Two companies ordered to return JobsOhio grant money

Mark Williams - Akron Beacon Journal (TNS)

JobsOhio has won its first two cases in which the state’s nonprofit economic development group sued to recover money granted to companies that didn’t meet the criteria for the awards.

In the first case, Keystone Tailored Manufacturing has agreed to pay $391,000 to JobsOhio and the Cleveland suburb of Brooklyn.

JobsOhio gave the company a $420,000 grant in 2015 that required it to invest $6 million at its site in Brooklyn, create 20 jobs and retain 150 others, according to a lawsuit JobsOhio filed in February.

This past January, the company said it was closing the plant in March.

In the second case, JobsOhio gave Maca Plastics a $52,000 grant in 2014 for a project in Winchester in southwestern Ohio in which it promised to create 22 jobs and retain 26 others.

In 2018, the company closed the operation and moved it across the Ohio River to Maysville, Kentucky.

A Franklin County magistrate ruled last month that JobsOhio was entitled to recover that money along with $14,181 in attorney fees. The company said it shouldn’t have to return the full amount since it met some of the metrics.

That ruling is subject to appeal.

“It is important to JobsOhio that our dollars go to economic development efforts that can grow jobs and investment for the people of Ohio,” JobsOhio spokesman Matt Englehart said. “The magistrate’s decision opens the opportunity for the judge to provide a final order and put these dollars back to work for Ohioans.”

Mark Williams

Akron Beacon Journal (TNS)

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