JobsOhio deserves praise for creating, retaining Valley jobs

JobsOhio deserves praise for creating, retaining Valley jobs

A recent EDITORIAL endorse- ment in The Vindicator contains what I consider unfair and unwarranted criticism of JobsOhio, which is making a significant contribution to our state’s and our Valley’s economic comeback.

JobsOhio, which replaced a rather ineffective Department of Development, is a private, nonprofit corporation that receives no taxpayer dollars but hardly operates in “secrecy” as your editorial suggests. Its financial records are audited annually by a Big Four accounting firm and released to the state auditor and Legislature as well as disclosed online for the public’s review. JobsOhio also posts on its website monthly reports of executed agreements with companies, showing how JobsOhio is investing its funds to help businesses grow and create jobs in Ohio. In addition to quarterly reports, the JobsOhio 2013 Annual Report & Strategic Plan is available online. Clearly, there is no “lack of transparency” here.

The organization is an innovative economic development model led not by government bureaucrats but by a board of directors made up of real-world business experts, who serve without compensation and who understand the needs of companies.

As a working partner of JobsOhio and an organization that is results-oriented, the Youngstown-Warren Regional Chamber knows that proof is in the performance. In its nearly three years of existence, 641 companies working with JobsOhio have committed to create and maintain 214,625 jobs in Ohio and make $10.4 billion in new capital investments.

Specifically in Mahoning and Trumbull counties, this includes 903 new jobs created, 5,662 jobs retained and capital investments of more than $333 million.

Not to mention the council and support of our efforts in attracting supply chain companies for the oil and gas industry this past three years. That alone accounts for over 3,700 direct and indirect jobs and just over $5.3 billion in capital investment.

No other state in the nation can boast such a forward-looking engine driving its economic development efforts. JobsOhio is a 21st century solution to the challenges presented by today’s global economy.

Thomas M. Humphries, Youngstown

Humphries is president and chief executive officer of The Youngstown-Warren Regional Chamber.

Inspiring and unforgettable

Once in a lifetime, we have the opportunity to meet an unforgettable person. Today was my day; I met Joan Trumpauer Mulholland, a civil-rights activist, Freedom Rider and a speaker at Youngstown State University.

Although she refused to take the name “Hero,” she was a hero. Her courage gave faith to a population distressed and unloved. She bestowed education and sensitivity to people who felt they were better.

As I gazed upon the group, I felt as though I was with people who knew who they were — people searching for peace for all people.

Mary Ann O’Neil, Youngstown

Climate change: Look at science before buying Cal Thomas’ spin

When I first saw the Vindi- cator headline, “Climate change is not a fact,” (Vindicator editorial page, April 18) I thought it was a joke. Sad to say, it wasn’t. Reading Cal Thomas’ piece on global warming made it clear that he really believes that, “the Obama administration and liberal politicians in general seem to promote climate-change fiction in order to gain even more dominance over our lives.”

Forget the politics, and look at the science. The easiest way to do that is to go to Google or a similar Internet source, type in “climate change” and study some of the many authoritative sources you can see there. They are unanimous in asserting that climate change has begun and will become steadily worse unless major constructive action is taken to rein it in.

Mr. Thomas has shown us who he is: An extremist who trusts political dogma over scientific evidence. In my view, his time in the public eye has come and gone.

Robert D. Gillette, Poland

With adoption of drug testing, Iron Curtain surrounds Boardman

It is with dismay that I’ve learned that the Boardman school board has joined the ranks of schools imposing indiscriminate drug-testing policies.

Apparently, the board has already assigned its legal team to the task of mincing our state’s Constitution so as to search for as many loopholes as possible to circumvent the inherent rights of our sons and daughters.

Notwithstanding, it is the duty of every citizen to be “vigilant” to guard his or her inalienable rights against encroachment; against any action of the State (or an agent thereof, e.g., a school) to lessen or devalue his or her rights.

It is a shame that so many agencies of government — including schools, as of late — have begun to flirt with “institutional aggression” against our own law-abiding citizens (and students).

Ironically, in the classroom, “teachers” instruct their pupils on democratic statecraft in civics, cite examples of tyranny in history, sympathize with the downtrodden and oppressed in literature, yet, in the practice of drug-testing, demonstrate adherence to the very ideologies against which they teach.

The assumption that “all are guilty till proven innocent,” that the “ends justify the means,” that the “collective group” has rights which supersede the inherent rights of the individuals and that “privileges” are to be substituted for “rights” — all are woefully un-American.

They who adhere to such philosophies — all of which appear to be advanced by the Boardman school board — demonstrate that American values (and constitutional Law) have no credit with them.

Moreover, at length, these policies beg the question, “Where shall such ill-gotten measures cease in application?” Will they eventually be applied to junior high pupils as well? Elementary children also (under “zero-tolerance” guidelines)?

In short, such an “education” set forth by Boardman schools appears to be more appropriately suited for students living behind the Iron Curtain than under the lofty skies of a free America.

Joseph E. Donnelly, Berlin Center

Investigate Tressel’s past further

This is a follow-up to Ber- tram de Souza’s use of excerpts from a letter that I had written him regarding his column about Jim Tressel.

His use of my statements are true, but he edited the letter and did not use one of the key assertions. I asked him to investigate the whole Tressel situation as an investigative reporter would do.

Coach Tressel in his NCAA hearing had stated that he contacted the FBI to check on the validity of the lawyer’s e-mail regarding his players. He was concerned his players were involved in the charges of complicity for murder, drug sales and money laundering. This was minor compared with the sale of athletic memorabilia, which had taken place over two years previously.

At Tressel’s hearing, the NCAA said that it could not verify his assertions. OSU had already hired Tressel’s replacement. The NCAA investigation came under great scrutiny after the University of Miami and its president took them to task and basically disregarded the findings.

Coach Tressel was not going to take an e-mail from a lawyer who had already been in trouble with Ohio Bar Association.

Tressel did what he thought was in the best interest of his players. His quote after the “Tattoo Man” situation became public: “Thank goodness none of those kids were involved in the criminal allegation.”

Ken Conatser, Youngstown