Lt. Gov. Taylor tours Haltec in Salem

SALEM – Lt. Gov. Mary Taylor said making Ohio more competitive and creating more opportunities to bring business back to the state was one aim of Gov. John Kasich’s 50 percent small business tax cut.

During a Tuesday morning tour of Haltec Inc., Taylor said that unlike small business roundtable meetings she’s attended, she could see skilled workers make a direct contribution to the economy.

Haltec manufactures tire valves and tire-related accessory products while serving original equipment manufacturers and replacement markets for off-highway vehicles, mining, construction, forestry equipment, heavy and light-duty trucks, buses, cars, tractors, farm implements, and motorcycles.

The 60,000-square foot plant employs 85 people and 60 to 70 percent of those in the assembly department are women, according to Frank Bezon, chief financial officer. The business started in Winona in the 1970s.

Taylor’s visit sprang from an issue with a Salem restaurant having local regulatory issues and her office being contacted.

In 2011, Kasich named Taylor to lead Ohio’s Common Sense Initiative (CSI) aimed at helping create a more jobs-friendly regulatory climate in Ohio.

The agency promotes economic development and is responsive to regulated businesses by making compliance as easy as possible.

The idea is, according to the governor’s website, that comprehensive regulatory reform will help revive Ohio’s economy and create jobs by generating a more jobs-friendly environment.

While on the way to consult with Big Dog Seafood Steak and Ale in Salem, Haltec was selected from list of six or eight companies for Taylor to visit, according to Audrey Null, executive director of the Salem Area Chamber of Commerce.

After a tour of the plant, Taylor noted areas in which government can assist companies with employee workforce training program and grant acquisition.

She noted that new industries need employees that match their needs and every business has needs for a skilled workforce.

“It’s important to understand the needs of the businesses and the business community,” she said, adding that meant career and technical centers and two-year colleges.

She mentioned welding by trade and said every manufacturing environment has highly-skilled trade positions that can be hard to fill.

With the shale industry they have worked to fashion training programs and Taylor said welding is an area with good paying jobs that don’t require a college education.

The challenge is dealing with expanding needs and with business in segments, she said, adding that CSI which can bring common sense to bear and not price firms out of the market by layers of regulations.

Bezon said Haltec is engaged in a program through Salem High School that brings 17 and 18-year-old students to the plant where they work a half a day.

For more information on the CSI, visit: