News
News Home
Quick Bites
Exploradio
News Archive
News Channel
Special Features
NPR
nowplaying
On AirNewsClassical
Loading...
  
School Closings
WKSU Support
Funding for WKSU is made possible in part through support from the following businesses and organizations.

Wayside Furniture

Greater Akron Chamber


For more information on how your company or organization can support WKSU, download the WKSU Media Kit.

(WKSU Media Kit PDF icon )


Donate Your Vehicle to WKSU

Programs Schedule Make A Pledge Member BenefitsFAQ/HelpContact Us
Economy and Business


Ohio's public-private jobs agency report raises questions
JobsOhio’s annual report leaves open to interpretation how much public money has been spent
by WKSU's STATEHOUSE BUREAU CHIEF KAREN KASLER


Reporter
Karen Kasler
 
Courtesy of JobsOhio
Download (WKSU Only)
In The Region:

The state’s new job creation entity has brought in and spent millions of dollars in two years, according to its annual report. But as Statehouse Correspondent Karen Kasler reports, there are new questions about how much money is involved and where it came from.

Hear Kasler's story on Ohio's annual report raising questions

Other options:
Windows Media / MP3 Download (3:56)


JobsOhio’s annual report claims the entity assisted 277 companies that committed to creating or retaining 75,612 jobs in Ohio.

The Columbus Dispatch reports JobsOhio officials signed a contract for $10.27 million in July 2011 on its first day of existence, and then signed two contract extensions for a total of $3 million.

Those figures aren’t correct, says Laura Jones with JobsOhio. She says the initial contract was with the Ohio Business Development Coalition, a state marketing program that goes back to Gov. Bob Taft, and it was for around $5 million. Jones says when the coalition became part of JobsOhio, contracts had to be signed again – so it looks like more money came in. 

“That $10.2 (million), I think, is inaccurate. That’s an aggregate number so that includes what was awarded in June of 2010 and doesn’t count for it having been extended. Most of that was already spent by the time JobsOhio was created.”

The Dispatch story also says JobsOhio says it brought in almost $7 million in donations. A document filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission in January shows American Electric Power donated $2 millionto JobsOhio, but that’s the only disclosure so far. Jones says $7 million is the total that was donated to the the Business Development Coalitin, but says she can’t disclose where that money came from. 

“When we file our 990 very soon here, in the next month or so, those private donations – while the names will not be associated with those --there will be total amounts for those donations.” 

The state Legislature had also authorized a million dollars for JobsOhio’s startup costs, which JobsOhio had said it needed because lawsuits filed over the constitutionality of the entity had derailed spending plans that relied on JobsOhio leasing liquor profits. Jones says now that the liquor profits transfer has been authorized, the funding for JobsOhio is in place, and there won’t be any more donations.

But the Ohio Supreme Court will soon hear arguments in the JobsOhio constitutionality case. What Jones calls “misunderstandings” aren’t surprising to Dale Butland with Innovation Ohio, a liberal leaning think tank. He says JobsOhio’s annual report actually raised more questions than it answered. 

“We still don’t know how much public money has been spent. We still don’t know how JobsOhio calculates its return on investment, which means also have no idea whether the investments that JobsOhio has made have been good or bad. And we still don’t know, in the end, how many jobs we're going to have, or how many jobs have actually been created.”

Jones says JobsOhio has been very transparent and accountable and has filed all the paperwork it’s required to. But Butland disagrees on the transparency issue. 

“Many of the people on the board, we know, are big contributors of Gov. Kasich. And this money can be spent willy-nilly anywhere around the state, perhaps in support of the governor’s campaign, his re-election campaign. But I think that none of these questions are going to be answered until there’s some more transparency here.”

Documents from JobsOhio show half of the 26 salaries paid by the organization were at least $100,000, with JobsOhio’s president and CIO making $225,000 a year. Jones says those figures were accurate a few months ago, but that there are only 21 people working for JobsOhio now. Butland notes that the top salary is more that John Kasich makes as governor.

Add Your Comment
Name:

Location:

E-mail: (not published, only used to contact you about your comment)


Comments:




 
Page Options

Print this page

E-Mail this page / Send mp3

Share on Facebook




Stories with Recent Comments

From warehouse to writer: Terry Pluto's Thanksgiving thank-you
Dear Terry: On my 8th cup of coffee trying to get Thanksgiving "Brunch" done ahead of time because I work nights. However, I just had to stop to contact yo...

The first big private gift comes in for the pro football HOF project
The HOF has needed a shot in the arm for many years and this project will go a long way to getting the attraction the attention it deserves (next: upgrad...

Environmental study nears completion in East Liverpool
Twenty years ago my twin sister and I protested the building and operation of the WTI facility citing several studies that indicated the risk of cancer due to ...

HOF's Canton expansion could take an island and make it a village
I live in the block from Broad St to the Hall of Fame and will be impacted by the expansion. I am in the process of selling my home and planned to long before i...

Cleveland redeploys police to replace rejected red-light traffic cameras
Periodic rotational enforcement without warning does NOT change behavior and the city officials know that. This is the basis of all officer-run enforcement trap...

New enrollment period offers more insurance options
The removal of federal funding for healthcare CO-OPs may limit the growth of the CO-OP movement. http://www.healthcaretownhall.com/?p=6381

The family of Boardman vet killed in Vietnam receives his medals
My name is Mike Eisenbraun. I am Larry's brother. I was 14 years old when Larry was killed in Vietnam. He has been gone for 46 years but it seems like yester...

Cleveland seniors are creating new wealth -- and facing new challenges
Why is anyone surprised that we people over 65 are not retiring? If you have been paying attention, defined company funded pensions were phasing out in the eigh...

Ohio company cuts off a dairy supplier after allegations of animal abuse
these people should be held accountable for their actions. i would be more than pleased to see a year or more behind bars. i will NEVER eat anything that comes ...

Copyright © 2014 WKSU Public Radio, All Rights Reserved.

 
In Partnership With:

NPR PRI Kent State University

listen in windows media format listen in realplayer format Car Talk Hosts: Tom & Ray Magliozzi Fresh Air Host: Terry Gross A Service of Kent State University 89.7 WKSU | NPR.Classical.Other smart stuff. NPR Senior Correspondent: Noah Adams Living on Earth Host: Steve Curwood 89.7 WKSU | NPR.Classical.Other smart stuff. A Service of Kent State University