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Every Monday -- News from GCP

Creating jobs and protecting the Great Lakes: Water resources reform legislation expected to pass this week

The Greater Cleveland Partnership led a local and regional effort to draft and enact the next Water Resources and Development Act (WRDA) bill. That work will culminate this week with votes in both the U.S. House of Representatives and U.S. Senate on the act’s renamed and reauthorized conference report, the Water Resources Reform and Development Act (WRRDA).

Ohio Congressman Bob Gibbs (R-OH-7) (photo right) was instrumental in the drafting of the bill, its passage in the House, and the negotiations within the Conference Committee. Locally and regionally, members of Build Up Greater Cleveland, the Great Lakes Metro Chambers Coalition, and locally based associations, such as the Lake Carriers Association, joined the GCP in demonstrating their support and advocacy for this critical piece of legislation.

The highlight of this effort was an August 2013 visit to Cleveland, at the invitation of the GCP, by Gibbs and House Transportation and Infrastructure Chairman Bill Shuster (R-PA-9) for a water infrastructure stakeholders discussion and the Build Up Greater Cleveland annual meeting.

This legislation addresses the needs of the nation’s water infrastructure, including locks and dams, ports and waterways, ecosystem restoration and will help to create an estimated 500,000 jobs.

Additionally, the WRRDA of 2014 is one of the most policy- and reform-focused measures of its kind in the last two decades. We are grateful for the work of legislative leaders and their staffs who have made this landmark legislation possible.

Items that were advocated for, and included in, the legislation are:

  • Harbor Maintenance Trust Fund:  Provides for increased spending of trust fund receipts on water related projects by redirecting funds previously spent on non-water related projects. This will increase the level of investment for water infrastructure.
  • Great Lakes Navigation System (GLNS): Provisions designating all ports, harbors, and connecting channels on the Great Lakes as a single, comprehensive navigation system for management and budgeting purposes were included in the report. This designation is a first and puts the Great Lakes on par with other navigation systems in the United States. This critical provision will result in higher levels of investment over time.
  • Funding set-asides for Great Lakes: Funds available will not be less than 10 percent of funds for projects located within the GLNS. This provision amounts to a Great Lakes earmark of the trust fund resources.
  • Eligibility of GLNS projects for other set-asides: GLNS projects are eligible for other set-asides for emerging harbors and underserved harbors.
  • Inland waterways: The report includes provisions to restructure the inland waterways system to improve project delivery, lower costs, improve project management, and free up resources for more critical projects.

New Market Tax Credits, EB-5 program highlighted in visit
by Congresswoman Fudge

The Greater Cleveland Partnership (GCP), Cleveland Development Advisors (CDA) and the Cleveland International Fund (CiF) hosted Congresswoman Marcia L. Fudge (D-OH-11) and her staff last week for a tour of New Market Tax Credits (NMTC) and EB-5 projects in downtown Cleveland and the Tremont neighborhood.

The GCP has actively and successfully lobbied on behalf of CDA for New Market Tax Credits allocations, including four allocation awards totaling $105 million. To continue the catalytic progress these awards have generated, the GCP and CDA are currently advocating for a fifth, multimillion-dollar allocation, which is expected to be awarded this summer, as well as reauthorization of the NMTC program.

The Congresswoman had the opportunity to see under-construction and completed projects that were made possible, in part, because of NMTC investments by CDA, as well as two projects that also included EB-5 investments by CiF.

Highlights of the day were walking tours of The 9 district in downtown Cleveland and the Fairmont Creamery project in Tremont. Meeting with developers and workers at both sites, the Congresswoman gained valuable first-hand knowledge of how these programs work and the impact they make in changing the face of Cleveland.

In the above photo: Naomi Sabel from Sustainable Community Associates, the Fairmount Creamery developer (left), talks about the project with Congresswoman Fudge (right).

Also joining the group for parts of the tour were Joseph Calabrese, general manager of the Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority, a Build Up Greater Cleveland member, who discussed the connection between catalytic transit projects, such as the Euclid Corridor/Healthline project, and residential and economic redevelopment; and Joseph Marinucci, president and CEO of Downtown Cleveland Alliance, who hosted the Congresswoman earlier in the day for a roundtable discussion with downtown property owners.

The power of choice in health insurance

We’re pleased to introduce The Middle Marketplace,TM–powered by Medical Mutual and GCP—a consumer-driven health plan solution for Northeast Ohio middle-market companies (50 to 500 employees) to better manage their benefits and keep their employees happy and healthy.

The Middle Marketplace is designed around the concept of defined contribution. Employees receive a specific amount to spend on their healthcare benefits, and they select the best plan for them from a variety of plan options.

With The Middle Marketplace, employees of GCP member companies will have access to Medical Mutual’s extensive network of doctors and hospitals (the largest in Ohio) and excellent customer service.

Click to learn more.


Survey to gather data on Northeast Ohio’s middle market

The National Center for the Middle Market (NCMM), a strategic partner of the Greater Cleveland Partnership's Middle-Market Initiative, will be conducting a survey of Northeast Ohio’s middle market companies to gather data on topics such as workforce development, confidence in the regional, state, national and global economies and challenges that middle-market businesses are facing.

GCP will provide assistance by distributing the survey, which will take only about 15 minutes to complete. Answers will only be reported in the aggregate.

Please be on the lookout for the survey, which will be mailed in the next few weeks.

We hope your company will participate and help provide an accurate picture of the region’s middle market, its concerns, challenges and successes.

The NCMM is a collaboration between The Ohio State University Fisher College of Business and GE Capital.

Middle-Market Forum speakers on “Sound of Ideas”

Challenges and successes of Greater Cleveland’s middle-market will be featured on the Wednesday, May 21, edition of The Sound of Ideas,” on 90.3 WCPN from 9 to 10 a.m.

Scheduled to participate are Dr. Anil Makhija, academic director, National Center for the Middle Market; Ken Taylor, chairman and president of Ohio CAT; and Robert Recker, senior vice president, marketing, communications and membership at the Greater Cleveland Partnership.

Both Makhija and Taylor were featured speakers at the 2014 Greater Cleveland Middle-Market Forum held May 9 at Corporate College East.

Be sure to tune in!

How to keep top talent

A recent survey by consulting firm Watson Wyatt showed that more than half of all companies have no employee retention strategy even though losing top talent damages productivity, disrupts current and potential leadership, reduces company morale and helps competitors.

National Center for the Middle Market contributor Chuck Leddy offers seven recommendations to help middle-market companies retain their best employees. They include:

  • Hire the right people. Retainable employees show a clear commitment to contribute their skills and best efforts to your organization for the long term.
  • Have a good system for evaluating performance. Both the company and the employee benefit from knowing exactly where they stand in relation to each other's expectations.
  • Track your levels of retention/turnover and overall employee satisfaction. This allows you and your employees to know where problems are so you can solve them.

Click here to read more.

GCP business development VP honored

Vince Adamus, vice president of real estate and business development at the Greater Cleveland Partnership, was recognized as Member of the Year at the NAIOP Northern Ohio Annual Awards of Excellence program last week at Windows on the River. The award honors a Northern Ohio chapter member who has given an extraordinary amount of time and dedication to support the chapter’s activities.

The award recognized Vince’s efforts for the NAIOP regional event, the Developers' Showcase Flats East Bank, held last year at the Aloft Cleveland Downtown. He spearheaded the effort to bring more than 200 national site selectors and capital market professionals to Northeast Ohio.

At GCP, Vince conducts outreach, and expands and supports the organization's business and physical development programs. Previously he was the economic development director of the cities of Beachwood and Brook Park, conducting business and real estate development activities including directing an incubator and working on international business attraction projects.

He served as CEO of the Beachwood Chamber of Commerce and was the manager of public works infrastructure for the Build Up Greater Cleveland program, a public-private effort to leverage economic development through infrastructure planning and advocacy.

Vince serves on the board of Growth Capital Corp., Ohio's number one SBA 504 lender, and NAIOP's Strategic Initiatives Committee. He also chairs the Highland Heights Planning & Zoning Commission and is certified as an Economic Development Finance Professional by the National Development Council.

About NAIOP

Since 1967, NAIOP, the Commercial Real Estate Development Association, has become the leading organization for developers, owners and investors of office, industrial, retail and mixed-use real estate. NAIOP comprises 15,000+ members and provides strong advocacy, education and business opportunities through a powerful North American network.

Business volunteers wanted for CMSD school advisory boards

 

The Greater Cleveland Partnership is assisting the Cleveland Metropolitan School District in reaching out to the business community seeking volunteers for new advisory boards at Collinwood High School and and R.G. Jones (pre-K through 8) School.

Advisory board members can assist in everything from providing “real world” internship opportunities to students, to providing business input into the curriculum to fundraising for specific school projects or programs.

Here’s some background on the schools:

Collinwood High School (15210 St. Clair Ave.) has a college and career readiness focused curriculum. Beginning in 2014-15, Collinwood will introduce the New Tech program as part of the CMSD’s investment school strategy. All ninth grade students will enter this program, which combines rigorous academics that promote creativity and independent thinking, a tablet environment, project-based work, and team-taught classes.

The New Tech program fosters a school environment in which students are supported to work together as collaborators, critical thinkers, and communicators. Learn more at www.clevelandmetroschools.org/Page/2099 and www.clevelandta.org/school/collinwood-high-school.

Robinson G. Jones (4550 West 150th Street) is a preK-8 school offering a new facility (built in 2010) and Smart Board technology in every classroom. Ninth-grade math and science is offered to eligible eighth-grade students.

Last year, R.G. Jones was selected as an investment school. Learn more at www.clevelandmetroschools.org/Page/1361 and www.clevelandta.org/school/robinson-g-jones-elementary-school.

If you or someone in your company is interested in serving on either of the advisory boards, please contact Shana Marbury at smarbury@gcpartnership.com or 216. 592.2249.