‘Ohio Means Jobs’ bill signed by governor PDF Print E-mail
Written by PETER KUEBECK Sentinel Staff Writer   
Tuesday, 13 August 2013 09:21
File photo. State Representative Tim Brown. (Photo: Kristen Norman/Sentinel-Tribune)
State Representative Tim Brown's first bill as a state legislator has been signed into law.
The bill, House Bill 2, which focuses on helping unemployed people get back to work, was signed Thursday by Governor John Kasich.
Brown, R-Bowling Green, crafted the measure with fellow representative Tim Derickson, R-Oxford.
"It was just a neat process to be a part of," said Brown.
"This was actually a bill that I was involved in on the ground floor crafting. We worked with the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services" and the Governor's Office of Workforce Development "and really just tried to craft a bill that we thought would make the process of recovering employment a little bit faster than it prior was."
The bill was initially introduced in the House Jan. 20, and received its final vote in the statehouse June 25. The law will go into effect Oct. 11.
Brown said the genesis of the bill came from his experience as a Wood County Commissioner.
During his tenure as a commissioner, "we implemented a transitional work duty for injured employees," he said, working with doctors for the employees to determine when they could come back and do anything from light duty to their full job responsibilities.
"What we found was rather than let people sit at home and develop the bad habits of eating too much food, eating the wrong food, watching too much television - and it can lead to depression - what we found was the sooner we could transition people back into a situation where they were near their peers and their colleagues, they recovered faster" and maintained their health.
Brown thought the same principle could be applied to those who are unemployed in Ohio. What could be done, he wondered, to help the unemployed be more engaged?
Such considerations helped shape House Bill 2.
The measure, first, requires individuals who are applying for unemployment insurance to register with the Ohio Means Jobs office, "the front lines for people looking to recover employment." The office helps assess those out of work and looks into whether they require more training or have other needs.
"It immediately gets somebody involved in the process of engaging with someone who can help them."
Second, this registration "helps the state build a database on this person. We are able to put together a profile of the person's most recent work experience, education, background, training," and other factors and, based on that, the state will send those people "at least five relevant job postings to that person's needs."
To do this, the state is already in the process of contracting with job-search site Monster.com, and there will additionally be a mechanism for employers not using Monster.com to post their job openings as well.
The postings will be sent to the individuals via email.
"All they have to do is click on a link" said Brown, and they will be taken to the company's website, and they can start the application process.
"It's been very exciting to work on," said Brown, who said the bill garnered "broad bipartisan support in both the House and the Senate."
"It had very solid support from both sides of the aisle."
House Bill 2 received 80 "Yea" votes and 12 "Nay" votes in the House, and 31 "Yea" votes and 1 "Nay" vote in the senate.
Last Updated on Tuesday, 13 August 2013 10:03

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