By Marc Kovac
Gov. John Kasich called his meetings with the Detroit Three automakers this week “very sobering” and “in some ways very disturbing,” with two of the three blunt in their assessment of Ohio’s business climate.
“I heard words like ‘not competitive,’” Kasich said Thursday. “I heard words like ‘not cooperative.’ I heard words like ‘created a bad attitude and a bad impression.’”
He added, “We are not viewed in that community as the most forward-looking state.”
Kasich and a delegation that included Ohio State University President Gordon Gee attended the North American International Auto Show in Detroit Wednesday and met with representatives of General Motors, Chrysler and Ford.
Kasich did not specify which two of the three automakers expressed the negative remarks, but The Toledo Blade reported today that the governor had met privately with executives from GM and Chrysler.
But Kasich voiced concern about Ohio’s stature among the automakers, and said the state needs to move now to revamp its job-training and other programs.
“This is a very serious matter,” Kasich said. “It involves taxes, it involves regulations, it involves being able to respond to their concerns, it involves what you do with an EPA, it involves what you do with all types of regulation and job training.”
He added, “I told them yesterday we are open for business. And they looked at me and said, ‘Thank God.’ ”