The governor said Cleveland has a lot to offer: lower cost of living than Seattle, higher household income than Tampa, more literate people than New York City, and higher rated quality of life than Rome, a vibrant cultural heritage, and leads the nation in medical innovations. Strickland said these assets should be flaunted to attract national and international investors to the region and boost a stagnant economy.
“We have to make Ohio attractive to businesses,” Strickland said. ‘The tax reforms which eliminate taxes on corporate profits and tangible personal items, along with a job stimulus package which will dedicate $1.57 billion to create new jobs and the energy bill which will control prices are laying the strong foundation for rebuilding the state’s former prestige.’
“We have an opportunity here to make a long-term commitment to strengthening Ohio and reclaiming the Ohio prosperity that has defined this state since its earliest days,” he said.
Education is the governor’s top priority and he has increased funding and access to professional training so Ohioans can compete in high demand career fields.
He admitted the city and state are facing many challenges, courtesy of the national economic slump, but added ‘strategic investment and commitment in four strategic sectors: bioscience, renewable energy, logistics, and bio-based goods, which can invigorate the region’s economy again. “These are sectors where Ohio is already a national leader and where there’s a window of opportunity for us to advance development and lay claim to be an international leader,” Strickland said.
Gov. Strickland says Ohio’s self image important for healthy economy
He said Ohioans need to reclaim pride in their state and combat the negative perceptions, by celebrating the positives. Ohio has the second lowest cost of living in the Midwest, the only state whose exports have grown every year in the past decade; it has a rich cultural heritage, competitive universities, and incomparable medical facilities, which host every 1-out-of-5 clinical trials in the United States. Ohio leads the country in providing the best healthcare and medical inventions and is the second leading state in potential new jobs for renewable energy.
“If your products are sought across the world then you will thrive in the long run,” he said, adding more than 2000 Ohio companies make component parts that can be utilized in advanced energy and are attracting solar companies to establishing headquarters in Cleveland.
The state’s central location makes it a gateway and provides companies close access to most of the nation’s population and manufacturing industries.
“We can give our economy a boost by recognizing more than our difficulties, by seeing what it is that we have and remembering what are capable of,” he said.
Ratanjit Sondhe serves on the Board of the Cleveland Foundation and said it was wonderful to hear praise of the city and state and he was surprised to learn that Ohio leads the nation in many endeavors.
He applauds the governor’s commitment to improving the quality and access of public education and said Cleveland needs more mentorship programs, where youth and emerging leaders can learn from retired professionals.
“We also need to attract people who are young and innovative thinkers,” Sondhe said. He said if the state was friendlier to emerging economical leaders like China and India, their business investors would readily flock to the region to set up business, thereby reducing the impact of fleeing jobs.
Sondhe agreed the state needs to market itself more favorably but he didn’t hear the governor offer many critical solutions to be excited about.
Sondhe is a motivational speaker and author in the Cleveland area. Visit: www.ratanjit.com
The City Club of Cleveland’s Friday Forum was sponsored by the Sisters of Charity Health System. “I was very appreciative of the Governor’s remarks, especially his focus on engagement of the wider community in finding solutions and designing actions to achieve results.
“I applaud the Governor’s emphasis on addressing the root causes of poverty, access to health care, and economic development. His emphasis on what is right in Cleveland and the state was very hopeful,” summarized Sr. Judith Ann Karam, CSA, President & CEO of the Sisters of Charity Health System, which was the sponsor. Visit: www.sistersofcharityhealth.org