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Every Monday -- News from GCP

Economic realities driving East Cleveland annexation conversation

In this week’s “GCP Insight” video, East Cleveland Mayor Gary Norton discusses the economic realities that have led to the conversation about the possible annexation of the near-ring suburb by the City of Cleveland.

He notes that East Cleveland’s population has dipped from 40,000 in 1970 to about 17,000 today. In addition, the average household income today is $20,000 and the majority of East Cleveland residents are unemployed.

These numbers, he says, point to the need to consider changes.

“When you’re faced with those economic circumstances, you have to consider: Does your current governmental structure and configuration allow you to adequately serve your residents?

“Or does a new government structure with new economic opportunities and a larger revenue stream…serve your community better?”

Click to watch the video to learn about actions taken so far in the annexation process and next steps.

The ”GCP Insight” video series focuses on topics of interest to the Greater Cleveland business community. This week’s segment, hosted by GCP Senior Vice President of Advocacy Marty McGann, is sponsored by PNC Bank.

How have GCP advocacy and the GCP PAC supported
your company lately?

The Greater Cleveland Partnership Political Action Committee (GCP PAC) is a nonpartisan, member-driven endeavor committed to advancing the business community’s interests by building and reinforcing relationships and supporting candidates and current elected officials at the state and local levels of government.

By contributing to the campaign efforts of those that will further advance our shared priorities, we provide you with a unique opportunity to advocate for initiatives and best practices that encourage economic growth and prosperity.

The GCP PAC is a strong, unified voice for businesses of all sizes and industries in our region and aids businesses in educating key decision makers on the issues that are important to you. Our role is to provide our members with the means for concerted political action.

And, the dollars contributed through GCP PAC are used to provide support for governmental leaders campaigning for election who share your interests.

So, how have advocacy and the GCP PAC supported you and your business lately?
  • November 2015 election outcomes mirrored the GCP’s position on four ballot issues.
  • The state budget was approved with personal income tax cut and deduction without shifting the burden to businesses.
  • Legislation was opposed that jeopardizes local hiring requirements.
  • Needed reforms were secured in Ohio’s charter school reform law.
  • Governor Kasich signed S.B.1 to protect Lake Erie and Ohio’s water quality.
  • Ensured entrepreneurs will not be penalized by increased workers’ compensation rates, outstanding balances, or uncovered claims costs for assuming space that was previously inhabited by a completely separate business with negative claims experience.
  • Business, political leaders connected at the GCP Public Officials Reception and COSE Day at the Capitol.
Are you interested in learning more about the GCP PAC or how you can get involved in GCP’s advocacy efforts? Visit our website here or e-mail

Please note: Individuals, limited liability companies (LLCs), partnerships and sole proprietorships can legally make contributions to a PAC. Contributions must include itemized allocations by partners in partnerships or members of a LLC. Ohio law prohibits other corporate political contributions.

Your participation in the GCP PAC is completely voluntary. Donations are not tax deductible and will be used for political purposes. An individual may contribute up to $12,532 annually to an Ohio Political Action Committee. You may choose not to participate without fear of reprisal. You will not be favored or disadvantaged by reason of the amount of your contribution or decision not to contribute.

GCP congratulates Ford on $145M investment in Cleveland Engine Plant

The Greater Cleveland Partnership congratulates Investor member Ford Motor Company on its February 26 announcement of new investment at its Cleveland Engine Plant 1 in Brook Park.

The announcement, made at the Cleveland Auto Show, was attended by staff of GCP, its partner agency Team NEO, JobsOhio and area elected officials, including Brook Park Mayor Thomas Coyne, Avon Lake Mayor Greg Zilka, and Sheffield Village Mayor Dennis Bring. Ohio Assembly Plant is located.

Ford will invest $145 million and add up to 150 jobs to produce a second generation EcoBoost engine. This V6, 3.5-Liter engine will be featured in Ford's popular F150 trucks, including a renewed 2017 Raptor.

The Cleveland Engine Plant is a 1.9 million square foot facility that employs 1,500 workers. It has already produced more than one million EcoBoost engines since they were introduced in 2009. EcoBoost engines combine power with efficiency; the new engine will have more power than the Raptor's previous V8 engine and still be lighter and more fuel efficient. This investment was made possible by the recent Ford-UAW labor contract, which specified national investment targets.

“Once again, Ford has demonstrated its commitment to Northeast Ohio," said GCP President and CEO Joe Roman. “This investment is another significant win for our region as it shores up our already robust manufacturing sector and shows that the Cleveland Engine Plant is very important to Ford’s global innovation strategy.”

Based in Dearborn, Michigan, Ford Motor Company is an important driver of Northeast Ohio's economy. In addition to the Brook Park engine plant, Ford’s Ohio Assembly Plant is located in Sheffield Village.

The GCP’s award-winning Business Development Team works with Ford and other businesses in Northeast Ohio on expansion and retention projects. For business assistance or more information, please contact us at 216.592.2208 or

Above photo: Brian Rathsburg, Ford Super Duty and Commercial Truck Marketing Manager, discusses Ford's $145 million investment in its Cleveland Engine Plant 1 located in Brook Park.

While the Fed raises its interest rate, other central banks
are cutting theirs

For the first time since 2008, the Federal Reserve Bank raised its benchmark from a range of 0.00 percent to 0.25 percent to a range of 0.25 percent to 0.50 percent offering insight on The Fed’s position on the U.S. economy.

However, other G-20 economies are still facing challenges and, accordingly, different central banks are still in the midst of expansionary policies.

This imbalance creates a divergence in monetary policy among industrialized economies, which creates distortions in the market and significant repercussions for business.

Speakers from PNC Bank discussed (1) what The Fed’s interest rate increase means for Northeast Ohio companies; and (2) how five central banks’ responses to current market conditions differ from that of The Fed at the Greater Cleveland Partnership’s 1Q 2016 Middle-Market Forum.

About 75 middle-market executives attended the program held last week at the GCP offices.

Rising interest rates expected going forward

It does appear that The Fed will be raising rates on a more consistent basis going forward, according to Edwin A. Martinez, managing director of PNC’s Derivatives Products Group.

He explained that the market is pricing in a 10 percent probability that The Fed will take some action by March and a 45 percent probability that action will be taken by year’s end.

A combination of factors, including low oil prices and economic factors in other global regions, such as double-digit unemployment in the Euro Zone, are contributing to the probability that The Fed will take action.

Still, Martinez said there are indications for positive pricing trends in the United States.

A positive signal from the consumer price index (core CPI is slightly above the target inflation rate of 2 percent) and growing hourly average earnings are two encouraging indicators. Martinez added that it’s unlikely the prospect of negative rates will become a reality as it has elsewhere.

Negative interest rates for other central banks

Kerry B. Stealey, managing director, foreign exchange at PNC, who conducts frequent seminars in foreign currency risk management and related topics, discussed the actions of five central banks, which, unlike the Fed, have cut interest rates.
  • Europe: The ECB cut interest rates deeper into negative territory in an effort to boost Europe’s economy. The euro rallied 3 percent.
  • Japan: The Bank of Japan surprised the market with a rate cut into negative territory and delayed its outlook on the timing of reaching its 2 percent inflation target.
  • China: The Peoples Bank of China devalued its currency on August 11 in a move to revitalize its economy in a time of plummeting export prices and stagnating manufacturing. The PBOC devalued the CNY by 1.9 percent, the largest decline in 20 years.
  • Mexico: The Bank of Mexico announced a surprise 50bp rate hike, bringing the key interest rate to 3.75 percent. The central bank was also said to be selling dollars in the market to prop up the peso. These two events allowed the peso to gain over 5 percent in one trading day.
Read our Blog

Click to read more about U.S. long-term interest rate trends in our blog.

Above photo: Thanks to our panelists from PNC Bank (left to right): Kerry Stealey, Managing Director, Foreign Exchange; Tim Holmes, SVP and Group Manager, Northern Ohio Corporate Banking and member of GCP's Middle Market Committee (moderator); and Edwin Martinez, Managing Director, Derivative Products Group.

Provide your industry expertise, help build our region’s
talent pipeline

Help build a strong talent pipeline for our region by providing your industry expertise to the “Academies of Cleveland,” a high school career academy initiative within the Cleveland Metropolitan School District (CMSD).

Greater Cleveland Partnership members are invited to participate in the Ninth Grade Career Experience Fair on Friday, March 18 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the CMSD East Professional Development Center.

The Career Experience Fair will provide an avenue for all Academies of Cleveland high school freshmen to explore a breadth of career areas in order to better make informed decisions about their future career path. Approximately 800 students will attend.

Local companies are invited to participate by setting up creative, unique and interactive exhibits representing their industry.

If you’re interested in participating, or have questions, please contact Angela Finding at or 216.592.2385 to sign up or receive further information.

OHtec Best-of-Tech nomination deadline is Friday, March 4

Nominations are open for the 10th annual OHTec Best of Tech Awards, taking place during Tech Week April 13-24. The awards will be presented Thursday, April 21 from 5:30 to 9 p.m. at Trinity Cathedral.

Your nomination(s) must be must be submitted by Friday, March 4.

These technology business awards shed light on innovative companies and leaders. They help OHTec promote this region as a remarkable place to work and live, where savvy companies are doing important things. Award categories this year are:
  • Most promising startup
  • Best website
  • Best IT services company
  • Best big data application
  • Best software product
  • Tech team of the year
  • Tech company of the year
Interested in nominating your company, product or team?

Focus on Health IT

The Health IT Summit Cleveland will be held during Tech Week on Tuesday, April 19 and Wednesday, April 20 at The Ritz-Carlton Cleveland, 1515 West Third Street.

This hosted event brings together C-level, physician, practice management and IT decision-makers from North America’s leading provider organizations and physician practices.

For two full days, executives interact with a national audience of peers, national leaders and solution providers featuring the latest solutions for practice management, mobility, telemedicine, outsourcing, IT infrastructure, next-generation electronic medical records, disease management, and more.

Now in its eighth successful year, the Health IT Summit is the premier executive summit focused on the strategies and tools that are re-defining customer care, collaboration and efficiency in the healthcare provider markets.

Discount for GCP members!

Through our partnership with the summit’s hosting organization, Vendome, Greater Cleveland Partnership members can receive a 15 percent discount off their registration by entering the code OHTEC15 in the discount code box.

Click for registration.

Click for the agenda.

Click for information about the speakers.

Port urges public to join it in opposing open lake dumping

The Port of Cleveland opposes the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ (USACE) proposal to dump unsuitable sediment in Lake Erie and is urging the public to attend a hearing on Tuesday, March 1st on the issue.

The USACE hearing will be held from 5:30 to 9 p.m. at the Breen Center, 2008 West 30th Street in Cleveland. Those who attend can make public comments on the issue of open lake dumping.

For decades, sediment dredged from the Cuyahoga River has been deemed unsafe for open lake disposal due to contamination by toxins. Instead, the sediment has been placed in confined disposal facilities (CDFs) to minimize exposure to the aquatic food chain, including fish consumed by people, and for the protection of public drinking water.

Recent testing indicates persistent and, in some cases, elevated levels of these toxins, including PCBs and other harmful compounds; which has led the Ohio EPA to continually disqualify these sediments for open lake dumping.

The Port of Cleveland is implementing a safe and cost-effective alternative to open lake dumping, but the USACE has rejected to fully implement the Port’s alternative. In response to the impasse, the USACE is now threatening to not dredge the most critical section of the ship channel unless local entities pay the federal costs of upland disposal.

“The Port of Cleveland will attend the March 1st hearing and again voice our steadfast opposition to the Army Corps’ misguided campaign to dump unsuitable sediment into Lake Erie or shift rightful federal costs to Cleveland and Ohio,” said Port President and CEO Will Friedman.

“We urge all those concerned about water quality, wildlife, and the economy to attend and go on the record supporting the sensible approach to handling this material already being implemented by the Port.”

Those interested in finding out more about this issue or attending the hearing can contact Jade Davis, Port VP of External Affairs at