COLUMBUS, Ohio — JobsOhio has received a clean bill of health in complying with the state laws and regulations governing the operations of the state’s privatized economic development arm.
An accounting firm’s compliance audit of the nonprofit was released Tuesday by Ohio Auditor Keith Faber, whose office is forbidden from auditing JobsOhio and instead is restricted to choosing the private accountant.
The audit by Deloitte & Touche for the state fiscal year ending June 30 examined 41 areas involving financial controls, conflicts of interest, ethics, payroll, expenses and board oversight and found no problems.
The audit stated that JobsOhio spent $162.1 million on its operations during the fiscal year while recording a $382.8 million profit on its 25-year, $1.5 billion lease of the state’s liquor operations as sales continue to accelerate.
JobsOhio, the handiwork of former Gov. John Kasich and fellow legislative Republicans, was created in 2011 to replace the state Department of Development in pursuing job-creating business openings and expansions.
The organization provides grants and loans to job creators and works with the Ohio Development Services Agency to arrange state tax breaks.
The nonprofit appears to be on pace to create and save fewer jobs in 2019 that it recorded last year as Ohio’s economy continues to trail most states.
During the first three quarters of this year, JobsOhio brought in 206 projects creating 16,086 new jobs while retaining 33,839 jobs.
For all of 2018, JobsOhio landed 266 projects with commitments to create 27,071 jobs — 19% growth from the prior year — and retained an additional 69,905 jobs.
Through October, Ohio had lost 10,300 jobs since Jan. 1 and stands poised to record a yearly job loss for the first time since the Great Recession in 2009.