Stay Informed on News and Policy

Every Monday -- News from GCP

GCP’s Public Officials Reception celebrates 50 years


Thirteen former elected officials participated in panel discussion moderated by retired Plain Dealer columnist Brent Larkin to kick off the GCP’s 50th anniversary Public Officials Reunion and Reception last Friday at Windows on the River.

The panelists honored at the reception are (top row left to right): former U.S. Senator and Cleveland Mayor George Voinovich and former Governor Richard Celeste; former members of Congress David Hobson, Steve LaTourette, Mary Rose Oakar and Louis Stokes;

Bottom row left to right: former Ohio Senate President Stanley Aronoff; former Ohio House Speaker Jo Ann Davidson; former Ohio Senate President Richard Finan; former State Rep. and Cleveland Mayor Jane Campbell; former County Commissioner Timothy Hagan; former Cleveland City Council President George Forbes and former State Sen. Patrick Sweeney.

More than 1,000 business and community leaders were on hand for the reception that followed the panel discussion where participants discussed a wide range of topics including the need to continue moving forward with reforming public education in the city and protecting Lake Erie.

Other honorees who were unable to attend are former U.S. Senator John Glenn, former U.S. Rep. Ralph Regula, former Governor Robert Taft, and former Cleveland Mayor Michael White.

Click here to read a story from The Plain Dealer.

GCP backs Ohio Senate Substitute Energy Bill 58

In a letter to Ohio Senator Bill Seitz, chair of the Senate’s Public Utilities Committee, the GCP formally declared its support for Substitute Senate Bill 58 (SB58).

“In doing so,” letter notes, “we recognize the drastic changes in Ohio’s energy landscape since Substitute Senate Bill 221 was passed over five years ago.”

The letter also comments that: “Our members are well-informed energy customers. They understand the importance of energy efficiency programs and the need to diversify generation sources.

"However, most importantly, businesses need a reliable energy product at predictable and competitive rates. Left unaddressed, the growing energy mandate benchmarks threaten to drive up costs for all ratepayers.”

Click here to read more.

Why an Aerospace and Technology Committee would be good
for Ohio

The Greater Cleveland Partnership has endorsed a proposal to create an Aerospace and Technology Study Committee at the state level.

“Aerospace and aviation is a significant economic driver to the state’s economy, employing over 130,000 workers,” noted Carol Caruso, GCP’s senior vice president for government advocacy in her testimony last week before the Ohio House Economic Development and Regulatory Reform Committee.

“Our state is the top supplier to both Boeing and Airbus,” she said in her remarks in favor of the bill introduced by Rep. Rick Perales. ”Seventeen percent of total U.S. employment in aerospace and aviation is located in Ohio.”

The committee would consist of members from both the Ohio House of Representatives and the Ohio Senate as well as representatives from Ohio industry, universities and the military.

Click here to read more.

GCP announces support for Common Core; urges tabling HB 237

The Greater Cleveland Partnership has announced its support for Common Core and is urging tabling HB 237 because it believes the bill will undo important progress that has been made to improve education.

“Ohio House Bill 237 is a step in the wrong direction,” said Joe Roman, GCP’s president and chief executive officer. “Cleveland was among the first Common Core pilot locations in the nation and we know the impact these meaningful standards can have in our classroom.” 

In a letter to Rep. Gerald Stebelton, chair of the Ohio House Education Committee, Roman said: “The Greater Cleveland Partnership joins the many other business organizations that stand strong in support of the Common Core…You have heard from many of our colleagues about the urgent need to continue to improve our education outcomes. We agree.

“…We must do whatever we can to prepare students for success in college, careers and life. Every school, every child matters. Common Core will equip teachers and students with the tools they need to succeed regardless of whether they live in the heart of a city, our wealthiest neighborhoods, or our smallest towns.”

Click here to read more in the letter.

MC2 STEM high school opens new campus at Cleveland State

The Cleveland Metropolitan School District’s (CMSD) MC2 STEM High School, whose curriculum focuses on project-based science, technology, engineering and math curriculum, opened its third and final campus on Monday, November18 with a ceremony at its new space on the Cleveland State University (CSU) campus.

Representatives from CMSD, Cleveland State, KeyBank and the Greater Cleveland Partnership, Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson and many other public officials were in attendance. The new CSU campus will house the school’s juniors and seniors.

KeyBank Foundation contributed $1.25 million to renovate space at CSU for the school on two floors of Rhodes Tower. The space includes renovated classrooms and a state-of-the-art fabrication laboratory (or “fab lab”) that uses laser-powered technology.

The CSU MC2 STEM campus joins 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 Glenn representatives.

Tenth-graders study and work at the GE Nela Park campus in East Cleveland where the students complete internships with GE employees.

CSU engineering college receives $10 million “transformative” gift
from Parker Hannifin chairman, his family and company foundation

Cleveland State University has received a $10 million gift from Greater Cleveland Partnership Board member Donald Washkewicz, chairman, CEO and president of Parker Hannifin Corporation, his wife Pamela Washkewicz, and The Parker Hannifin Foundation. Washkewicz, who grew up in Garfield Heights, earned a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from CSU in 1972.

According to the university’s press release, the gift “will catapult the university to the forefront of engineering education, research and innovation.” In recognition of the transformative gift, which equals the largest-ever in university history and by far the largest for the engineering program, the CSU Board of Trustees voted unanimously to rename the College the Washkewicz College of Engineering at Cleveland State University.

“We are tremendously grateful to Don and Pam Washkewicz and The Parker Hannifin Foundation for their exceptional generosity,” said CSU President and GCP Board member Ronald M. Berkman. “The value they assign to integrity, compassion, philanthropy and life-long learning will forever provide a positive example for each of our students.

“Moreover, CSU historians will view this gift not only as a legacy defined by the Washkewicz name but as ‘the’ moment of the 21st century when engineering students saw their learning environment at CSU emerge from the past and present to the future.”

Donald Washkewicz said: “Pam and I and our entire family are delighted to provide this gift to Cleveland State and its engineering program. My experience at CSU was so rewarding and I am forever grateful to the university and the people who helped me.

“At Parker, we have enjoyed a close relationship with the CSU engineering program that has yielded many new opportunities and enabled us to hire many very talented people. My hope is that the additional support we are providing will enable the CSU engineering program to do even more to make engineering a core driver of job growth and economic opportunity in the region.”

Click here to read more.

Regular ocean-going freight service between Cleveland and Northern Europe begins next spring

The board of the Cleveland-Cuyahoga County Port Authority signed an agreement last week that will launch the first direct cargo service between a Great Lakes port and Europe.

Per the agreement, the Port will underwrite monthly cargo sailings by the Amsterdam-based Spliethoff Group between Cleveland and Antwerp, Belgium. At present, cargo originating from, or being sent to, the Midwest is shipped to an East Coast port, then travels by train or truck.

As reported on, the Port Authority “will underwrite the trade route by chartering a ship from Spliethoff for monthly dockings at the Port of Cleveland. It is a four-week round trip between Cleveland and Antwerp.”

Click here to read the full story.

Insights into the middle market

Build success through customer experience

Understanding the personalized customer experience is vital in helping middle-market companies gain a competitive advantage, according to Erik Sherman, a National Center for the Middle Market contributor and business and technology columnist for and

He writes that “the trick for mid-sized companies considering customer personalization is to thoroughly understand and study how customers interact with your company. See people place orders, use products, navigate websites. This is market research at its most basic and useful. When you experience customers as individuals and see how they differ, you'll find the spaces where customization can enhance their experience.”

Click here to learn more.

How to improve supply chain relationships

Challenges faced by middle-market companies within their supply chains arise not because they lack capability but because they may lack the power to influence appropriate supply chain relationships. According to research by the National Center for the Middle Market (NCMM), many mid-market firms improve these relationships by utilizing supply chain integration(SCI).

An NCMM white paper explores how SCI helps middle-market companies improve operational and logistical performance metrics, making deliveries more timely and accurate, raising quality, increasing operational flexibility, and lowering unit cost.

Click here to download the report.

Leading from the middle

The 2013 National Middle Market Summit, “Leading from the Middle,” co-hosted by the National Center for the Middle Market, The Ohio State University Fisher College of Business and GE Capital, brought together more than 1,000 CEOs, academics, policymakers and industry experts to discuss opportunities, challenges, and solutions that will help middle-market companies grow.

Speakers included of Under Armour CEO Kevin Plank (photo right) who shared how his innovative strategies helped his company accelerate growth and break through an already saturated sports apparel industry in an interview with Bloomberg's Tom Keene.

Use this link to view the video of his interview and other summit highlights.

Diversity Professionals forum highlights talent management

The Commission on Economic Inclusion's Diversity Professionals Group's forum on November 20 featured Dani Monroe, chief executive officer of CenterFocus International, who discussed her new book, "Untapped Talent: Unleashing the Power of the Hidden Workforce."

She spoke to an audience of about 80 diversity and HR professionals and diversity management graduate students at the program hosted by Cleveland State University.

According to Monroe, "untapped talent becomes invisible and unrecognized or undervalued and minimized." Typical talent management programs focus on the top 10-20 percent of positions, not on the middle of the organizations, where there is more diversity.

Monroe wrote her book to serve three separate but related, interdependent purposes:

  • To help her readers gain a much better understanding of untapped talent and why it exists;
  • To examine specific areas in which supervisors can have a direct and substantial impact by "mining and refining talent";
  • To identify characteristics deemed as "essential in great leaders as it applies to untapped talent."

The forum also included industry-cluster table discussions on how organizations can apply Moore’s concepts.

Rebuilding U.S. manufacturing

NorTech President Rebecca Bagley blogs on about the future of U.S. manufacturing and who will shape it. She writes that “The next decade of manufacturing will require an innovation capacity and entrepreneurial spirit that only the U.S. can harness.”

The focus, she says, will be on “software solutions, service integration, 3D printing and the utilization of big data. These trends will allow entrepreneurs to capture new business opportunities and pave the way for the U.S. to stay relevant in the global manufacturing economy.”

Click here to read her blog.

Manufacturing opportunities in clean energy markets

What are current market trends and supply chain opportunities within clean energy sectors, including solar, wind, natural gas, energy storage, geothermal, and advanced transportation?

MAGNET, the Clean Energy Manufacturing Center, WIRE-Net, the Ohio By-Product Synergy Network, the Ohio Fuel Cell Coalition, and the Lake Erie Energy Development Corporation are presenting a program on Tuesday, Dec. 10 that will provide key insights into how companies can take advantage of the profit potential offered by the industry helping to build America’s energy future.

The program will be held from 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at the Embassy Suites in Independence.

Click here for more information.

News from United

United offers holiday travel tips

United recommends knowing what to do to help ensure a smooth travel experience during the holidays.  Here are are few tips:

Know your departure and arrival times. Before you leave for the airport, check your flight departure time at status or on your mobile device using the United app or our mobile website at

If someone is meeting you at your destination, give a quick call, text or email to confirm the arrival time. Also, provide your flight number and remind them to check the flight’s arrival time before they head to the airport to meet you.

Carry proper documentation. Be sure you have a government-issued photo ID with you such as a driver’s license or passport. Check the Documentation Requirements page for details. Also, note that the name on the ID that you’re using for travel must exactly match the name on your reservation.

Pack smart. Before packing your bags, know exactly what you can carry on and what you can, and should, check. Planes are usually full during the holiday season and you’ll want to avoid having to check bags last minute that you intended to carry on. Also, familiarize yourself with regulation-size bags to avoid having to pay extra for oversized items.

Click here for more tips.

Introducing United’s new Digital Friendly

United is launching an enhanced “Digital Friendly” web resource to provide customers “with a truly Flyer Friendly experience.”

The goal is “to share progress and offer a behind-the-scenes look at what we’re doing and how we design.”

Click here to read more.

Share your travel experiences

United encourages travelers to respond to its Question of the Month and share their travel experiences.

This month it’s: “Holiday season is right around the corner. What do you do to help streamline your holiday travels?”

Access the question here.