economic growth and investment. This included balancing the state's budget and eliminating the crippling death tax.
Understanding that job creation is still the top concern for many Ohioans, the Ohio House began this General Assembly with the same focus. The first two bills introduced in the House this year both deal with helping people looking for work to find jobs.
House Bill 1 simply rebrands what are commonly known as "one-stops" to be consistent throughout the entire state. One-stops are job centers that provide services for those out of work, like putting them in contact with employers and providing them with job-training tools. This bill links the ones-stops to Ohio Means Jobs, a statewide job-search website.
If the bill is signed into law, the name of all one-stops will correspond to the counties in which they are located. For example, in Carroll County, the one-stop will be called "Ohio Means Jobs Carroll County." Making these centers uniform in name will help people no matter where they travel in Ohio to find the help they are looking for.
House Bill 2 goes further in-depth to helping the unemployed find work. The bill requires applicants of unemployment insurance benefits to first register with Ohio Means Jobs. Within eight weeks of receiving unemployment, beneficiaries are required to directly contact their Ohio Means Jobs office. Plenty of people need unemployment insurance at some point in their lives, but they should coincide with that person actively looking for work.
House Bill 1 and 2 both recently passed out of committee and will now come to the House floor for a vote.
Rep. Thompson may be reached by calling (614) 644-8728, e-mailing Rep95@ohiohouse.gov, or writing to State Rep. Andy Thompson, 77 South High St., Columbus, Ohio, 43215.