Mar | Apr 2014


What is the biggest challenge facing your state
with job creation and job retention?

 

DIVERSIFICATION

Sen. Arnie Roblan
OREGON
Chair of Rural Communities and Economic Development Committee
“Oregon’s most recent economic forecast anticipates improved economic conditions across a broad range of industries. However, there is different story in our rural and coastal regions, where we desperately need greater job creation and diversification. Therefore, our challenges are (1) to cultivate public-private partnerships at our community colleges and universities that will offer meaningful job training programs in professional and trade service areas that strengthen the interdependency of our rural and urban regions, and (2) to work with our state agencies to streamline the regulatory process for small businesses while eliminating barriers to job creation.”
 

COST OF BUSINESS TOO HIGH

Assemblyman Robin Schimminger
NEW YORK
Chair of Economic Development, Job Creation, Commerce and Industry Committee, 2013 CSG Toll Fellow
“The cost of doing business in New York state continues to be too high despite recent steps to control property and reduce business taxes. While there have been efforts in recent years to scale back some costs of doing business, burdensome state regulations, steep income taxes and high workers’ compensation insurance rates all continue to negatively impact the cost of doing business. The costs add to overhead and make it more expensive to employ people. It’s imperative that we in New York continue on the trajectory toward improving our job creation climate.”
 

SKILLS NEEDED

Rep. Erin D. Herbig
MAINE
Chair of the Jobs, Commerce, Research and Economic Development Committee
“Skills are the new currency of the labor market. We cannot create and retain jobs without confidence our workforce will be able to meet the demands of the new economy. Investing in Maine’s workforce will make for the future economic success of our state. Maine’s economic recovery could stall if older workers in the state do not get the skills, training and education to compete in today’s dynamic labor market. Retaining, retraining and recruiting these workers will be critical. Policymakers, higher education leaders and employers must come together and provide our workforce with the skills required by the future economy.”
 

UNEVEN RECOVERY

Assemblymember Jose Medina
CALIFORNIA
Chair of the Jobs, Economic Development and the Economy Committee
“While California has many economic advantages, not all areas of the state have been able to leverage those opportunities. The recovery of the state post-recession is really a tale of two states, an inland and a coastal California. The coastal economic regions contain more innovation-based industries compared to the inland counties, which have fewer chances to leverage new technologies and emerging industries. These disparities are driven, in part, by the lower educational attainment of inland residents. In order to create more quality jobs in California, we must first face the overall challenges in education and workforce development.”
 

PENSION LIABILITY

Sen. Randy McDaniel
OKLAHOMA
Chair of Economic Development and Financial Services Committee
“Oklahoma has been recognized nationally for economic stability and low unemployment. The large unfunded liability of the state pension system, however, remains a major challenge. Much has been accomplished in recent years, but more reforms are necessary. This session, I will author a number of measures to further improve the financial strength of the state pension system. As pension liabilities expand causing the funding requirements to soar, the costs are crowding out other priorities. This outcome has caused public pensions to move from relative obscurity to prominence as conflicts arise over funding priorities, unsustainable pension debts and workforce challenges.”
 

FEDERAL FUNDING DELAYS

Sen. Frank Ginn
GEORGIA
Chair of the Economic Development Committee
“Georgia’s biggest obstacle in job creation/retention is the delay in federal funding for large-scale economic development projects, even ones that promise a great return on investment. The Georgia ports keep 352,000 individuals employed, pays $2.8 billion in taxes and ships $52 billion in cargo annually. Deepening the port will give our state the ability to accommodate Post Panamax cargo ships and reduce per-box costs. It will provide one of the highest returns on investment for any deepening project in the nation. Gov. Nathan Deal budgeted $35 million in the 2015 fiscal year, which fulfills Georgia’s local funding obligations, but we are dependent on federal funding to fulfill the total $626 million project.”