JobsOhio Is Changing Its Business Strategy


JobsOhio is exploring ownership stakes in fledgling companies. reported the private nonprofit corporation’s board of quasi-governmental entities, now led by DeWine appointee Bob Smith, approved the new direction at their Monday meeting in Lima.

The Buckeye Institute warned of “political influence” and says the plan will give some companies “special treatment.”

“While technically JobsOhio is a private entity, it acts as a direct extension of state government with a board entirely appointed by the Governor. As a result, The Buckeye Institute has the same concerns with JobsOhio taking ownership stakes in private companies as it would if the government were doing so,” Research Fellow Greg Lawson explained to The Ohio Star.

“This practice is unfair and gives companies special treatment from an agency – JobsOhio – that is vulnerable to political influence,” Lawson added.

Ohio’s Future Foundation divulged the news in an email blast:

JobsOhio to Take Over Businesses?

‘JobsOhio board members on Monday approved a new strategic plan recommended by JP Nauseef, hired by Gov. Mike DeWine shortly after DeWine took office in January. The plan expands the types of businesses JobsOhio will invest in to now include early-stage businesses, not just established companies. It also will allow JobsOhio to take equity stakes in businesses, or give loans that can be converted into partial ownership shares down the road’.”

The article explained the new strategic plan, “It also will allow JobsOhio take equity stakes in businesses, or give loans that can be converted into partial ownership shares down the road. Since it was founded in 2011, JobsOhio has only given out grants and loans to companies in exchange for specific investment promises, like hiring or keeping a certain number of workers.

The article included new Chairman’s comments, “Bob Smith, a Cleveland businessman … said the non-profit’s new leaders developed the plan after spending three months getting feedback from across the state. ‘The theme was JobsOhio can do more. And I think what you’re about to hear is that JobsOhio’s plan is to do more’.”

There were nine targeted industries originally, and JobsOhio approved expansion to twelve including federal installations, airports and digital connectivity.

Instead of expanding the power of JobsOhio into the private sector, The Buckeye Institute had a recommendation: “Ohio needs to pass policies that will lower taxes across the board to encourage job growth and move away from these types of special interest deals.”

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Beth Lear is a reporter at The Ohio Star.  Follow Beth on Twitter.  Email tips to [email protected].
Photo “JobsOhio” by JobsOhio. 







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