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Chambers coalition visits Congress to advocate for Great Lakes states’ priorities

If the 12 states and two Canadian provinces of the Great Lakes trading region were a country, it would have the world’s fourth-largest economy. Recognizing this economic force, the commonality of issues, and strength of the collective representation in Washington, the Greater Cleveland Partnership was the founding member of the Great Lakes Metro Chamber Coalition.

In this week’s segment of the “GCP Insight” video series, Nick Gattozzi, GCP's vice president of advocacy, provides an update on the Coalition’s recent series of meetings in Washington, D.C. with members of Congress and staff from Great Lakes states. The discussions focused on the Coalition’s three top priorities: immigration reform, transportation and infrastructure and energy.

Click to watch.

The “GCP Insight” video series is hosted by Lesic and Camper Vice President Steve Luttner.

GCP to develop positions on key components of state budget

Governor Kasich's executive budget, released on February 2, contains several major policy initiatives, including a large-scale tax reform plan, continued expansion of Medicaid eligibility standards, and education reforms for K-12, charter schools, and higher education.

The Greater Cleveland Partnership’s Advocacy Team has developed a high-level summary of the budget's key policy issues and will work over the next few weeks to further evaluate his proposal and develop positions on important components.

Click to read the summary.

GCP applauds approval of local funding for lakefront pedestrian bridge

The Greater Cleveland Partnership applauds Cleveland City Council and Cuyahoga County Council for finalizing plans and allocating funding for the lakefront pedestrian bridge.

This project provides greater connectivity from downtown to North Coast Harbor. The local funds are added to state support secured last year in the State Capital Bill.

Click for more information.

Best practices shared to boost workforce diversity

More than 90 human resource executives and diversity professionals attended the “Best and Promising Practices from Industry Leaders in Employing People with Disabilities” forum on February 4, co-sponsored by the Commission on Economic Inclusion and the Cleveland Society of Human Resources Management (CSHRM). The event was held at Baldwin Wallace University’s Center for Innovation & Growth.

In the first panel, employers discussed:
  • Keys to successfully hiring workers with disabilities and addressing challenges related to policies, practices, resources
  • The value that employees with disabilities bring to their employers
  • How companies can benefit from these employees.

Panelists representing employers were: Duane Rohr, regional learning center manager, CVS Caremark; Harold Harrison, chief human resources officer, Cleveland Metroparks; Martin Hoke, president, RhinoSystems, Inc; and Doug Bradshaw, branch manager, Home Goods.

A second panel of representatives from resource organizations discussed assistance available for employers when hiring workers with disabilities. Topics included:

  • How to build working relationships with resource organizations to navigate the process; and
  • Identifying free resources and financial incentives to assist in hiring individuals with disabilities.
The resource organizations were represented by (above photo left to right): Trish Otter, CEO, UCP of Greater Cleveland; Mick Latkovich, senior vice president, rehabilitation services, Vocational Guidance Services; Lori McCarthy, employment services supervisor, Cuyahoga County Board of Developmental Disabilities; Joel Zurieck, director of social services and supported employment, Cleveland Sight Center; and Charles Arndt, director, program operations, Cuyahoga Employment Partnership.

In addition, attendees interacted with eight local resource organizations including the five panelists and representatives from the Veterans Administration, Hattie Larlham, and Opportunities for Ohioans with Disabilities.

The next jointly sponsored Commission and CSHRM diversity event will be held at Baldwin Wallace location on Tuesday, June 9 from 7:30 to 10 a.m.

Learn more

The Commission on Economic Inclusion is a program of the Greater Cleveland Partnership. Click to learn more about membership and its work to support business goals and strategies of the Northeast Ohio employer community.

For more information about the Commission’s resources and services for HR and diversity professionals, please contact Deborah Bridwell, the Commission’s deputy executive director, at 216.592.2345 or

Pass the Plus: Northeast Ohio’s energy future

The February 2015 issue of the “Pass the Plus” newsletter looks ahead toward Northeast Ohio’s energy future. Find out about job creation in green technologies and some of the region’s companies that are turning waste into energy.

Read more.

Pass the Plus” is a free monthly publication of the Regional Marketing Alliance, which oversees the day-to-day operations of the Cleveland Plus campaign. The Alliance is part of the economic development system that the Greater Cleveland Partnership helped to create and continues to support.

Click to subscribe to “Pass the Plus.”