Lee Fisher is expected to be paid as a Cabinet officer.
By JEFF ORTEGA
COLUMBUS -- Strengthening work-force development will be a high priority for the incoming Strickland administration, Lt. Gov.-elect Lee Fisher said Tuesday.
"If we have a skilled, educated, flexible work force, we'll be able to compete with any state," said Fisher, who will be nominated by Democratic Gov.-elect Ted Strickland to be the state's next Ohio Department of Development director.
"And, recognizing that we live in a global economy means that we have to move Ohio from the back row to the head of the class," Fisher said.
Strickland recognized Fisher as a "respected partner in this effort."
Fisher's nomination and other Cabinet-level appointments will be subject to consent of the GOP-led Ohio Senate.
Fisher said he doesn't think educational attainment can be separated from economic growth.
Fisher said the state development department, which oversees a multitude of programs including business attraction and retention, export and travel promotion, and affordable housing, will seek to invest in Ohio's strengths.
To develop 'scorecard'
Fisher said an "economic growth scorecard" will be developed to determine benchmarks on which the state can measure economic progress.
Fisher is expected to be paid as a Cabinet officer, and his compensation has not yet been set.
Strickland said he would like to create a position in the governor's office that focuses on the state's policy implications on urban areas.
Ohio Senate President Bill M. Harris, an Ashland Republican, said he's worked with Fisher several times before.
"I've always found him to be very open and easy to communicate with," Harris said.
Strickland, who defeated GOP nominee J. Kenneth Blackwell for governor, said he expected to make announcements on other Cabinet positions in the coming months.
Strickland and Fisher are to take office in early January.