Week in Review: Oct. 22, 2023

Written on Oct 22, 2023


The Social Security Administration (SSA) announced that retirement benefits will increase by 3.2%, an average of $50 per month, beginning in January 2024. The cost-of-living adjustment will apply to more than 66 million Social Security beneficiaries. Recipients of Supplemental Security Income (SSI) payments will also see a 3.2% increase in payments in January. SSI increases will apply to approximately 7.5 million people, meaning more than 71 million Americans will receive higher benefits next year, as there is some overlap in Social Security and SSI recipients. SSA also announced an increase in the maximum amount of earnings subject to the Social Security tax starting in January. These adjustments happen each year, and in 2024, the taxable maximum for the Social Security tax will increase from $160,200 to $168,600, an increase of over 5 percent.


The DeWine administration and Ohio Department of Job and Family Services (ODJFS) recently announced the state received two federal grants totaling nearly $10 million for electric vehicle (EV) manufacturing workforce development. This follows the development of a state strategy to strengthen the advanced manufacturing workforce for EV production. One grant will provide $5 million for training and credentialing for 700 residents of 18 Northeast Ohio counties. As part of that project, called "Charged Up," ODJFS will work with the Manufacturing Advocacy and Growth Network, Mahoning Valley Manufacturers Coalition, and education and training providers to prepare people to work in battery production facilities. The other grant is for nearly $5 million and will support training and credentialing for 550 unemployed and underemployed Ohioans in Western and Central Ohio. The “Workforce Advancement in Vehicle Electrification” (WAVE) effort was created by ODJFS, OWT, the Ohio Manufacturers’ Association, local workforce development boards and area employers and educators. It is inspired by other successful programs for underserved populations, including the Individual Microcredential Assistance Program (IMAP).


Personal finance site WalletHub released its rankings of the 40 best colleges and universities in Ohio, as part of an overall list of more than 800 nationally. Case Western Reserve University (CWRU) was first in the state and 56th nationally. The report also ranked institutions on subcategories of Student Selectivity; Cost and Financing; Faculty Resources; Campus Safety; Campus Experience; Education Outcomes; and Career Outcomes. These findings were drawn from 30 metrics including student-faculty ratios, graduation rates, post-attendance median salaries, student-loan default rate and the share of former students outearning high school graduates. WalletHub sought to calculate the value of institutions after attendance as part of its report.


JPMorgan Chase announced recently it is investing $500,000 in two Columbus area nonprofits to develop a program helping New Americans to support their business development through access to capital and technical assistance. "BEGIN with Business CLAS" is a partnership of community development corporation Elevate Northland and Ethiopian Tewahedo Social Services (ETSS), which improves the quality of life of immigrant and refugee families in Central Ohio.


The DeWine administration announced Monday that a new skills-based search function will help people applying for jobs in state government find positions based on specific experiences, skills and training rather than just academic degrees. The tool was developed in response to Gov. Mike DeWine's Executive Order 2023-10D, which made the state a "model employer for skills-based hiring practices." Adoption of this initiative makes Ohio one of the first states to use the skill-based hiring practice for recruiting its own employees, according to the administration.

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