NILES, Ohio (WKBN) — Ohio Gov. John Kasich’s re-election campaign paid a visit to Niles on Monday, when the governor was invited to speak at the annual Mahoning Valley William McKinley Club dinner.
Kasich continued to tout his administration’s job creation numbers, and plans to connect students to the skills they need to fill those jobs.
A little more than 238,000 private sector jobs have been created in the Buckeye State since Kasich took over as governor in January 2011.
“When we came in after the last administration, we were 48th in job creation, and now we’re fifth. That’s a significant improvement,” Kasich said.
Kasich pointed to his administration’s policies of cutting taxes, balancing the budget and growing the surplus, but he said it’s not enough to create the jobs if Ohio students aren’t educated or equipped enough to fill the positions.
“We also are creating a system by where you can see the in-demand jobs in our state, so that when you’re a student you can get trained for something that exists, not something that’s just purely theoretical,” Kasich said.
A series of earthquakes last week prompted the Ohio Department of Natural Resources and Hilcorp to shut down all drilling activity near the quakes epicenter.
Kasich said the state took the same action after the New Year’s Eve earthquake a couple years ago. ODNR is still investigating whether drilling might have caused the latest round of tremors.
“We’ll handle this responsibly, but we are going to move forward with this energy industry. It’s bringing some real good things to our community,” Kasich said.
A handful of protesters outside disagreed. But the roomful of people, mostly Republicans, is poised to support Kasich at the polls in November.
“Without question, there’s a great difference between the candidates and we think we’ve got the right one,” said Fremont Camarino.
The event was held at the McKinley Memorial auditorium in Niles. The event is held every year to observe the birthday of President William McKinley, who was born in Niles in 1843. He was the 25th president of the United States, serving from March 4, 1897, until his assassination in September 1901, which was six months into his second term.