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Job training programs will benefit from reform

By any reasonable standard, Ohio’s job training initiatives are a tangled mess — 77 programs scattered among 13 state agencies, administering $290 million in workforce funds with a jumble of different rules, procedures and application forms.

The system is so confusing that two thirds of employers don’t get involved in it — and more than 80,000 jobs go unfilled each year as a result.

It’s ripe for reform — but not simply because reform would make the state’s flow chart neater, or even because workforce funds would be used more efficiently.

It’s because making the system simpler and more transparent would better serve the people these programs are supposed to serve — to get them trained and employed.

It’s all about jobs, says Rich Frederick, who was appointed by Gov. John Kasich in February to direct the new Office of Workforce Transformation.

“Our goal is to guide the customer to the most appropriate place,” Frederick said in an Enquirer interview. “The whole idea is to make people aware of all the options that exist for them.”

We applaud that effort. It’s the kind of common-sense reform that’s bound to get push-back from programs and agencies with turf to protect, but will benefit Ohioans struggling to regain their economic footing. …

It’s a smart, targeted effort that indeed could help transform Ohio’s job picture.

The Cincinnati Enquirer,


Kent State victims need to be allowed to heal

The United States Justice Department has opted not to reopen the 1970 Kent State shooting investigation. Four-plus decades have come and gone, so we agree with that decision.

The Justice Department based its decision on “insurmountable legal and evidentiary barriers” in regard to the fatal shooting by the Ohio National Guardsmen during a Vietnam War protest at the university.

That tragedy played out 42 years ago May 4, taking four Kent State students and wounding nine more. …

The recent request to reopen the probe came from one of those wounded victims. He based his plea on an enhanced audio recording that orders may have been given for the Guardsmen to prepare to fire on students during the protest. …

Family members and loved ones of the Kent State victims have had 42 years to come to grips with a most sad and unfortunate occurrence. The pain will never cease but it does lessen.

A new investigation will only open old wounds. We see no reason to revisit the tragedy, evoking more heartache.

The (Martins Ferry) Times Leader