Venture capitalist Mark Kvamme was Kasich’s original choice for Director of Ohio’s Department of Development – the cabinet agency responsible for business development activities for the state.

His appointment was never approved by the Senate. Instead, Kasich removed him and gave him a new, made up role as director of job creation for the State of Ohio when it became clear that Kvamme was not constitutionally eligible to serve because he’s a resident of California.

Today Kvamme confirmed a long-running rumor that Kasich has all but promised him the role as head of JobsOhio.

The important take-away here is that the key responsibility for all of the above-mentioned roles is to bring jobs TO Ohio.

Funny story…

According to the website for Kvamme’s venture capital firm Sequoia Capital partners, Kvamme is a key member of their OUTSOURCING TEAM.

(ht for the link)

When questioned by the press today, Kvamme didn’t deny he’s a big fan of outsourcing US jobs. Instead, he actually seemed to embrace the idea, completely excusing foreign companies eager to steal jobs from Ohio and instead placing the blame solely on Ohio’s education system. According to Kvamme, we wouldn’t need to outsource jobs overseas if we were just educating enough computer scientists in Ohio.

According to a Gongwer report from this evening, Kvamme said “a lack of skilled workers in the IT field is to blame for jobs being sent overseas”. “If we don’t start graduating more computer scientists and engineers”, says the guy who is now responsible for bringing more jobs to Ohio, “those jobs are going to go away.”


Maybe Kasich should put Kvamme in change of education policy – or at least give him some face time with Bob Sommers, Jim Petro and and Tim Keen – because if Kvamme IS right, then Kasich’s current budget plans for K-12 and higher ed are going to lose us a shit load more jobs in the coming years.

Kasich’s budget cuts $1.8 Billion from K-12 Education, $202 Million from Higher Ed and completely eliminated funding for gifted education.

You want to produce more software engineers in Ohio? That is NOT the way to do it.

Kvamme talks a good game and he comes across as a well-meaning guy. But when it comes to his excuses about outsourcing, I think he’s full of shit. Actually, I know he is.

As a software engineer who has worked in the private sector for over 15 years, I can tell you, for a fact (and Kvamme would be back me up if he was being honest), companies don’t send work to China and India and Mexico because there are more Chinese and Indian and Mexican software engineers. They don’t put projects are risk because of the time zone differences and communications challenges and the lack of on-site support and the extra layers of management needed to coordinate off-shore and near-shore resources.

They do it because it’s cheaper. A LOT cheaper.

Despite the fact that Kvamme is a Californian with an arts degree in French Economics and Literature, I have to give him credit for understanding that improving science and math education in Ohio is a great idea and is key to improving our competitiveness. As a native Ohioan with a Computer Science degree from Ohio State, I recommend that Kasich listen to Kvamme’s advice on this issue and restore education funding at every level.

Unfortunately, Kvamme’s ideas about education will NOT be incorporated into Kasich’s agenda, but his opinions and expertise on how to effectively outsource US jobs will be.

Some day people will try to explain to their kids why the Kasich administration was such a disaster, and most likely Mark Kvamme’s appointment to JobsOhio will serve as the example: John Kasich claimed he was going to be focused like a laser on bringing more jobs to Ohio, then he hired an outsourcing expert to be his Jobs Czar.