LIMA — JobsOhio will be creating innovation districts across the state as part of the private economic development group’s new strategy.
The JobsOhio board approved the new strategy during its quarterly meeting held in Lima on Monday. The strategy adds federal installations to the list of industries in which the organization will focus its attraction and retention efforts.
The strategy places a greater emphasis on computer science and technical education and calls for JobsOhio to make greater investments in job ready sites, among other changes recommended to the board after a year-and-a-half evaluation of JobsOhio’s mission.
JobsOhio President & CIO J.P. Nauseef said the innovation districts will be developed in partnership with local communities, drawing on anchor companies and startups. He cited similar districts established in Austin, Atlanta and St. Louis as the model JobsOhio is looking at in establishing its own innovation districts.
The innovation districts dovetail with JobsOhio’s new emphasis on knowledge-based workers, particularly those with four-year, two-year and technical degrees in computer science or technical programs.
JobsOhio held its third quarter meeting in Lima as part of an effort to travel the state on a regular basis.
State Rep. Robert Cupp and Sen. Matt Huffman, who invited the JobsOhio board to Lima, were in attendance alongside dozens of local and state representatives.
“It’s important that you’re in Lima, Ohio,” Huffman said, noting that the Norwest and West Central Ohio regions typically have the lowest unemployment in the state.
Ohio Treasurer Robert Sprague also spoke to the board about his new ResultsOhio inititaive, which seeks to develop private sector solutions to social and public health problems like the opioid crisis.
Sprague said ResultsOhio will partner with private sector pilot programs but only those programs which are found to be successful will receive funding. The program will rely on third-party assessments and “buy back” successful programs, reducing the burden on taxpayers to fund pilot initiatives.
Sprague said he hopes ResultsOhio will provide the state with a “laboratory for new ideas.”
Reach Mackenzi Klemann at 567-242-0456.