Jobs Ohio must not overlook southern part

Published 10:07 am Friday, September 16, 2011

Gov. John Kasich has formally kicked off his public-private partnership Jobs Ohio program here in southern Ohio but it remains to be seen whether or not the officials in Columbus realize the state doesn’t stop at Chillicothe.

The components of the Jobs Ohio program was unveiled last week, the highlight of which is a $3.6 million grant program that will be specific for southeast Ohio. This will primarily be in the form of business loans, infrastructure grant and what is called “close the deal” funding.

The Jobs Ohio program is funded solely through the states liquor tax revenues. This is good use of these dollars but we just hope that all the money doesn’t just go to the three C’s — Columbus Cincinnati and Cleveland.

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It was encouraging that entrepreneur Lawrence Kidd of Jackson was appointed to the Jobs Ohio board. Although we do not know him personally, he certainly understands the needs and challenges facing the rural part of the state and can hopefully ensure that this program truly does benefit our region.

The governor has touted Jobs Ohio as a groundbreaking approach that will better get the public and private on the same page when it comes to economic development and job creation. On paper, this looks to be true but the proof will be in the results.

Lawrence County has held its own during these challenging economic times and we aren’t asking for handouts.

We simply want the state support that the more urban areas of Ohio gets.