Stay Informed on News and Policy

Every Monday -- News from GCP

Business leaders endorse historic agreement promoting inclusion
in construction projects

Ten private- and public-sector leaders, representing billions of dollars of current and future construction projects in the City of Cleveland, today endorsed key sections of the historic Community Benefits Agreement Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to make inclusion a priority in planning and developing projects.

“This is a major and significant step forward for Cleveland,” said Mayor Jackson. “They will bring more local, minority and female businesses to the table, and they will hire more Clevelanders to work on the projects happening in our community.”

Working through the Commission on Economic Inclusion, the Greater Cleveland Partnership played a significant role within the public-private partnership that created the MOU, signed in February by the City of Cleveland, organized labor, the business community, local contractors and organizations to help drive investment in Cleveland in a way that creates direct benefits for local residents and businesses. Since then, the Commission has made significant strides in launching the Construction Diversity and Inclusion Committee, which is charged with reporting on progress in advancing the MOU's goals among other tasks.

“As we all know, this is about inclusion and it’s about creating jobs, both of which are key components of the GCP and Commission on Economic Inclusion’s economic development agenda,” said GCP President and CEO Joe Roman. “Cleveland is experiencing tremendous positive economic momentum and everyone should benefit from it. This historic agreement, which now has the endorsement of several key project owners, provides the framework we need to support the inclusion of local residents and businesses in the city’s construction boom.”

Through their endorsement, the owners listed below expressed their organization’s intent to comply with workforce reporting on hiring and contracts, promoting Mentor/Protégé relationships, MBE/FBE/SBE contracting and local workforce hiring; and supporting apprentice and pre-apprenticeship programs. Organizations that signed today's endorsement at Cleveland City Hall are:

University Hospitals represented by Steve Standley, chief administrative officer;
Cleveland Clinic represented by Bill Peacock, chief of operations;
Dominion East Ohio, represented by Scott Miller, vice president;
Geis Companies represented by Fred Geis, president;
MetroHealth represented by Dr. Edward Hills, chief operating officer;
The Medical Center Company, presented by Mike Heise, president;
Cleveland Metropolitan School District, represented by Eric Gordon, CEO;
Case Western Reserve University, represented by Stephen Campbell, vice president;
Northeast Ohio Regional Sewer District, represented by Julius Ciaccia, executive director; and
Cuyahoga Metropolitan Housing Authority represented by Jeffrey Patterson, chief executive officer.

The Construction Diversity and Inclusion Committee also is working collaborative to: discuss, agree upon and share best practices for improving diversity and inclusion in construction projects in the city; provide recognition for companies, projects and individuals who demonstrate outstanding inclusive performance; discuss and agree upon metrics from which an annual report card for Major Projects, participating owners/developers, and contractors and other stakeholders will be published; and monitor and assess pre-apprenticeship supply and utilization efforts.

Click here to read more in the press release.

Funding announced for demand-driven workforce study

The Community Benefits Memorandum of Understanding also calls for a demand-driven workforce study. Brian Hall, interim executive director of GCP’s Commission on Economic Inclusion, announced at today’s press conference that funding for the study has been secured: Cleveland Foundation will contribute $30,000 and the City of Cleveland will provide $25,000.

"Economic inclusion is at the core of the Cleveland Foundation's economic development and jobs development strategy, so we are pleased to help fund the study that will guide the workforce training component of this agreement moving forward," said Cleveland Foundation Executive Vice President Robert E. Eckardt.

Partnership connects Commission members
with national diversity resources

The Commission on Economic Inclusion, a program of the Greater Cleveland Partnership, provides its members with national diversity resources through its partnership with DiversityInc, the leading source of information on diversity management. This includes discounted registration at DiversityInc’s "Talent Development: Diversity Strategies Networking Event & Special Awards Dinner," on Wednesday, October 16, at the Marriott Marquis in New York City.

The program will feature seven CEOs and senior executives from more than 15 companies with the most effective diversity-management programs in the country. Learning sessions will be held from 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. followed by a networking event and awards dinner from 5:30 to 9 p.m. Presenters include executives from ADP, Wyndham Worldwide, Travelers, Cox Communications, Time Warner, AT&T, Toyota Financial Services, Monsanto, BASF and Target. Topics include "Creating an Inclusive Workplace," "The Business Case for Corporate Social Responsibility," "Values-Based Leadership" and more.

Attendees can participate in three tracks: resource groups, succession planning and mentoring. Commission members receive a 20 percent discount on tickets. Please enter the promotion code NFPTD20 for the discounted price at checkout.

For more information, contact Nicole Dewhurst at 973.494.0503 or

Please RSVP here. 

A win for the region: Great Lakes language included
in federal water bill

Following the recent visit to Cleveland for meetings with the Greater Cleveland Partnership, Build Up Greater Cleveland and other partner organizations, Congressman Bill Shuster (R-PA-9), chairman of the House Committee on Transportation & Infrastructure, along with Congressman Bob Gibbs (R-OH-7) a sub-committee chairman, released the new Water Resources Reform and Development Act (WRRDA) bill on Wednesday.

The Greater Cleveland Partnership advocacy team worked closely with Congressmen Shuster and Gibbs to ensure that critical language requiring that the Great Lakes to be viewed as a “system” was included in the bill.

In a win for the organization and the region, Congressman Gibbs’ office contacted GCP prior to introduction of the legislation to let us know that the language was included in the bi-partisan bill. This inclusion will help level the playing field for the Great Lakes region as the Army Corps of Engineers considers and administers its operations and projects on the lakes.

Through WRRDA, Congress authorizes the key missions of the U. S. Army Corps of Engineers, including developing, maintaining, and supporting the Nation’s economically vital waterway infrastructure and supporting effective and targeted flood protection and environmental restoration needs. WRRDA also provides Congress the opportunity to make much needed policy reforms, strengthen oversight, cut red tape, reduce bureaucracy, and open the door to innovation and stronger partnerships that will improve infrastructure development.

The Transportation and Infrastructure Committee is expected to mark-up the bill later this week. GCP, along with partner organizations, will remain active in its advocacy efforts to insure the language remains intact through the House process and eventually when the bill is ‘conferenced’ with the Senate version, which passed the Senate in May.

Cost-effective options for Workers' Comp

Working with COSE, our small business partner, the Greater Cleveland Partnership provides a Workers' Compensation program that leverages our strong member base to achieve the highest discounts available. It offers group retrospective rating and third-party administrative services. Our underwriting team will match you with the most cost-effective option for your company and recommend any other savings opportunities for which you qualify.

Learn more about the program from Maria Mastrandrea, COSE Workers’ Compensation account manager, who spoke with WTAM’s Bill Wills about the program. Click here to listen. To request a quote today, please visit or call (216) 592-2351.

United’s CLE team tops for on-time flights

For the fifth straight month, United Airlines’ Cleveland's flight operations team was No. 1 for getting out the airline’s first flights of the day as scheduled. Of the flights that left Cleveland before 9 a.m. in August, 87.5 percent were on time. The CLE team topped its peers at all other United hubs including Washington Dulles, San Francisco and Newark.

According to a story on, "CLE is inscribed on United's traveling STAR (Start The Airline Right) trophy on six of the 10 spots since November 2012, more than any other airport...‘The performance here is without a doubt the best, day in and day out, of all the hubs,’ said Charles Duncan, United's vice president at Chicago O'Hare International Airport, during a recent visit to Cleveland Hopkins. ‘On every measure we look at, Cleveland is the best. Coming from O'Hare, we look on with envy.’"

Click here to read more.

San Antonio mayor to keynote Convención Hispana

The Honorable Julián Castro, mayor of San Antonio, Texas, will be the keynote speaker at the 2013 Convención Hispana on Saturday, October 19, from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at St. Ignatius High School, 1930 West 30th Street. A 38-year-old San Antonio native, Mayor Castro is the youngest mayor of a Top 50 American city.

You’re invited to attend a region-wide community organizing event with the main purpose of bringing the Latino/Hispanic community together to create positive change in education, empowerment, health, and workforce/economic development. 

Click here to watch the video and learn more about the event.