Monday, January 28, 2013

Ohio House Will Continue Focusing on Jobs, Education

Guest Column from Representative Richard Adams

It is custom at the beginning of every legislative term for the legislature to lay out goals, as well as ideas for how best to achieve them. These ideas focus on issues that are most important for the state. Often, while other issues obviously surface along the way, the top policy issues that are established at the beginning of the General Assembly require the most time and attention.

The biggest priority of House Republicans under Speaker Bill Batchelder has been on the subject of job creation. Since January 2011, Ohioans have created more than 120,000 jobs, which has been the defining factor of Ohio’s unemployment rate falling at nearly twice the rate of the national average. Jobs will continue to be the primary focus in the upcoming term as well.

Training workers to fill those jobs is also critical. Previously, Ohio had dozens of workforce training programs spread across 13 different state agencies, which led to immense waste and inefficiency. Much will continue to be done to improve the system because effective workforce training is a necessary part of expanding the jobs market.

Education goes hand-in-hand with training workers, and will continue to be an important focus. All education reform efforts must be centered on one simple, yet extremely important, objective: student success. Gearing children and young adults for success will most certainly help them to lead prosperous, independent lives.

The ideas presented in this column are merely a sampling of the issues that will be addressed by the legislature. Before bills are debated in the House chamber, they must first pass out of committee, where they are vetted not only by legislators, but also by constituents. It is especially important during this time to hear what the people of Ohio think about certain pieces of legislation.

Your feedback makes bills better because it opens them up to a wider array of opinion and analysis. For that reason, I urge you to contact my office at any time to provide your unique viewpoint on the issues that impact our state.

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