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The Columbus Chamber of Commerce urges Franklin County voters to support Issue 21

February 13th, 2020

The Columbus Chamber of Commerce (Chamber) urges your support of Issue 21, which will appear before Franklin County voters on the March 17, 2020 primary ballot.

Columbus State Community College (CSCC) is asking voters to approve a 24-year bond issuance commencing in 2020 of 0.65 mill ($0.065 per $100, or approximately $24 a year per $100,000 of property valuation) to generate an estimated $300 million over 10 years. These funds will be used for capital improvements that will ensure the College is adequately equipped to prepare workers for the jobs of tomorrow, and able to successfully meet the needs of employers.

CSCC serves as a strong partner to the Chamber, helping to fund a Workforce Development Director housed within our office (Kelly Fuller). The goal of this tri-funded position is to strategically align the community’s social services, education, and employer segments – and that partnership is working. Kelly is a valuable resource to our members, offering much-needed workforce services to the small business community and region at large.

With the recent creation of the CSCC’s Office of Talent Strategy, our Chamber sees even greater opportunities for alignment and partnership focusing on the needs of small and mid-sized businesses, the core of the Chamber’s membership. In fact, more than 80 percent of Chamber members have less than 100 employees, and it is through the lens of the small business owner that we view ballot issues and initiatives such as these. This partnership, along with those forged with top employers in the region, demonstrates CSCC’s willingness and ability to adapt to and address the needs of the business community.

The six top industries in Franklin, Delaware, Madison, and Union counties for job growth in quarter 3 of 2019 were: Healthcare and Social Assistance, Logistics, Construction, Government, Finance and Insurance, and Accommodation and Food Service. CSCC’s plan for expending dollars generated by Issue 21 focuses on creating learning environments and facilities to fill the talent gaps, and train and up-skill future workers in most of these key areas that are largely represented amongst Chamber membership.

90% of good paying new jobs now require education beyond high school. High-quality, affordable, and accessible postsecondary education is vital for a strong workforce. An investment in CSCC equates to an investment in our region’s talent and workforce infrastructure.

As with all endorsement processes, the Columbus Chamber of Commerce thoroughly vetted the proposal by analyzing the details and supporting documents, sorting fact from politics, with our members’ best interests in mind. The Chamber’s Board of Directors voted to support Issue 21 after referral by the Government Affairs Steering Committee.

The Chamber serves as the collective voice of the Columbus region business community and your trusted resource. We encourage you to join us in supporting Issue 21 on March 17 to ensure a strong future for the region.