See What We Do

Commission on Economic Inclusion

The Commission on Economic Inclusion, a program of the Greater Cleveland Partnership, is focused on creating positive, measurable outcomes leading to:
  • Increases in board, senior management, workforce and supplier diversity among the more than 100 Northeast Ohio employers who are members of the Commission;

  • Increases in the total revenue, value, size, and number of employees for minority-owned businesses in our region and throughout the State of Ohio. Read more about the Commission’s member benefits and minority business resources.

Our members - Join us!

Click here for the list of the more than 100 Northeast Ohio employers that belong to the Commission on Economic Inclusion. To learn more about Commission membership, please email us  or call 216.592.2213.

What's new at the Commission? Stories from our newsletter

Message from the Co-chairs: Leveling the playing field

Recently, The Plain Dealer and Crain’s Cleveland Business ran editorials about an important milestone for the State of Ohio.

In 1980, the Ohio legislature set a goal for state agencies to buy 15 percent of their goods and services from minority-owned businesses.

For the first time in 35 years, Ohio reached its goal, spending $228.5 million – 19.41 percent – on purchases from Minority Business Enterprises (MBE) in fiscal year ending June 30, 2015.
The Commission on Economic Inclusion has spent the last 15 years working with its member organizations to set and achieve similar goals.

We approach this issue on two fronts: providing tools to grow MBEs, and helping organizations start or improve their supplier diversity initiatives. These are the two essential pieces, and we address both.

The Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA) Business Center Cleveland, a program housed with the Commission, is a federal agency that fosters the growth and global competitiveness of minority-owned businesses. To be certified as a MBE, a business must be at least 51 percent owned and controlled by one or more of the person(s) belonging to the following groups: Blacks, American Indians, Hispanics and/or Asians.

The Commission also works closely with businesses to sharpen their supplier diversity efforts through its Chief Procurement Officers forums—quarterly meetings of individuals with purchasing power in their organizations to both introduce them to qualified MBEs that can meet their needs and also educate them on topics related to running an effective supplier diversity program.

“An undeniable fact is that diversity programs only work when you have a committed CEO leading the effort,” Luis Cartagena, a business advisor at MBDA told Crain’s.“While this is true for corporations, I believe it translates to any government administration or agency.”.

The Commission thanks both The Plain Dealer and Crain’s Cleveland Business for recognizing the importance of this milestone and bringing it to the attention of our community. As the Crain’s editorial notes: Leveling the playing field so that all business can compete fairly for public contracts is certainly worth celebrating.”

How the Commission connects members with MBEs

The Commission will continue its efforts to support MBEs, as well as those organizations that see the value in supplier diversity. Even though we have reason to celebrate, there is more work to do to improve the economic prosperity of everyone in our region.

If you would like your organization to have a more robust supplier diversity program, please consider attending the next meeting of the Commission’s Chief Procurement Officers Group on Tuesday, November 3 from 7:30 to 10 a.m. at the offices of the Greater Cleveland Partnership, 1240 Huron Road East in PlayhouseSquare.

Commission Co-chairs

Eddie Taylor               Daniel Walsh
President                   CEO
Taylor Oswald            Citymark Capital

Commission member news: Kent State honored
with Excellence in Diversity Award

Kent State University’s commitment to maintaining a diverse and inclusive campus has received acknowledgement from INSIGHT Into Diversity, the oldest and largest diversity-focused publication in higher education, for a third consecutive year. The publication has selected Kent State as a recipient of the 2015 Higher Education Excellence in Diversity (HEED) Award.

The annual HEED Award is a national honor that recognizes U.S. colleges and universities that demonstrate an outstanding commitment to diversity and inclusion. As a recipient of this award, Kent State will be featured in the magazine’s November 2015 issue, along with 91 other recipients.

“As a third-year recipient of the prestigious HEED Award, this is a strong declaration for the advancement of diversity at Kent State,” said Alfreda Brown, Kent State’s vice president for diversity, equity and inclusion.

Click here to read more about the award.

PAT program building a pipeline of workers: Five classes completed;
next group starts in October

One goal of the Commission on Economic Inclusion’s Construction Diversity and Inclusion Committee is to create a robust talent pipeline of minority and women workers for the Greater Cleveland construction industry.

In addition to establishing a registered Pre-Apprenticeship Training (PAT) program with the Ohio State Apprenticeship Council, CDI is working with the Urban League of Greater Cleveland, Towards Employment, El Barrio/The Centers and the Advanced Technology and Training Center at Cuyahoga Community College to deliver required classroom training.

With the completion of five PAT classes, the pipeline is beginning to be populated.

Class 5 concluded July 17. To date, 39 students have successfully completed the PAT program with 27 students initially placed into the trades and 10 employed elsewhere. Participation in the program has landed PAT graduate Russell Wilson a full-time position with The Albert M. Higley Co. as a project engineer in the Customer Service Group.

“The quality of this individual is a direct reflection on the (PAT) program,” says Gareth D. Vaughan, president of AMHigley and CDI committee co-chair. Click to read more about the PAT program.

Minority manufacturers featured on the radio:
Five MBEs share their stories

In 2014, the Minority Business Development Agency Business Center Cleveland received a $100,000 Advanced Manufacturing grant to support the delivery of strategic business consulting and deal-making services to eligible minority business enterprises (MBEs) in manufacturing.

The MBDA Cleveland Center and MAGNET, an Ohio Manufacturing Extension Partnership affiliate, identified and began working with five Northeast Ohio MBEs to improve several aspects of their businesses including operational excellence and quality, order fulfillment and sales.

Their companies have been featured recently in an WNWV-FM Local Spotlight segment:
Learn more. Listen to the interviews.

More news from the Commission

Click to read or download the latest issue of our newsletter.

Read about our accomplishments

Click here to read or download the 2014 Commission Annual Report that includes: