Sunday, June 3, 2012
COLLABORATIVE PLANS FIGHT FOR OHIO JOBS
WARREN - Members of the Mahoning Valley Organizing Collaborative were in Warren on Friday to launch a statewide jobs campaign - ''Fighting for Ohio Jobs.'' And as part of that jobs push, Pastor Michael Harrison said the MVOC plans to work with companies that are bringing shale jobs into the Mahoning Valley to hire local residents to fill potentially hundreds of positions.
"We are going to engage in serious conversations with energy companies that are going to invest in the Mahoning Valley," he said Friday afternoon. "How do we work together to get the long-term unemployed to share in the coming prosperity?" Harrison said a lack of jobs affects every aspect of Ohioans' lives.
"As a pastor, I see what happens when we have a lack of jobs," he said. "We have parishioners having to relocate because they needed to have viable resources to grow and have economic opportunity." Harrison, pastor of Union Baptist Church in Youngstown, said the lingering economic woes have not only affected area businesses but also area churches.
"We want jobs to come back to this city that have left in massive numbers," Harrison said. "This is not a new problem. Two recessions have caused this state to lose hundreds of thousands of jobs. We were especially hit when the steel industry collapsed in the years between 1977 and 1985." He said that although the Valley lost nearly 24,000 jobs between 2000 and 2008, there has been an uptick since.
"This is a result of strategic and public investment to save the automotive industry," he said. "We cannot only offer tax rate and tax cuts. We must invest in public infrastructure and public jobs."
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