An Ohio nonprofit promoted by the governor to create jobs raised almost $7 million in donations during its first year in business and half of its 26 employees each received at least a $100,000 salary, records obtained Friday by The Associated Press and other media show.
JobsOhio was created to handle the state's economic development duties, which a state government department previously handled. It was required to submit an audit to the state Development Services Agency by the end of last year.
The independent audit of JobsOhio's operations from July 5, 2011, to June 30, 2012, reported spending of about $9 million, with most of it going toward program expenses, professional fees, and payroll and benefits.
John Minor, the private nonprofit's president and chief investment officer, received a $225,000 salary in 2012, far more than Gov. John Kasich's salary of almost $149,000. Two other staff members also were employed at $225,000 a year.
The salaries were comparable to other startup economic development agencies, JobsOhio spokeswoman Laura Jones said. And compensation for some top positions was lower than that paid at other agencies, she said.
The nonprofit isn't required to disclose who gave it money or provided in-kind services. But Jones said that companies in the financial services and insurance sectors were among the contributors.
JobsOhio also released an annual report Friday said job creation and retention in targeted industries fell from about 83,000 jobs paying $4.7 billion in 2011 to about 76,000 jobs paying $3.4 billion last year. The 2012 projects represent commitments to be completed in the next three years.
The report also detailed JobsOhio strategy for boosting and keeping jobs in the state. The nonprofit said it is focusing on finding ways to help existing companies expand in Ohio and on attracting business from around the world. The agency also wants to increase its marketing of the state through websites and traditional advertisements.
The agency said that in a typical year, 80 percent of newly created jobs come from companies already doing business in Ohio.