Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Taking Strickland's Department of Development to task

With story after story of failures within the Governor's Ohio Department of Development (ODOD) to proactively engage with Ohio companies looking to relocate out of Ohio, one State Representative has had enough.

If you'll recall a story from a couple days ago, it seems T-Mobile has found the cost of doing business with TeleTech in Ohio to be too high, so 585 workers in Lorain County are being laid off.

At this time, there is no indication that Ted Strickland or the ODOD reached out to T-Mobile or TeleTech or provided them a package to provide them an incentive to stay in Lorain County.

Now it's possible that there are other reasons beyond cost for T-Mobile's desire to pick up and leave. But, if ODOD was on top of the situation, they'll have records of those reasons.

And that's where State Representative Terry Boose comes into play.
In a letter to Governor Strickland, Rep. Boose stated, “Governor, what have you done to make sure these positions were fought for? Unemployment in Lorain County is currently at 11.5 percent, and the closure of TeleTech delivers a severe blow to the families of Lorain County and Northern Ohio. This company has been significant within our community, and the loss of yet another corporation from Ohio’s borders is very problematic. How many businesses need to abandon our state before we provide them with adequate reason to stay?”

In a letter to Lisa Patt-McDaniel, director of the Ohio Department of Development (ODOD), Rep. Boose requested the following: “In consideration of Ohio’s rampant job loss, I respectfully ask that you present to me the following information:

1. The date on which ODOD first learned that TeleTech Holdings, Inc. was looking to relocate;

2. The date on which ODOD first proactively reached out to TeleTech Holdings, Inc.; and,

3. The specific incentives that were included in the package to TeleTech Holdings, Inc.”
It's the letter to Patt-McDaniel that particularly caught my attention. That's what you call holding the feet to the fire.

Provided ODOD properly responds to Boose's request, we'll know whether Strickland's team was on top of the situation and the T-Mobile departure was out of their control, or if this will turn out to be yet another in a long line of Strickland's failures to retain businesses in Ohio.

What long line of failures? This long line of failures.

[click to enlarge]

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