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Week in Review: Sept. 25, 2022

Written on Sep 23, 2022

ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT
While Intel has recently dominated the economic development headlines in Ohio, the state's Department of Development (DOD) is engaged in a wide array of programs to help communities improve in attracting business projects and expanding Ohio's workforce. DOD Director Lydia Mihalik, who recently said Ohio is undergoing an "economic renaissance," discussed those efforts in a recent interview with Hannah News. She couldn't give specifics on DOD requests for the upcoming FY24-25 budget, but Mihalik said the department will continue to focus on administration priorities of investing in "things that are important to people, places and businesses throughout the state of Ohio."

EMPLOYMENT/UNEMPLOYMENT
According to new figures released Friday by the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services (ODJFS), Ohio's unemployment rate rose to 4% in August from 3.9% in July as the state added 7,500 nonagricultural wage and salary jobs over the month. The number of workers unemployed in Ohio in August was 229,000, up from 223,000 in July. The number of unemployed has decreased by 54,000 in the past 12 months from 283,000. The August unemployment rate for Ohio decreased from 4.9% in August 2021. The U.S. unemployment rate for August 2022 was 3.7%, up from 3.5% in July 2022, and down from 5.2% in August 2021.

ENVIRONMENT
As part of Gov. Mike DeWine's H2Ohio water quality initiative, the Ohio EPA recently released the final reports for 10 emerging technologies that could play an important role in the reduction of harmful algal blooms (HABs) in Lake Erie. The technologies were chosen for evaluation through the H2Ohio Technology Assessment Program (TAP) by the TAP Advisory Council, which was created by the Ohio Lake Erie Commission (OLEC) to guide Ohio in addressing HABs in Lake Erie. According to Ohio EPA, the TAP Advisory Council considered 40 technology proposals to recommend for evaluation by an independent, third-party partner with the expertise to consider the wide-ranging technologies. Ohio EPA selected Tetra Tech as a third-party technology vendor to analyze and evaluate the 10 most promising technologies recommended by the TAP Advisory Council, and the reports released Monday contain Tetra Tech's findings. The initial listing of those technologies can be found online at https://tinyurl.com/bdzdhrca .

INTEL
The Ohio Environmental Protection Agency (Ohio EPA) announced Tuesday it had issued a permit to Intel allowing the company to install equipment and initially operate up to four semiconductor manufacturing facilities in two buildings in Licking County. The facilities are required to use state-of-the-art controls as included in the permit to ensure the area continues to comply with federal air quality standards once it is operating, according to an Ohio EPA release. Air modeling required by Ohio law was performed by an Intel consultant and verified by Ohio EPA as part of the process. This analysis shows that no adverse health or welfare effects would be expected from air emissions at this facility.

JUDICIAL
The Supreme Court of Ohio has opened a public comment period on proposed amendments to the rules for courts. The proposed changes include revised rules about technology in the courts, which follows up on the Legislature's updates to rules for civil cases, a clarification about expert witness qualifications, and suggested modifications to juvenile court rules. The text of the proposed changes can be found online at https://tinyurl.com/464yz77a . Comments should be submitted in writing by Thursday, Oct. 27, to Michel Jendretzky, legal counsel, Supreme Court of Ohio, 65 S. Front St., 7th Floor, Columbus, OH 43215; or to ruleamendments@sc.ohio.gov.

SECRETARY OF STATE
Secretary of State Frank LaRose Monday warned Ohio business owners about a deceptive letter that he said is offering to sell a government service that the state already provides for free. According to LaRose, one of the newest in a line of suspicious, misleading, and even fraudulent mailers involves Uniform Commercial Code (UCC) filings. This mailer claims to "obtain and mail a hard copy of your Ohio UCC Financing Statement Form" for a $90 fee. The same PDF document being referenced can be downloaded and printed for free at the Ohio Secretary of State's website at https://ucc.ohiosos.gov.

WORKFORCE
A number of career centers across the state are nearing capacity, Lt. Gov. Jon Husted said during his remarks to the JobsOhio Board of Directors on Friday. Husted attributed the increased enrollment to a number of factors, including state incentives for career centers that increase the number of students who graduate with "in-demand" credentials.

In conjunction with National Workforce Development Month, Gov. Mike DeWine recently announced that ApprenticeOhio sponsors can apply for grants of up to $25,000 each to help cover apprenticeship training costs incurred since July 1, 2020. Ohio employers with registered apprentices in their workforces also can apply for the grants. The program is available through Ohio Department of Job and Family Services (ODJFS). The reimbursement grants are available as a result of a federal "Building State Capacity to Expand Apprenticeship through Innovation" grant that ODJFS received in 2020. Sponsors and employers can apply for the grants at Apprentice.Ohio.gov through Dec. 31. They can receive reimbursement of up to $2,500 per apprentice for up to 10 apprentices to help cover the cost of training and tool allowances. All applicants must have both a state of Ohio OH|ID, which can be secured online at https://ohid.ohio.gov/wps/portal/gov/ohid/login, and a federal Registered Apprenticeship ID.

This feature was provided by Hannah New Service and selected for you by OSCPA Government Relations Staff.