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September 13, 2009

Article courtesy of Daily-Jeff.com

Industrial Commission opens office here

Local dignitaries flocked to the Industrial Commission of Ohio's (IC) newest location to welcome the state agency to Cambridge.

The new location at 2130 E. Wheeling Ave. is a consolidation of the IC's Bridgeport and Zanesville offices. Cambridge Mayor Tom Orr; Senator Jimmy Stewart; Guernsey County Commissioners Thomas Laughman, Steven Douglass, and Steve Allen; along with Guernsey County Engineer Delmar George all attended the celebration of new business brought to the area.

"We've been dinged when a few businesses left town recently, so it's nice to see new business come our way," said Cambridge Mayor Orr. "How Cambridge goes, so goes the rest of the county, so the IC is helping us put Cambridge on the map."

American Properties & Development, Inc. planned the open house to thank the new tenants. The IC moved in after the Attorney General's Office moved out.

"American Properties and Development, Inc. is delighted to have a stable lessee in our building!" said William Baker, landlord. "The local economy will benefit from the IC: Restaurants, gas stations, bakeries, hotels, grocery stores with delis, and pharmacies will derive monetary benefits from the flow of personnel and constituents."

County Commissioner Tom Laughman is also seeing dollar signs.

"We hope to get some spinoff business from people visiting the IC," said Laughman. "It is right off of the interstate, which will help. After all, Colgate-Palmolive drove by and looked at the town and they liked it, so they opened up shop here. Maybe more businesses will do the same."

The IC consolidated the Bridgeport and Zanesville offices to Cambridge to eliminate service and operational redundancies while reducing office lease expenses, payroll costs, travel expenses, and costs for security. All employees in both offices kept their jobs. Over the next 10 years, the total cost savings for the consolidation will be $2.62 million. Moving to Cambridge also allowed the IC to reduce its total office space by more than 3,000 square feet, saving more than $700,000 in rent alone over the next 10 years.

Hearings previously conducted by the IC in Bridgeport and Zanesville are being scheduled 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.

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 five regional and eight district offices throughout the state.