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Every Monday -- News from GCP

Seeking state support for Public Square

In this week’s “GCP Insight” interview, learn about the accelerated time line for the $50 million Public Square renovation project so it will be ready in time for the 2016 Republican National Convention and the recent $3.5 million request to the State of Ohio to help close a small funding gap.

Greater Cleveland Partnership Senior Vice President of Advocacy Marty McGann points out that the project is 90 percent funded.

Click here or on the image to watch.

About GCP Insight

The ”GCP Insight” video series, hosted by Lesic and Camper Vice President Steve Luttner, focuses on topics of interest to the Greater Cleveland business community.

JetBlue adding third nonstop flight from CLE to Boston


JetBlue Airways
is adding an additional daily nonstop flight from Cleveland Hopkins International Airport (CLE) to Boston beginning May 5, 2016. The service will depart CLE at 6:20 a.m. and arrive in Boston at 8:07 a.m.

“This additional JetBlue service confirms that Cleveland continues to be a strong market for air travel,” said Greater Cleveland Partnership President and CEO Joe Roman.

“There are a lot of factors in play that result in more airline interest in Hopkins, including an improved airport, reduced costs, more traffic-generating assets, and, of course, customer demand.”

Cleveland became JetBlue’s 88th destination when the airline began service here in April 2015. With the addition of the new early-morning nonstop flight to Boston, JetBlue will also offer nonstop service departing CLE at 10 a.m. and 7:09 p.m.

Expanding air service and carriers at Hopkins remains a top GCP priority. The GCP Air Service Demand Task Force continues its work with the City of Cleveland, the State of Ohio and other partners to help ensure convenient and affordable air service for business and leisure travelers.

Scheduled air service returns to Burke Lakefront Airport
with Ultimate Air flights to Cincinnati


Scheduled air service returned to Burke Lakefront Airport last week, with a 45-minute flight to Cincinnati departing at 8:10 a.m.

Greater Cleveland Partnership Investor member Ultimate Air Shuttle, a division of Ultimate JetCharters, is flying the twice-daily weekday route between Burke and Lunken Airport, about five miles east of downtown Cincinnati.

The route is the first nonstop flight in recent years between Cleveland and Cincinnati and the first scheduled air service at Burke in almost 10 years.

Are you an undecided voter? What you should know
about Nov. 3rd ballot issues


The Greater Cleveland Partnership is pleased to provide online information about four November 3rd ballot issues.

Click the links below to learn more about our positions.
  • YES on Issue 1: The GCP is urging a YES vote on Issue 1, the Fair Districts Ohio statewide ballot issue. Currently, the districts are drawn so the vast majority of candidates have little to worry about once they win their primary. The result is a polarization of our General Assembly. More accountability and fairness in the process will improve governing in our state.

  • YES on Issue 2: The GCP is urging YES vote on Issue 2, an amendment which, if passed, would limit constitutional amendments proposing to grant economic monopoly rights not available to other similarly situated persons.. It also would invalidate Issue 3 that would create a monopoly or oligopoly for marijuana.

  • NO on Issue 3: Following a lengthy review, the GCP concluded that the ResponsibleOhio proposal to permit marijuana use for both recreational and medical purposes could negatively impact workplaces and burden small businesses in Ohio.

     -- Click to read our op-ed about why Issue 3 is bad for Ohio families and employers.

     -- Click to download our FAQs.
  • YES on Issue 8: The GCP urges voters to support Issue 8, which calls for renewal of an existing cigarette tax in Cuyahoga County that generates support for arts and culture. It is NOT a tax increase.

Voting by mail? Early/absentee ballots must be postmarked today

If you are voting by mail, your ballot must be postmarked no later than today, Nov. 2, and received by the Board of Elections no later than 10 days after the election.

Once your ballot is completed, you can either drop it off at the Board of Elections or return it by mail to:

Cuyahoga County Board of Elections
Main Building
2925 Euclid Avenue
Cleveland, Ohio 44115

Cleveland Plan progress: CMSD ranked high for academic growth

After more than a decade of flat and low results in national testing, the release of the National Assessment of Educational Progress’ (NAEP) Nation’s Report Card last week indicated a positive trend for the Cleveland Metropolitan School District (CMSD).

The CMSD ranked near the top in academic growth when compared with 20 other large U.S. urban school districts in the 2015 assessment. Results include:
  • CMSD was one of only three districts to improve on all four sections of the 2015 NAEP, given every two years.
  • CMSD fared well even when comparisons extended beyond the 21-city Trial Urban District Assessment (TUDA).
  • Cleveland showed the second-largest gains in the nation in fourth-grade reading and fourth-largest gains in the nation in fourth-grade math.
  • Significant gains made by black male students and disabled students contributed to the improvement in reading.
  • District eighth-graders had the fourth-largest gains in reading in the nation and fifth-highest gains in math among TUDA members.
“These promising results point to progress achieved through implementation of The Cleveland Plan, which is changing how the District operates,” said Greater Cleveland Partnership President and CEO Joe Roman.

“Since the Plan’s objectives include growing the number of high-performing district and charter schools in Cleveland, this can be measured by the progress of students attending those schools.”

The GCP played a significant role in helping to shape The Cleveland Plan and is part of the Cleveland Transformation Alliance, which is charged with reporting on the Plan's progress and communicating that information to families and other stakeholders.

“We know that dramatic changes take time,” said Roman, “but it is significant that these results demonstrate a shift in the right direction.”

In a communication to CMSD stakeholders, District CEO Eric Gordon noted that “after years of finishing last or nearly last among other big-city school districts in the nation, the CMSD showed growth in all four measures while large urban and other districts across the nation saw their scores decline or remain flat this year.

“While we have much to celebrate… CMSD started far behind and still has a lot of work to do to catch up with other TUDA members and the nation as a whole. Nonetheless, the results are the most meaningful measure so far that CMSD is delivering on its promise to the people of Cleveland."

Welcome, new GCP members

We’re pleased to welcome these companies and organizations that recently joined the ranks of Greater Cleveland Partnership Investors. Click the links below to learn more about them.

Explore options to better manage your energy costs

Greater Cleveland Partnership member companies can take proactive steps toward more effective energy management and strategically managing their energy costs for 2016 and beyond.

Attendees at the GCP Energy Forum on Oct. 29 heard from OnDemand, managing consultant of the GCP and COSE Natural Gas and Electric Choice Programs, about how their companies can make budget-friendly decisions.

Click here or on the image to watch our wrap-up video and learn how, even if you have an existing energy contract, supplier/broker relationship, OnDemand can help your company explore options to lower your energy costs.



Thanks to our speakers from OnDemand--John Bodine, vice president, sales and business development, and Doug Schaefer, vice president, managed energy products.

Middle-market 3Q 2015 report: Steady revenue
and employment growth

U.S. middle-market companies continued to report improved performance along with increases in revenue and employment during the third quarter of 2015.

According to the National Center for the Middle Market’s 3Q 2015 Middle Market Indicator (MMI) report released yesterday, the average company reported year-over-year growth of 7.2 percent in Q3 2015 – up from 6.6 percent in year-over-year growth in the second quarter.

Revenue, employment growth trending up
in Ohio

Although year-over-year revenue growth among Ohio middle-market companies was lower than the national average, revenue growth projections for the next 12 months are above that of the national number at 7.2 percent compared to 4.1 percent.

The MMI research also found that slightly more than 40 percent of companies have added employees over the past 12 months—including Ohio middle-market businesses.

Looking ahead, Ohio companies are expecting a slightly higher employment growth —3.9 percent—than the national rate of 3.2 percent.

Ohio companies also are preparing for growth with 60 percent saying they are poised to invest.

“Clearly, the middle market remains a strong performer in our state and regional economies,” said Greater Cleveland Partnership President and CEO Joe Roman.

“We will continue to provide resources to support these companies and their growth strategies through our government advocacy and business development teams and our Middle-Market Initiative.”
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.

Community coalescing to stabilize Irish Town Bend; Port-funded study identifies cost-effective solution


Community leaders, including the Port of Cleveland, continue to coalesce around the need to stabilize Irishtown Bend – a critical bank along the Cuyahoga River shipping channel. The Plain Dealer editorial board also recently lent its voice to the chorus endorsing the effort to identify public funding that supports a long-term solution.

A recent Port-commissioned study determined a cost effective plan for the long-standing issue of stabilizing the bank – with the linchpin being the construction of new bulkheads.

A group of key stakeholders, including the Port, City of Cleveland, Cleveland Metroparks, Cuyahoga Metropolitan Housing Authority, LAND studio, Northeast Ohio Regional Sewer District, Ohio City Inc., and ArcelorMittal steel mill, have been meeting bi-weekly to collaborate on advancing the solution.

“The Port’s study provides a clear path to a viable, cost effective approach to stabilize Irishtown Bend,” said Will Friedman, Port president and CEO. “We’re glad to be a part of this coalition, and are hopeful it will identify an innovative public funding strategy to eliminate the threat of collapse.

“It’s critical to protect the Cuyahoga and upriver businesses that rely on maritime services, while also positioning the hillside for future public use.”

That future public use includes recreational opportunities through the planned Cleveland Foundation Centennial Trail. Running along Irishtown Bend, this trail will connect Wendy Park, which was recently added to the Cleveland Metroparks system, to the 110-mile Towpath Trail National Park System.

The Port’s study found that constructing bulkheading will cost approximately $15 million to $20 million. Earlier public studies estimated total costs of stabilizing the hill as high as $220 million. Friedman noted that once the coalition secures the necessary funding, work could be completed within a year.

Those interested in reading the final report on Irish Town Bend can find it here.