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Every Monday -- News from GCP

More action is needed to keep Highway Trust Fund solvent

In this week's segment of the GCP Insight video series, Nick Gattozzi, the Greater Cleveland Partnership’s vice president of advocacy, discusses challenges facing the Highway Trust Fund, the depository for the federal gasoline tax used to help pay for repairs on roads, mass transit and other infrastructure projects.

In an interview with Steve Luttner, vice president of Lesic and Camper, Gattozzi explains that the fund is facing insolvency for several reasons including:

  • The tax—18.4 cents per gallon—hasn’t been raised since 1993 despite inflation.
  • Cars are more fuel efficient, requiring less gas.
  • People are driving less, also reducing the amount of gas that’s pumped.

Meanwhile, the cost of maintenance has gone up.

Click here or the image to watch the video and learn about the temporary solution to prevent a shortfall in the fund, what needs to happen to keep the fund solvent long-term, and where GCP weighs in on this issue.

Middle-market companies say health care costs among top challenges

Health care costs remain the number one concern for middle-market executives, with 54 percent rating this issue as “highly challenging” after dropping to 46 percent last quarter, according to the National Center for the Middle Market’s 2Q2014 Middle Market Indicator (MMI) survey.

This trend is particularly true for the retail trade and services industries with about 67 percent of mid-market retail executives reporting health care as “highly challenging,” a significant increase from 42 percent in the prior quarter. About 49 percent of service industry leaders from mid-sized firms characterized health care as “highly challenging,” compared with 36 percent in the prior quarter.

Government actions also are a major challenge. Half of business leaders surveyed report that the regulatory environment is more restrictive now than it was a year ago. Uncertainty about corporate tax policies also is a growing issue for the middle market this quarter, with 20 percent citing it as “highly challenging,” up from 13 percent last quarter and suggesting concern over lawmakers’ ability to compromise on tax reform.

Click to read more in the MMI.

The Middle Market Indicator, a quarterly survey of 1,000 C-suite executives. is produced by the National Center for the Middle Market (NCMM), a strategic partner of the Greater Cleveland Partnership’s Middle-Market Initiative. The NCMM is a collaboration between The Ohio State University Fisher College of Business and GE Capital.

Simplify key performance indicators to engage employees,
drive results

Middle-market companies are unique because they vary greatly in their stages of evolution, as opposed to larger firms that are relatively homogeneous in their goals. As a result, key performance indicators (KPIs) also have a wide variance.

Rob Carey, a National Center for the Middle Market contributor and a features writer, says that regardless of the specific performance criteria determined to be central to middle-market businesses’ one-year, three-year, or five-year business plans, executives must simplify each KPI so they connect to the duties of everyone at the firm.

By keeping KPIs simple and attaching them to the firm's mission, customer experience, and/or financial performance, middle market executives maximize employee understanding on how to contribute, stimulating drive and creativity. This in turn, helps boost employee engagement and retention.

Click to read more.

Evolving beyond e-mail

Middle-market companies need speedy and efficient corporate communications to stay nimble and move quickly. You want channels of corporate communication to enhance operations, not hinder them. Getting buried in an endless stream of emails that turns your inbox into an incomprehensible mess does not encourage productivity.

Erik Sherman, a National Center for the Middle Market contributor, author and corporate communications consultant, writes that there are other channels and platforms that are more efficient and less overbearing.

Click this link to learn about alternative communication vehicles that will decrease your middle-market company’s dependency on emails and help you better connect with employees and customers.

Conference focuses on best practices to build
a diverse workforce

The Commission on Economic Inclusion, a program of the Greater Cleveland Partnership, hosted its sixth annual conference, "Maximizing Your Impact for the Future" last week at Corporate College East.

More than 225 diversity and HR professionals, attended the program that featured national speakers representing three award-winning employers and a nationally known diversity and inclusion consulting firm (left to right):

The program included diversity & inclusion competency development and skill-building sessions as well as breakout sessions on:

  • Recruitment Resources for Diverse Candidates
  • Best Practices for Diversity Recruitment
  • Driving Impact: What You Can Do as a Line Manager

The keynote presentation will be available online later this week. Thanks to:

Conference partners:

Living in The Plus

This month’s issue of “Pass the Plus” focuses on living in “The Plus” including a story on several new housing development projects that are popping up in Greater Cleveland and throughout Northeast Ohio.

It also looks at what makes the region so attractive for YPs and professionals who are relocating for career advancement including the low cost of living, world-class healthcare, education, arts, culture and entertainment and the region’s diversity. (More than 117 ethnic groups who speak more than 60 languages call Northeast Ohio home.)

Click to read more in the newsletter.

Click to subscribe to "Pass the Plus."

“Pass the Plus” is a monthly publication of the Regional Marketing Alliance, which is part of the economic development system that the Greater Cleveland Partnership helped to create and continues to support.

GCP tops United Way goal

The Greater Cleveland Partnership has topped its 2014 United Way Pacesetter campaign goal of $45,535 raising $46,099.15 through employee pledges and a variety of staff activities.

This included a record-breaking $3,885 raised through raffles with prizes donated by area businesses, stress ball bowling and “Jeans Day,” which allowed staff to wear jeans to work on Mondays during the month of July for a $5 per day United Way donation.

“The United Way of Greater Cleveland funds nearly 180 programs and initiatives provided by more than 130 partner agencies in our community,” said GCP President and CEO Joe Roman. “GCP is pleased to, once again, meet and top our goal and help support the United Way’s vital services that are improving the quality of life throughout Greater Cleveland.”

GCP, MBDA Cleveland staffers named to Crain’s Forty Under 40

The Crain’s Cleveland Business 2014 Forty under 40 honorees include Greater Cleveland Partnership Business Development Manager Truc Cao and Luis Cartagena, business development advisor with the Minority Business Development Agency Business Center Cleveland, which is administered by the Commission on Economic Inclusion, a program of the GCP.

Now in its 23rd year, Crain’s Forty under 40 program has honored nearly 900 individuals for their professional success and civic contributions. The 2014 Awards Party will be held Thursday, October 9, 2014, from 5:30 to 8:30 p m, at the RED Space at Hot Cards, 2400 Superior Avenue, Cleveland, OH 44114.

Click here for the full list of honorees.