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Ohio’s borders hemorrhage college grads

As Ohioans prepare to rebuild our economy, we look to innovative thinkers and young minds to develop new businesses.

Unfortunately, Ohio is rapidly losing the college graduates our state needs in order to be economically competitive. In 2007, Ohio suffered a net loss of nearly 7,000 25 to 34 year olds, Farkas Duffett Research Group reports.

Ohio’s job market is not lucrative enough to retain or attract college graduates, and we cannot start the road to recovery without a growing job market.

Seventy percent of Ohio’s students plan to eventually leave the state once they graduate, largely due to the fact that there are not enough jobs to sustain them. According to a study conducted by the FDR Group, only 39 percent of students surveyed believe that Ohio will become a high-tech, innovative economy. Graduates want to enter exciting, progressive economies, and we need to provide them with opportunities and incentives to stay here.

My Republican colleagues and I realize that Ohio has the potential to become a competitive force in the global economy if we can retain a strong workforce.

With our “Future of Ohio” job creation package, a set of 10 bills working toward economic recovery, we are doing our part to assist small businesses, create jobs and increase Ohio’s technical capability.

If enacted, these measures will stimulate Ohio’s economy for years to come.

Within the “Future of Ohio” package is a bill specifically focused on keeping recent college graduates in state.

According to the FDR Group’s study, 65 percent of surveyed students would consider staying in Ohio if they were offered a state income tax credit.

As such, House Bill 144 grants a five-year state income tax credit to college graduates who reside in Ohio.

Graduates are eligible for the credit one year after they receive their degree; however, they can defer the credit if they decide to pursue a more advanced degree.

Unfortunately, none of the “Future of Ohio” bills have received votes in committee or on the House floor.

Hopefully, we can take advantage of the next few months to make a bipartisan effort to rebuild Ohio’s economy.

Ohio’s potential lies in our young, talented minds, and it is one of my top priorities as your representative to revitalize our economy for our future workforce.

Rep. Clyde Evans may be reached by calling my office at (614) 466-1366 or by writing to Representative Clyde Evans, at 77 S. High St., 13th Floor, Columbus, Ohio 43215.