Chamber Supported Workforce Bill Clears Ohio Legislature

Yesterday, the Ohio Senate and Ohio House passed House Bill 614, which among other things, would create a council to review the administration of unemployment compensation and attempts to alleviate the issues experienced by the unemployment compensation system due to massive increase in claims in the first and second quarter of 2020. Additionally, HB 614 included over $650 million of CARES Act funding that will be going to assist local governments. The Ohio Chamber provided interested party testimony on the original bill both in the House and the Senate. 

One other provision included in HB 614 is Senate Bill 181; legislation that will create a template for workforce-education partnership programs. The Ohio Chamber lent our support to SB 181 previously in the Ohio Senate last October. As was stated in our letter of support regarding SB 181, consistently, we hear from our members that they are struggling to fill workforce shortages. The approach in SB 181 has the potential to fill these shortages in a creative way, and potentially drive down the burden student loans put on individuals pursuing higher education.

This bill was introduced by Senator Bill Coley (R-Liberty Township) in response to a program that Miami University is utilizing with local businesses. This program is modeled from what the University of Louisville created in partnership with UPS. It is these types of programs that are making a difference in developing the workforce of the future.

The overall issue of workforce development is a particularly difficult issue in part because there is not one single solution to solve workforce shortages currently facing Ohio businesses. We believe that SB 181, along with other bills, take innovative approaches to attempt to solve this issue. It is our hope that Governor DeWine will sign this measure into law to provide an additional approach in the alleviation of one of the biggest issues facing Ohio businesses.