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Week in Review: Dec. 17, 2023

Written on Dec 15, 2023


Ohio is the first state in the nation to activate an electric vehicle (EV) charging station through the National Electric Vehicle Infrastructure (NEVI) program, Gov. Mike DeWine announced Friday. The charging station is located west of Columbus in Madison County at the Pilot Travel Center along Interstate 70 at U.S. Route 42. The chargers, installed by EVgo, are capable of providing 350 kW when charging a single vehicle. When four vehicles are connected to the charging port, each vehicle will receive up to 175 kW, which can charge an EV up to 80 percent in 20 to 40 minutes, depending on the vehicle's battery. ODOT is accepting proposals through 1 p.m. on Thursday, Jan. 25, 2024 for the next round of funding for installation and operation of charging stations. More information on submitting a proposal can be found at .


The DeWine administration and JobsOhio announced Monday payment processing solutions provider Worldpay will reestablish its global corporate headquarters in the Cincinnati area, creating more than 500 new jobs and $56 million in associated payroll to the region while retaining 971 jobs and $93 million in existing payroll. The company is one of the largest payment processors in the world, with $2 trillion in payment volume in 2022. It supports over one million merchant businesses and processes transactions in 146 countries across 135 currencies. The administration, JobsOhio and REDI Cincinnati worked with Worldpay to have its headquarters reestablished upon the pending separation from financial services technology company FIS. Worldpay, valued at $18.5 billion, is expected to become a standalone company in early 2024.

The DeWine administration also announced the approval of assistance for 11 projects expected to create 1,636 new jobs and retain 1,715 jobs statewide. These projects are expected to collectively result in more than $141 million in new payroll and spur more than $2.5 billion in investments across Ohio.


According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) Friday, the nation added 199,000 nonfarm jobs in November as the national unemployment rate fell from 3.9 percent in October to 3.7 percent in November. BLS said the number of unemployed persons, at 6.3 million, was little changed in November. Among the major worker groups, the unemployment rate for teenagers (11.4%) edged down in November. The jobless rates for adult men (3.7 percent), adult women (3.1%), Whites (3.3%), Blacks (5.8%), Asians (3.5%), and Hispanics (4.6%) showed little or no change in November. The number of long-term unemployed (those jobless for 27 weeks or more) ticked down to 1.2 million in November. The long-term unemployed accounted for 18.3% of all unemployed persons.


Ohio pension funds saw returns ranging from 5.1% to 8.3% in the first half of 2023, with more noticeable divergence among the funds' performance and strategies than has been typical, an investment expert told the Ohio Retirement Study Council (ORSC) at Thursday's meeting. The council also reviewed formal actuarial valuations for three systems Thursday: Ohio Public Employees Retirement System (OPERS), Ohio Police & Fire Pension Fund (OP&F) and Highway Patrol Retirement System (HPRS). Those valuations can trigger a statutory requirement for long-term funding plans, but none of the three met those parameters. The law requires plans to submit a plan if the valuation shows it will take more than 30 years for them to pay down their unfunded liabilities. The amortization period for HPRS was reported at 21 years; for OPERS, at 16 years; and for OP&F, at 26.7 years. While all are below 30 years, system leaders reported challenges they face.


A week after Ohio's issuer rating was upgraded to Aaa by Moody's, the DeWine administration announced Friday that S&P Global Ratings has joined Moody's and Fitch Ratings in giving Ohio a "AAA" issuer default and general obligation bond rating. It is the first time Ohio received the top rating from all three agencies. That reflects "Ohio's demonstrated commitment to active budget management, building and maintaining reserves, significant state-supported economic diversification efforts, and a belief that the state can maintain better credit characteristics than the U.S. in a stress scenario," according to the administration.


Lt. Gov. Jon Husted announced that 26 workforce partnerships will receive awards through the fourth round of Industry Sector Partnership (ISP) Grants, with the total of $5 million in awards doubling the amount of funding ever awarded in a single round. The first three ISP Grant program rounds awarded 27 partnerships a total of $7.5 million. The program supports efforts to bring Ohioans into the workforce pipeline while meeting the needs of businesses and the local economy. Awarded partnerships will focus on building a workforce for in-demand sectors including manufacturing, transportation and health care. The industry sector partnerships are designed to develop regional strategies with the goal of increasing collaboration among local businesses, education and training providers, and community stakeholders.

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

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