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2013: A big year for Business Development in Northeast Ohio


Photo left: Nestlé breaks ground for its new $53 million, 144,000 square-foot Product Technology Center in Solon left to right: Sean Westcott, director, Nestlé's Product Technology Center; Solon City Council Member Edward Kraus; Governor Kasich and Johannes Baensch, head of Nestlé's Global R&D, Vevey, Switzerland.

Photo right: Vince Adamus, GCP’s vice president, real estate and business development with Ohio Economic Development Association President Ellen Heinz accepted the ODEA excellence in economic development marketing award on behalf of GCP and its Northeast Ohio economic development partners. 

The Greater Cleveland Partnership's Business Development Team continued its award-winning business retention and expansion activities and ended 2013 with strong results. The team called on more than 340 businesses in the region this year to help them grow and thrive by connecting them to resources related to workforce, real estate, financing, development, state and local tax credits and incentives.

Together with GCP’s public and private partner organizations, the team successfully closed 17 business retention and expansion projects in Greater Cleveland (see below), which resulted in 1,616 jobs created, 2,015 jobs retained, and over $173 million in capital investment. Projects include:
  • Art of Beauty
  • ByteGrid
  • City of Brooklyn
  • Cincinnati Restaurant Group, Inc.
  • Constant Aviation
  • Dwellworks
  • Equity Trust
  • Freeway Corporation
  • Flats East Development LLC
  • Glazer's Distributors of Ohio, Inc.
  • HDI Landing Gear
  • Merit Brass
  • Nestle USA, Inc.
  • Osborn Engineering
  • SP Data
  • Royal Appliance Mfg. Co. aka TTI
  • Vitamix

The Business Development Team also developed a pipeline of an additional 37 projects with $252 million in capital investment for 2014.

In addition, GCP and its Northeast Ohio regional economic development partners, the Greater Akron Chamber, Stark Development Board, Team Lorain County, and the Youngstown/Warren Regional Chamber received top honors for excellence in economic development marketing from the Ohio Economic Development Association. The group was honored for "COLLABOR18," a strategic marketing communication booklet representing local economic development organizations in 18 counties of Northeast Ohio for advancement of business retention and expansion efforts.

More GCP highlights from the year...

Physical Development/Infrastructure: Investments support redevelopment and expansion projects

Photo top row: Projects supported by Cleveland Development Advisors included expansion of Steelyard Commons and the redevelopment of the East Ohio Gas Building.

Photo bottom: Officials cutting the ribbon to open the Voinovich Bridge are left to right: Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson, State Representative Bill Patmon, former Senator George Voinovich, Lt. Governor Mary Taylor, State Senator Shirley Smith, Ohio Department of Transportation Director Jerry Wray, State Senator Tom Patton, and Cleveland City Councilman Joe Cimperman.

  • Cleveland Development Advisors (CDA), GCP’s real estate and business development affiliate, was awarded $30M in federal tax credits and invested credits in the St. Luke’s campus, East Ohio Gas Bldg. redevelopment and Steelyard Commons expansion. CDA has invested more than $200 million in projects worth nearly $3 billion since 1990.
  • In addition, as announced at GCP’s Annual Meeting in June, CDA’s Advance Cleveland fund received a commitment of $30 million from local companies for waterfront development and other projects.

  • In July, an advisory council for the Ohio Department of Transportation recommended funding for the remaining $266 million of the $334 million Opportunity Corridor project, which was previously uncommitted.

  • In late September, an additional $20 million in state funding was committed, final funding needed to convert the Shoreway into a lower-speed, tree-lined boulevard. Construction on revamping the roadway is to start next spring.

  • And ribbon-cuttings were held at the Global Center for Health Innovation and Voinovich Bridge, in October and November respectively, to mark their official openings.

Advocacy: Medicaid expanded, levies passed, state budget bill includes $2.5B tax cut; Public Officials Reception celebrates 50 years

Photo top right: Thirteen former elected officials participated in a panel discussion at GCP's 50th Anniversary Public Officials Reception

  • Last Friday, the Ohio Supreme Court upheld Gov. John Kasich's expansion of Medicaid health coverage to an estimated 275,000 uninsured Ohioans. GCP has supported the Governor and the Controlling Board’s decision to approve the release of federal funds for Medicaid expansion in Ohio to 138 percent of the federal poverty level.
  • GCP officially released its 2013-2014 Public Policy Agenda (image bottom right) and hosted a corresponding reception in Columbus with state leaders and members in February 26. Leaders, including officials from the Northeast Ohio delegation, were in attendance and talked with GCP members and staff regarding the key areas of focus for the organization.
  • Voters passed the four levies supported by the Greater Cleveland Partnership: Issue 1: Health and Human Services Levy; Issue 79: Cleveland Public Library Levy; Issue 80: Cleveland Metroparks Levy; and Issue 82: Cleveland-Cuyahoga Port Authority Levy. Click here to view or download our 2013 Post-Election Report.
  • State budget bill provisions result in $2.7B tax cut; GCP kept members advised weekly on the deliberations.
  • GCP’s Public Officials Reception marked its 50th anniversary highlighted by 13 former elected officials participating in panel discussion moderated by retired Plain Dealer columnist Brent Larkin.
  • Great Lakes Metro Chambers activities helped secure Great Lakes language included in federal water bill.
  • Governor John Kasich signed the state transportation budget bill. GCP worked with leaders in the Ohio General Assembly to strengthen the legislative language around how funds could be spent. As enacted, the law ensures 90 percent of funds will be spent in northern Ohio.
  • GCP supported anti-poaching protocol and supported federal immigration reform. (Watch our video!)
  • GCP hosted a federal tax reform roundtable, an elected officials conference in D.C and seminar to help train public-sector leaders.

  • GCP is helping review requests for state capital bill.

  • GCP announced support for Common Core, urging urges tabling HB 237, which would dismantle the platform upon which Cleveland school reforms are built. (Watch our video!)

Economic Inclusion: Commission's Decade 2 strategies launched; historic Community Benefits agreement signed, recommendations implemented; Best-in-Class honored


Left photo: Private- and public-sector leaders who endorsed key sections of the historic Community Benefits Agreement Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to promote inclusion in hiring and contracts included left to right: Julius Ciacci, Northeast Ohio Regional Sewer District; Dr. Edward Hills, The MetroHealth System; Fred Geis, Geis Companies; and Steve Standley, University Hospitals.

Right photo: The Commission honored its Best-in-Class winners at the GCP Annual Meeting.

  • The Board of Advisors of the Commission of Economic Inclusion, a program of GCP, approved the Decade 2 plan to guide the Commission’s work over the next 10 years. This includes new mission and vision statements:

Vision: To make Northeast Ohio the best region in the country for the growth, attraction and inclusion of minority individuals and businesses in the economic engines that drive our competitiveness.

Mission: To connect, champion, leverage and grow the region’s assets to achieve measurable demonstrated increases in minority representation in boards, senior management, workforce, and supplier diversity spend.

  • An historic Community Benefits Memorandum of Understanding was signed by Cleveland Mayor Frank G. Jackson, representatives from key business, civic, labor and trade organizations, and several public- and private-sector project owners. to promote inclusion in construction projects in the City of Cleveland. The MOU also was endorsed by a group of business leaders and project owners.

  • Backed by strong support from the public and private sectors, several action steps have been taken to implement recommendations on how to increase local and minority participation on major private sector construction projects planned in the City of Cleveland, including the funding and launch of a demand-driven construction industry workforce study to gauge labor needs for major construction projects. It is being conducted on behalf of the CBA stakeholders.

  • The Commission honored its Best-in-Class members and Hall of Fame inductees at the GCP Annual Meeting in June.
  • The Commission and the Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association launched a new program series for senior leadership, “Dialogues on Diversity.” Featured speakers were GCP Board member Paul Clark, president, Northern Ohio and Cleveland Region, PNC Financial Services Group, and Marcus Glover, senior vice president and general manager, Horseshoe Cleveland.

Education Reform: Transformation Alliance sets objectives; CMSD breaks ground for new three schools, receives $3M grant to create two new high schools

Photo top: Students help break ground for the new Max Hayes High School; Lower left: Megan O'Bryan, executive director, Cleveland Transformation Alliance;

Lower right: The Positive Education Program (PEP) honored GCP in recognition of its support of The Cleveland Plan, Mayor Jackson’s transformation plan for the Cleveland schools.

  • The Cleveland Transformation Alliance named Megan O’Bryan as executive director and set objectives to carry out mandates. The Alliance is serving as the catalyst to ensure that the many goals within The Cleveland Plan are achieved by district and charter schools and their collaborative partners to create a vibrant educational system for Cleveland’s children and their families. Its offices are located at GCP.
  • GCP was honored by the Cleveland Municipal School District (CMSD) for its support of K-12 education (PEP and Army of Believers).
  • CMSD broke ground for three new schools including a new Max Hayes High School, a GCP priority for the last several years.
  • CMSD received a $3M grant from the Carnegie Corporation of New York to create two new high schools. The award is part of the Corporation’s $28 million, multi-year Opportunity by Design initiative. These grant will enable CMSD to phase out a failing school and replace it with new, high-performing models. The focus will be on John F. Kennedy High School, which will be phased out in its current form and broken into two small schools.
  • MC2STEM High School opened a new campus at Cleveland State University. joining two other MC2 campuses in the district’s portfolio with a total enrollment of approximately 350 students. Ninth-graders attend class at the Great Lakes Science Center where they have the opportunity to work with NASA representatives and 10th- graders study and work at the GE Nela Park campus in East Cleveland where the students complete internships with GE employees. GCP joins other signature STEM partners, including KeyBank, Cleveland State University, General Electric, the Great Lakes Science Center, the Jewish Community Federation, and NASA in supporting the district’s MC2 STEM program.

Middle Market: Resources and programs provide data, research and best practices


Photo top: Greater Cleveland Middle Market Forum speakers Darin Haines, chair, GCP Middle-Market Committee, and Vitamix President and CEO Jodi Berg; Breakout sessions' moderators from Ohio State's Fisher College of Business Jill Ellingson, Gretchen Goffe, Thomas Goldsby and Oded Shenkar;

Lower left: Middle-Market Talent Forum panelists Aaron Grossman, Alliance Solutions Group; Steve Gravenkemper, Plante Moran; and Jody Wheaton, Corporate College; and

Lower right: Middle-Market Innovation Forum speakers Darin Haines, Gretchen Goffe, and Plante Moran executives Chris Jones and Dan Hursh.

  • GCP hosted its second annual Middle-Market Forum; speakers included Vitamix President and CEO Jodi Berg and Cleveland Browns owner Jimmy Haslam. Our survey of Cleveland-area middle-market executives found that they were more optimistic about their business performance over the next 12 months than their counterparts nationwide.

  • GCP hosted Middle-Market “specialty” forums focus on healthcare reform, talent attraction & retention, and innovation supported by our strategic partner, the National Center for the Middle Market, and our Middle-Market Initiative sponsors:


United Hub: Nonstop service added to OKC and Austin; Cleveland to host United 2014 shareholders meeting


  • New nonstop service was announced between CLE and Oklahoma City and CLE and Austin, Texas.
  • A new baggage delivery option was added at CLE. For a fee, passengers can skip having to claim their baggage at the carousel upon arrival. If the destination is located within 40 miles of the airport, baggage will be delivered within four hours after the flight’s arrival. If the destination is located between 41 and 100 miles of the airport, baggage will be delivered within six hours after arrival.

  • Highlights at the GCP Annual Meeting included the announcement that United will hold 2014 stockholders meeting here to showcase the city and its level of support for the airline.

  • For five consecutive months, United’s CLE flight operations was No. 1 for getting out the airline’s first flights of the day as scheduled.