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Every Monday -- News from GCP

Learn the latest on proposed state tax reform

In this week’s “GCP Insight” interview on state tax reform, Marty McGann, the Greater Cleveland Partnership’s senior vice president of advocacy, provides an update on Ohio House and Ohio Senate actions on Governor Kasich’s FY 2016-2017 budget proposal.

The Governor’s proposal, which calls for a reduction in personal income tax, also included expansion of the Commercial Activity Tax (CAT) and the sales tax.

Last month, the GCP and its partner chambers in the Ohio Metro Chambers Coalition released the results of an EY study that highlighted significant problems with the Governor's tax reform proposal. The chambers’ press release pointed out that "if enacted – (the reforms) could stall Ohio’s recent economic rebound."

“As currently proposed, this is not the right tax plan for Ohio,” said Joe Roman, president and CEO of the Greater Cleveland Partnership and chair of the Ohio Metro Chambers Coalition. “Raising and expanding taxes on Ohio employers may make the state a less competitive place to do business.”

Click to watch the video.

GCP-backed amendment changes population threshold
for HB 47 open container exemption

The Greater Cleveland Partnership was successful last week in getting an amendment to HB 47 (Refreshment Areas – Open Container Exemption) that will change the population threshold for the F-8 liquor permit.

Alesha Washington, GCP's senior director of government advocacy, testified before the Senate State and Local Government Committee on the importance of this change. The F-8 permit allows nonprofit organizations that manage publicly owned spaces to host events, up to nine months out of the year, that serve alcohol.

The population threshold in current law only applies to Hamilton County but with the change, Cuyahoga and Franklin counties also would be eligible to apply. Read more.

Click to read the testimony.

Middle-market growth stabilizes at start of 2015

The National Center for the Middle Market’s (NCMM) Q12015 Middle Market Indicator survey has found that following a accelerating revenue and employment growth over the past year, the increases appear to be stabilizing in the first quarter of 2015.

While revenue growth remains strong, employment growth has tapered off slightly. For Q1 2015, seven in 10 middle market companies reported year-over-year increases in revenues, slightly fewer than last quarter, but up from 64 percent of firms reporting increases one year ago.

Employment continues to grow, but at a slower pace

Meanwhile, although mean total employment growth for the past 12 months has declined somewhat since last quarter, it remains over 4 percent, well above levels reported during the first three quarters of 2014. About one-third of businesses expect to hire in the next three months, and around four in 10 (39 percent) say they will hire over the next 12 months, down from 52 percent that reported employment growth intentions last quarter.

Talent and regulations are top concerns for middle-market leaders

For the first time, executives were asked to include their greatest internal and external challenges for both the near and long term. From an internal perspective, talented-related concerns emerged, including acquisition, retention, and training. External concerns include increasing competition and government regulations.

Get the story behind the numbers

For the story behind the numbers, be sure to join us at the Greater Cleveland Middle-Market Forum, presented by the Greater Cleveland Partnership, on Friday, May 8 at Corporate College East. Guest speaker Thomas Stewart, executive director of the NCMM, will take a deeper dive into the results. The program also will include presentations on talent acquisition and an insights panel discussion on "The Economy, Policy, Regulatory Compliance and the Middle Market."

The National Center for the Middle Market, a collaboration between The Ohio State University Fisher College of Business and GE Capital, is a strategic partner of the Greater Cleveland Partnership’s Middle-Market Initiative.

Meet the Best-in-Class “strong contenders:”
Senior Management Diversity

The Greater Cleveland Partnership’s 2015 Annual Meeting of Members on Wednesday, June 17, at the Cleveland Convention Center, includes presentation of the Commission on Economic Inclusion’s Best-in-Class awards.

Commission members who completed the annual Employers Survey on Diversity™ are eligible for consideration. In addition to survey responses, information also is gathered through follow-up interviews by Commission staff. Three honorees—nonprofit/government; large corporation and middle-market—will be chosen in four categories: Board Diversity, Senior Management Diversity, Workforce Diversity and Supplier Diversity.

Here are the strong contenders for the Workforce Diversity award:
Join us on June 17th and find out who wins! Click to purchase a corporate table to secure prime seating for your company.

The Best-in-Class Awards are sponsored by:

GCP members receive national diversity honors

Congratulations to these Greater Cleveland Partnership members who are among the companies honored as part of the DiversityInc 2015 Top 50 for Diversity recognition including KeyCorp, led by GCP Board Chair Beth Mooney, Key's chairman and CEO. Read more in this story from Crain's Cleveland Business.

Top 50 Companies

Top 5 Hospital and Health Systems
Top 10 Regional Companies
More than 1,600 companies participated in the DiversityInc survey in 2015. The survey, now in its 16th year, leads to a detailed, empirically driven ranking. The free report card assesses performance based on four key areas of diversity management:

Talent Pipeline:
workforce breakdown, recruitment, diameter of existing talent, structures; Equitable Talent Development: employee resource groups, mentoring, philanthropy, movement, fairness; CEO/Leadership Commitment: accountability for results, personal communications, visibility; and Supplier Diversity: spend with companies owned by people from underrepresented groups, accountability, support.

Click to read more.

DiversityInc, a leading national source of business information on diversity and information management, is a strategic and resource partner of the Commission on Economic Inclusion, a program of the Greater Cleveland Partnership.

CMSD Board Nominating Panel accepting applications

The Nominating Panel of the Cleveland Municipal School District (CMSD) is accepting applications. Applicants must be residents of the CMSD, which includes Cleveland, Bratenahl, Linndale, and Newburgh Heights and portions of Brook Park and Garfield Heights.

Applications are due no later than Friday, May 1, 2015. (Please note this deadline.) Click for applications in English or Spanish.

Interested parties may mail their applications to the Nominating Panel at 601 Lakeside Avenue, Room 227, Cleveland, Ohio 44114, attention Monyka Price or drop off applications at City Hall, room 227.

Tech Week event connects companies with IT talent

The Greater Cleveland Partnership in collaboration with OHTec (formerly NEOSA) and NEOintern organized the Linking IT Talent to Opportunity event on April 16 at the Independence Civic Center.

For four consecutive years, this event has successfully connected recent IT graduates, college students, and professionals with some of the region's leading tech companies to discuss career paths and job opportunities.

As one of the key events of 2015 OHTec Tech Week, Linking IT Talent to Opportunity drew over 225 attendees including more than 150 young professionals and students, 75 representatives and recruiters from 32 companies, and other guests including IT faculty and career services administrators.

Companies exhibiting at this year event were 1 EDI Source, BlueBridge Networks, Dakota Software, e-Ventus Corporation, Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland, Genesis10, Hyland, creator of OnBase, Infiniti Systems Group, Inforce Technologies LLC, Insivia, Jones Day, LeanDog, Medical Mutual, MRI Software LLC, OEC (formerly OEConnection), Ohio CAT, OnShift, PartnerShip/NACS, Quadax Inc., Randstad Technologies, Rosetta, Safeguard Properties, SecureState, Sherwin-Williams Corporate IT, Software Answers, Inc., Staffing Solutions, Thunder Tech, Inc., Thunderstone Software, TMW Systems, Vertex Computer Systems, Vizion Solutions, and Western Reserve Systems.

Special thanks from the GCP to event corporate sponsor, OEC, and location sponsor, the City of Independence. The GCP Business Development Team appreciated the participation and support from partner organizations, companies and individuals who contributed to the success of  this year’s Linking IT Talent to Opportunity event.

Photos right: Participating companies included GCP members: (top row left to right) BlueBridge Networks and Hyland, creator of OnBase; (bottom row left to right) The Sherwin-Williams Company and Vertex Computer Systems.