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Top Jobs Official Says Ohio Will Change Way It Recruits Employers

While President Barack Obama prepares to address congress tonight on his plan to promote job growth, Central Ohio business groups are now working more closely to reverse recent job losses. Ohio's job engine stalled earlier this decade "We have lost over 400-thousand jobs in the past four or five years.." Mark Kvamme is chief Investment officer at Jobs Ohio, a semi-private jobs creation board formed by Governor John Kasich. At a meeting of central Ohio business interest groups, Kvamme outlined a new plan to bring employers to the state. "The status quo, the way things have been done in the past is not working. Oh and by the way its not working on a national level, its not working on a state level, its not working on a municipal level. we've got to make changes." Kvamme says Jobs Ohio will now use leads from regional chambers of commerce to attract new business. While Jobs Ohio does not control tax incentives offered by individual cities or suburbs, it will jawbone competing local governments to give potential employers the best deal. Business recruitment groups, such as Columbus 2020, will get $2.500,000 in state grants to dovetail its business recruitment program with Jobs Ohio. Columbus 2020 executive Kenny McDonald says the state funds will be used, in part to add staff and meet more often with regional job development officers. "We think there's so much change going on in Ohio, in our region, in the economy that it requires three to four hours every month." McDonald says Columbus 20-20 will help negotiate state loans and grants with businesses in an eleven county region surrounding Columbus. Tom Borgerding WOSU News