Most recent college grads are too young to remember the last time government ran efficiently. Bill Clinton was president and John Kasich was chairman of the House Budget Committee. The reason I mention that is because Byron York’s column about the Obama administration got me thinking.

In 2016, we will have suffered through 8 years of utter incompetence. The Obama administration, apart from their misguided priorities, has repeatedly shown that they’re utterly incompetent of running government. First, I’ll start by saying that things weren’t all rosy during the Bush administration. President Bush’s mishandling of Katrina was embarassing.

That being said, President Bush’s handling of the war on terror, back when government admitted that terrorists were dangerous people, was pretty good. During Bush’s administration, the intel agencies actually talked with each other. Fast forward to the Obama administration, when the Secretary of State didn’t even talk with her ambassadors serving in dangerous parts of the world.

But I digress.

Prior to the Republican landslide of 1994, Bill Clinton was mostly unfocused, adrift on policies. Enter Chairman Kasich. Shortly after Kasich got the Budget Committee’s gavel, he floated a radical idea, namely balancing the federal budget. Suddenly, President Clinton got engaged.

The end result was that Clinton didn’t expand the federal government’s regulatory reach like the Obama administration did. They didn’t have any moments when people wondered if Clinton had the basic skillset to run the federal government.

Fast forward to 2014. John Kasich is now Ohio’s governor. He’s turned the state around. First, he defeated the incumbent governor, Ted Strickland, campaigning on a reform agenda. Once he was sworn in, he started implementing that reform agenda.

Not surprisingly, Ohio’s economic health has returned. At least, it’s returned as much as possible while President Obama’s policies are still in effect. Gov. Kasich’s ideas, unlike President Obama’s, actually make sense. Gov. Kasich’s ideas have actually been used before and worked.

Gov. Kasich’s Office of Workforce Training, aka OWT, is brilliant on multiple levels. Check it out here. Here are the key takeaways:

Marketing Ohio’s In-Demand Jobs
Update in-demand jobs data regularly
Market in-demand jobs to students, job seekers, business and local workforce

Align Training Programs to Ohio’s Workforce Needs (Implementation)
Increase career pathway opportunities in our education system, from K-J (Kindergarten to Job)
Increase experiential learning opportunities
Expand and enhance career tech opportunities

Unify and Align State’s Workforce Programs
Improve support of businesses struggling to find workers
Prioritize veterans as a ready workforce by providing support to transitioning veterans and marketing opportunities to veterans and businesses

In other words, the system is integrated. That eliminates the possibility of duplicative programs and excessive overhead, aka an overglut of bureaucrats. Best of all, it fits training with verified needs.

That’s the approach we need to make government work again. Please understand this. I don’t want government reaching into places that it doesn’t belong. Higher education is something that state governments are involved with. Here’s part of Gov. Kasich’s plan for implementing his OWT initiative:

Create a dashboard to highlight aligned workforce success measures:

  1. Expand business resources center currently housed at Ohio Department of Job and Family Services
  2. Create virtual online access and single point of entry for business and job seeker
  3. Enhance online tools and access to the tools for career pathway exploration for Ohio students

In other words, it’s an integrated system that’s user friendly and focused on Ohio’s workforce needs. That’s what government looks like when it works.

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One Response to “Back when government worked”

  • Glad to see Ohio is taking higher education and getting their graduates ready for the workforce. Tennessee is another state that is also serious about reform:

    The state’s Race to the Top proposal focused on the following key areas of improvement: Standards and Assessments, Data Systems to Support Instructions, Great Teachers and Leaders, Turning Around Low-Performing Schools, and STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) Education. Institutions of higher education and THEC will be instrumental in ensuring the success of the Race to the Top initiatives and will play significant roles in achieving the program’s overall goals.
    http://www.tn.gov/thec/Divisions/fttt/documents/Higher%20Education's%20Involvement%20in%20First%20to%20the%20Top.pdf

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