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July 20, 2009

The Industrial Commission of Ohio Consolidates Bridgeport and Zanesville Offices

Merging of Two District Offices to Save More Than $260,000 per Year

COLUMBUS -- In an effort toward greater efficiency and cost effectiveness, the Industrial Commission (IC) of Ohio is consolidating our Bridgeport and Zanesville offices into a new location in Cambridge, Ohio. The consolidation will result in the closure of the IC's Bridgeport and Zanesville office effective August 21, 2009.

This consolidation will eliminate current service and operational redundancies while reducing office lease expenses, payroll costs, travel expenses, and costs for security. Over the next ten (10) years, the total cost savings for the consolidation of the Bridgeport and Zanesville offices to Cambridge will be $2.62 million.

The new Cambridge office is 23 miles from the current Zanesville office and 45 miles from the current Bridgeport office. The relocation of the Bridgeport office’s five (5) employees and Zanesville’s five (5) employees will be performed by Industrial Commission staff, and will require only a small additional expenditure. The Cambridge location is sufficient to house the combined ten (10) employees, who will all keep their jobs. Moving to Cambridge will also allow the IC to reduce our total office space by more than 3,000 square feet, saving more than $700,000 in rent alone over the next ten years.

"We fully anticipate that this consolidation will be a seamless transition for our customers and staff, and at no point will customer service be interrupted or compromised," said IC Executive Director Christa Deegan.

Accessibility and quality service to IC customers is of the utmost importance to us. After August 21, hearings previously conducted by the Industrial Commission in Bridgeport and Zanesville will be held in the IC office closest to the injured workers' residence. Employers and injured workers may also access their ICON accounts online at www.ic.ohio.gov, or may speak to a customer service representative by calling 1-800-521-2691.

In FY 2010 alone, the consolidation of the IC’s Bridgeport and Zanesville office to Cambridge will result in a savings of $262,156. As our operations are directly funded by employer premium dollars, this significant cost savings may not be ignored.

The IC conducts hearings on disputed workers’ compensation claims, determines violations of specific safety requirements, and determines if an injured worker is permanently and temporarily disabled due to a work-related injury or occupational disease. Three Governor-appointed Commissioners lead the agency -- headquartered in Columbus -- which has 5 regional and 9 district offices throughout the state.

July 18, 2009

A Homecoming For The Industrial Commission Of Ohio’s Newest Commissioner

COLUMBUS – The Industrial Commission of Ohio (IC) is pleased to welcome Jodie M. Taylor back to the agency as its newest Commissioner.

"I am looking forward to representing the employers in the state of Ohio to the best of my ability,” Ms. Taylor said. “Having been appointed the employers’ representative, I think that is my first responsibility."

Taylor was appointed by Governor Ted Strickland to replace Commissioner Bill Thompson as the employer member of the Commission. Her term began July 1, 2009 and ends in June 2015.

She brings an abundance of legal knowledge from both the private and public sector to the agency. From 1997 to 2000, she served as an assistant to a former IC Commissioner. In this role, Taylor performed legal and legislative research, assisted during hearings, and gained an extensive understanding of the agency.

After leaving the IC, Taylor served as an attorney for two Columbus law firms, where she represented state-fund and self-insured employers at all levels of IC hearings throughout Ohio. Taylor is also a frequent lecturer on workers’ compensation issues. She began her legal career as an attorney with an Akron law firm, where she represented injured workers before the IC.

Commissioner Taylor earned her bachelor’s degree from Miami University in 1991. In 1995, she received her law degree from the University of Akron School of Law. She is a member of the Ohio State Bar Association and Columbus Bar Association.

She lives with her husband, Michael, in Columbus.

The Industrial Commission of Ohio serves injured workers and Ohio employers through expeditious and impartial resolution of issues arising from workers’ compensation claims, and through establishment of adjudication policy. The Commission, headquartered in Columbus, has five regional and nine district offices throughout the state. The IC heard more than 177,000 claims in calendar year 2008 for employers and injured workers.