Merry Korn provided testimony today in support of Ohio House Bill 492, which would create the Ohio Women’s Business Enterprise (WBE) Certification program, before the Ohio House State and Local Government Committee chaired by Representative Marlene Anielski (R- Walton Hills).
Korn testified that her firm, Pearl Interactive Network, regularly encounters challenges to accessing state government contracts outside of Ohio because Ohio does not have a Women’s Business Enterprise Certification program or reciprocity with other states. HB 492 would solve this problem by creating a state certification program that sets up a process to certify Ohio Women Business Enterprises. It would allow the Department of Administrative Services to enter into reciprocal agreements with other states that have similar programs.
Korn’s firm, Pearl Interactive Network, is a for-profit social enterprise and is certified as a Women Business Enterprise through a federal certification program as well as other state and local certifications. Her firm currently employs over 400 employees for project management and call center contracts and will soon be assuming a new federal call center contract which will require another 1,000 employees. Korn shared that if Ohio passes HB 492, Pearl will be prepared to create more jobs, generate great tax income and expand the opportunities to give hiring priority to disabled veterans, veterans, military spouses and people with disabilities.
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