Rep. Bill Johnson visits CAO


Photo by Frank Lewis | Daily Times U.S. Rep. Bill Johnson addresses economic development issues at Community Action Organization of Scioto County.

By Frank Lewis

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If your company has looked for employees, or you are someone who has sought employment and/or training in Scioto County, chances are at some point that process may have flown through the OhioMeansJobs Center located at the Community Action Organization of Scioto County. It is a one-stop center that helps employers and potential employees find jobs and training.

On Wednesday, U.S. Representative Bill Johnson (R-OH) visited the center to see first-hand the unique operation.

“This kind of help does not exist everywhere,” Johnson told those in attendance after a lunch was served. “Every year we have a collaboration forum where we bring in county commissioners and township trustees and mayors and other elected officials from across eastern and southeastern Ohio to talk about what’s working and what’s not working; how some areas are thriving and making the best out of an economically bad situation and how others are struggling and sharing those lessons learned. We want to tell the good news story about what you guys are doing here because it is so very very important.”

Johnson talked exclusively with the Daily Times following the meeting.

“Economic development is one of the most important aspects of my job,” Johnson said. “helping to understand the needs and concerns of small business owners and how Washington’s policies affect them. That helps in forming my legislative agenda – how can I support them and make it easier for business owners to start and sustain and grow and expand businesses to create opportunities for jobs for today’s generation and future generations.”

Rosie Picklesimer, Workforce Development Area Number One director, explained the role of the Workforce Investment Board.

“Starting today (Wednesday) it’s called the Workforce Innovation Opportunity Act,” Picklesimer said. “It creates a workforce board. The board members are appointed by the County Commissioners. We’re in Workforce Area One, which is covered by Adams, Brown, Pike and Scioto counties. The board sets up the guidelines of how they want the One-Stop Centers to operate. Those are put out for bid and they’re done through a competitive bid and then they operate through the guidance of the Workforce Board.”

She said the dollars are available for career services for things such as on the job training, incumbent worker training, and more.

“All of the employment training programs operated by Community Action Organization flow through the OhioMeansJobs Center,” Luanne Valentine, OhioMeansJobs Director, said.

Johnson said one of the roadblocks for businesses in America’s regulatory system.

“When you’ve got $2 trillion being taken out of our economy every year in federal regulations it’s a real burden,” Johnson said. “Between Federal regulations and over-taxation it has become a real business-unfriendly place here in America. We’ve got to have real regulatory reform and real tax reform so that we can put American businesses and American Workers back into the innovative competitive spirit because when American workers have a level playing field to compete on we always win. We always have and we always will.”

Reach Frank Lewis at 740-353-3101, ext. 1928, or on Twitter @franklewis.

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