Guest Column From State Representative Bill Reineke
Creating Policies to Advance Tomorrow's Opportunities
February 03, 2015
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Ohio currently sits at a crucial economic crossroads. With the recession mostly behind us, many people are feeling the effects of recovery. The unemployment rate in Ohio, which sits at 4.8%, is down from 6.7% at the same time last year and is also lower than the national unemployment rate of 5.6%.  Still, many families have yet to see these positive effects.

The decisions that leaders across the state are making now will determine whether or not the state continues to move ahead on its path towards prosperity. Today’s policies will decide tomorrow’s opportunities. As the state representative of the 88th House District, I intend to focus on building momentum that will accelerate our economic recovery even faster.

First and foremost, I want to look at ways to reduce the burdens on businesses and spur job growth throughout the region and the state. Small business has been and will continue to be the backbone of Ohio’s business sector. We must therefore create an environment that is conducive for small businesses to thrive, expand, and hire more employees. From my personal experience as a member of the business community, I know how difficult it can be to navigate the tricky maze of taxes and mandates facing entrepreneurs. Simplifying this complicated morass of government interference will allow businesses to do what they do best. By doing this, we can encourage entrepreneurs to expand, reinvest in their communities, and provide gainful employment to jobseekers.

Additionally, we need to focus on preparing highly skilled laborers to meet the present and coming demands of our modern economy. Particularly, I believe this means that we need to emphasize Ohio’s rich educational environment to connect students with programs that will provide specific competencies for our current technical needs. We need to utilize the great resources that our career technical and vocational education centers provide to students in a variety of fields. We need to have options for students outside of the traditional education process, we can give them the ability to secure an in-demand job that pays high wages and provides sound benefits. These types of opportunities can come to those who make the most of the classes and training available to them at our career centers.

Finally, we need to make meaningful reforms to the way we provide welfare assistance to those who are struggling in our communities. Instead of simply making them a case number or a file in a computer system, we should be looking at ways we can transform these people’s lives. From healthcare and food assistance to education and job training, we must provide a way to help our fellow citizens help themselves. By perpetuating a system of self-responsibility, we can move away from the cycle of entitlements and provide avenues toward sustainable personal success, such as holding a job and advancing their careers in the workplace.

These initiatives will require a tremendous amount of hard work and some tough decisions along the way. I believe we can achieve great things for this state for many years to come if we are willing to come together and work for positive changes for all.?

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