American Jobs Act to affect Ohio

Caitlin Restelli

President Barack Obama’s new $447 billion American Jobs Act package will potentially put 5,200 adults and 10,900 youth back into the workforce in Ohio.

The plan is meant to do two things: Put people back to work and put more money back into the American workers’ pockets.

Obama’s goal through the “Pathways Back to Work Fund”— a new proposal within the act — is to provide thousands of low-income youth and adults with the opportunity to receive the proper training in growth industries according to

“I would note that jobs and job growth is absolutely essential to the city, and the future prosperity of our city is going to be driven in large measure by the jobs that we have here,” said Dave Ruller, Kent city manager.

In 2011,employers paid 6.2 percent in taxes on the first $106,800 of wages to each employee.

Through the act employers in 2012 would see their payroll taxes cut in half to 3.1 percent on the first $5 million in wages and employees would also see their payroll taxes cut in half. This would lead to a broader tax relief to all businesses, which could allow them to hire more employees.

In Ohio 200,000 firms would receive this payroll tax cut under the act.

Kyle Buckley, manager of Kent toy store Off the Wagon, said he thinks the bill could help his store hire more employees.

“That’s one of the things you’re always working with is trying to figure out how to balance how much money you can spend on the products that you’re selling and how much time is actually being paid for by employer to employee,” Buckley said.

Off the Wagon has a second location in Hudson, Ohio. Both stores are family owned and between the two there are eight employees, three of them being higher-ups.

“It sounds promising,” Buckley said. “You just gotta kind of hope it goes through. Anything that’s going to help give something back to the American workers and also help youth come up into job fields and careers. I don’t see anything negative about that.”

The bill was introduced and read to Congress Sept. 13 and read a second time Sept. 14. It was considered in committee and recommended for the Senate to consider it.

“Anything that promotes (jobs and job growth) and new employees and new jobs here in the Kent community — we would consider that as very helpful,” Ruller said.

Contact Caitlin Restelli at [email protected].