Recap: 2016 Chamber Day at the Capitol

Earlier this week, hundreds gathered at the Capitol Theater in Columbus for the Ohio Chamber of Commerce’s 2016 Annual Meeting. Attendees heard from Former Speaker of the House, John Boehner, as well as Ohio Lt. Gov. Mary Taylor.

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Prior to Annual Meeting, representatives from local chambers of commerce throughout Ohio came together to participate in our annual Chamber Day at the Capitol. Chamber Day is the Chamber Action Alliance’s yearly event where we bring in pertinent advocacy and policy speakers and host a legislative panel by Ohio Chamber lobbyists. Below are some photos and highlights from the event.

Medical Marijuana Taskforce Update

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The first panel featured Sen. Dave Burke (R-Marysville), chairman of the Ohio Senate Medical Marijuana Taskforce; Linda Hondros, President of the Hondros Family of Companies and representative of the Ohio Chamber on the House Medical Marijuana Taskforce; and Don Boyd, director of labor & legal affairs at the Ohio Chamber. The panelists discussed the pending ballot initiatives surrounding marijuana legalization in Ohio, taskforce highlights, and what we can expect moving forward.

2016 Workforce Development & Education Initiatives

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Next, Director Ryan Burgess from the Governor’s Office of Workforce Transformation spoke to the audience. Director Burgess was recently appointed to his position by Gov. Kasich in November of 2015. The Office of Workforce Transformation is committed to identifying the needs of business, connecting businesses and workers, and aligning training to meet the needs of businesses. Burgess leads initiatives to improve the effectiveness, efficiency and accountability of Ohio’s workforce programs. Director Burgess spoke about his priorities to identify businesses’ most urgent job needs, connect business and individuals, align training to business needs, and evaluating those results. He then fielded questions from the audience and discussed the important role local chambers of commerce play in workforce development.

Legislative Update

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The final panel featured a legislative update from the Ohio Chamber’s Government Affairs Team. Our lobbyists discussed pending legislation in the General Assembly that will impact business interests in our state. Dan Navin, senior VP tax & economic policies moderated the panel. Participants included Don Boyd, director of labor & legal affairs, Brandon Ogden, director of the Ohio Small Business Council, and Charles Willoughby, director of energy & environmental policy.

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