By Kristin Rover
Ohio Governor John Kasich made a stop in Clermont County July 18 to discuss the state budget and jobs.
Kasich spoke to a crowd of local officials, business professionals, and residents at Cincinnati Milacron, a machinery manufacturing company in Batavia.
“It’s great to be back here,” Kasich said after he was introduced.
Kasich said he wanted to talk to guests about the budget, tax cuts for small businesses and jobs in Ohio.
He said in his new budget, there is a 50 percent tax cut for businesses earning up to $250,000 per year.
He said small businesses are important to the economy and he is working to help small business owners continue to be successful.
“Small business is something that has to be taken care of,” Kasich said. “If you stomp out a small business, you stomp out some family’s hopes and dreams.”
He said he has already worked to return Workers’ Compensation money to small businesses by making the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation more efficient.
“To me that’s the best stimulus I’ve heard of anywhere in America,” Kasich said.
He said he is also working to cut income tax in the state from 5.9 percent to 5.3 percent.
“The reason this matters is it is another tool in the tool box to tell people what Ohio has to offer,” Kasich said.
Kasich said he is working to make Ohio a more business-friendly state to increase the number of jobs available to residents.
“We were rated the 44th most business-friendly state,” Kasich said. “That’s like a D-minus or an E.”
Kasich said in the past year Ohio has risen to the 22nd most business-friendly state.
He said when it comes to jobs in the state, it is important to speak the language of business owners and identify what they need.
Michael Prachar, vice president of marketing for Cincinnati Milacron said at Milacron, they struggled with finding skilled labor.
“We know finding great people to work at your company is a hard thing to do,” Prachar said.
He said they have adapted by working with local colleges, including University of Cincinnati Clermont College, to develop apprenticeships and other job training opportunities.
“Twenty people go through apprenticeships,” Prachar said about their program at UC Clermont. “We are proud of re-investing in the community.”
He said their company has grown over the past few years, and they have hired or re-hired 3,000 employees.
Kasich commended Milacron for their accomplishments and for how they have worked to hire people in their industry.
“One of the biggest problems we have in Ohio and the country is how do you educate and train people for the jobs that are here?” Kasich said. “One of the beautiful things you heard here about Milacron is they reached into the University.”
Kasich said they are working on increasing funding at the K-12 level with an emphasis on vocational and technical learning.
“Everybody doesn’t have to go on to college immediately, or ever,” Kasich said. “We want to get the Milacron’s and the P&G’s to start to integrate themselves with the educational program.”
Kasich said they are working to accomplish these things and market Ohio to businesses throughout the country.
“Things are headed in the right direction, and we’re excited about it,” Kasich said.
Kasich took time after he spoke to talk with local officials and residents.
Marsha Moon, of Maineville, said she was glad to hear that the state will be supporting vocational education. She said her daughter is in the vocational education industry.
Mark Scherer, of West Chester, said he thought Governor Kasich did a good job talking about his plans for the state.
“Bringing business back to Ohio is a key point and really needs to happen,” Scherer said.