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2016 RNC: Learn how you can volunteer

Ensuring involvement by Cleveland and Northeast Ohio companies, businesses and residents is an extremely important part of hosting the 2016 Republican National Convention.

Volunteer opportunities will include airport greeters, hotel greeters, transportation greeters, street ambassadors, and hospitality. Volunteers also will be needed for clerical, office, and special project support in the months preceding the convention.

While specific details of these opportunities are still being developed, you can visit the volunteer opportunity website and sign up by clicking the "SIGN UP NOW" button.

Click for more information.

U.S. Chamber executive to keynote BUGC Annual Meeting

Please save the date for the Build Up Greater Cleveland Annual Meeting on Monday, August 24 from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Windows on the River, 2000 Sycamore Street in The Flats.

The keynote speaker will be Janet Kavinoky, executive director, Transportation & Infrastructure, U.S. Chamber of Commerce, and vice president, Americans for Transportation Mobility Coalition.

Registration information will be available soon.

“Pass the Plus:” Good news from the region

Keep up with the positive news from around the Cleveland Plus region by reading the “Pass the Plus” monthly e-newsletter.

In this month’s issue, learn about the benefits of manufacturing careers in Northeast Ohio and exciting developments taking place at think[box] at Case Western Reserve University’s Institute for Collaboration and Innovation, which provides space for anyone—especially students, faculty, and alumni—to tinker and creatively invent.

Click to read more.

Pass the Plus is a Cleveland Plus/Team NEO free monthly e-newsletter that provides informative news and information related to the many positive developments shaping Northeast Ohio. Cleveland Plus and Team NEO are part of the economic development system that the Greater Cleveland Partnership helped to create and continues to support.

Click to subscribe.

Port of Cleveland connects local business to over 30 countries in 2015

The Port of Cleveland’s strategic focus on increasing Greater Cleveland’s connection to global trade is achieving significant results in less than two years.

When it established the Cleveland-Europe Express (CEE) liner service, the Port had a clear vision in mind—connect Greater Cleveland to global commerce by providing a direct, nonstop maritime link to world markets that avoids the costs and delays of congested coastal ports.

In just its second season, that vision has become a reality, with cargo shipped via the CEE moving to or from Cleveland and more than 30 countries in Africa, Asia, Europe, and North America. (See the map for more details).

“When we launched the CEE, this is what we envisioned,” said Will Friedman, Port president and CEO. “The Port of Cleveland is helping businesses from Northeast Ohio and the Midwest connect deeply into the global commerce network.”

CEE ships, operated by Dutch ship owner Spliethoff Group, travel directly between Cleveland and Antwerp, Belgium, the second busiest port in Europe. Antwerp is a major logistics hub that can then connect freight carried on the CEE to markets around the world.

“The list of countries is impressive, but we know we can reach many more for our clients,” said Friedman. “That’s the beauty of the CEE—local companies are doing business with people everywhere on Earth, and our goal is to get them there faster, cheaper, and with the best customer service.”

Countries reached in 2015 using the CEE include:

  • Austria, Azerbaijan, Belgium, Canada, China, Czech Republic, England, Estonia
  • Finland, France, Germany, Guinea, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Jordan
  • Kazakhstan, Korea, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Russia
  • Saudi Arabia, Scotland, Slovakia, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Turkey and United Arab Emirates

To learn more about using the Cleveland-Europe Express or the Port’s maritime services, contact Dave Gutheil, the Port’s vice president of maritime & logistics, at or 216.377.1363.

Middle-market perspectives: Employee engagement boosts the bottom line

Building and creating loyalty among customers, vendors, business partners and investors is critical for any company. Equally important are employees who positively represent the business either at work or in their personal lives, because they are the brand's face to the public.

Erik Sherman, a National Center for the Middle Market contributor and author, writes about the importance developing employee engagement because of its strong, positive impact on the bottom line.

According to a Gallup study, engagement has a strong correlation to earnings per share (EPS). "Companies with an average of 9.3 engaged employees for every actively disengaged employee in 2010–2011 experienced 147 percent higher EPS compared with their competition in 2011–2012."

Sherman says companies can earn strong workforce loyalty and offers five steps to build and leverage employee engagement:

  • Create the right conditions. Give your workers not only satisfactory pay and benefits, but also a sense of belonging, accomplishment and meaning. People have to love working for you to be really effective because their attitudes will always show through.
  • Make your brand clear. You want employees who can say: "I know what my company stands for and what makes our brand different from our competitors."
  • Look for authentically enthusiastic employees. Avoid an ambassador program that would ask employees to talk about the company in exchange for a bonus or reward.
  • Empower employees. Help them share in the company mission, and they will be more likely to take actions that strengthen the relationship between the business and its customers.
  • Help them leverage social media. Help them feel confident talking about the company on Twitter, Facebook, Snapchat, Instagram or Google+ and give those interested proper training on best practices.

Click to learn more.

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.