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Congressional reauthorization of EB-5 investment program important to Cleveland

In this week’s “GCP Insight” video, Steve Strnisha, CEO of the Cleveland International Fund (CiF), discusses how CiF investments through the EB-5 program in have been essential in moving several catalytic Cleveland projects forward and in creating about 12,000 jobs.

Recent projects include Flats East Bank Phases 1 and 2, the Westin Downtown Cleveland hotel, the Uptown expansion in University Circle and the Crocker Park expansion that will include new headquarters for American Greetings. CiF investments total about $220 million.

Strnisha says that congressional reauthorization of the EB-5 program is essential for the CiF to continue its support of an array of projects that are helping to change the face of Cleveland . The current three-year authorization ends September 30. Click to watch.

About GCP Insight

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

Good news about CLE air travel

With expanding CLE air carriers and service as one of the Greater Cleveland Partnership’s strategic priorities for 2015, it’s encouraging that last week produced good news about both Hopkins International Airport and Burke Lakefront Airport.

Comparing July 2015 to July 2014, Hopkins’ total passenger traffic increased close to 16 percent and total airline seats increased over 18 percent.

“The capacity at Hopkins is going up,” noted GCP President and CEO Joe Roman. “This highlights the fact that Cleveland continues to be a strong market for air travel. Carriers are recognizing that we have a significant demand and these latest numbers show that they’re responding to this demand.

“Hopkins continues to be well-positioned to attract even more service,” he added, with an improved airport, reduced costs, and more traffic-generating assets including activity in late 2015 and 2016 with travel related to the 2016 Republican National Convention.

Meanwhile, at Burke, starting October 26, Ultimate Air Shuttle will begin twice daily weekday flights from Burke to Cincinnati Municipal Lunken Airport with free ground shuttles to downtown Cincinnati. More information about the service can be found in this story.

The GCP, through its Air Service Demand Task Force, will continue working 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.

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.

An Executive Briefing on a new global shipping service

Amid the unprecedented change under way in Cleveland, a lesser known, but not less strategically significant, transformation is under way on our lakefront. The Port of Cleveland has quietly become a global shipping hub serving Northeast Ohio and the entire North American heartland.

The Port’s Cleveland-Europe Express (CEE), operated by Amsterdam-based Spliethoff Group, finally unlocks the value of the all-water route from Cleveland to Europe—the faster, greener, smarter way to ship.

For the first time in nearly five decades, shipping containers are stacked on the docks in Cleveland. Firms trading with Europe and beyond can now choose the “homeport,” avoiding the delays and service problems at congested coastal ports, and instead invest their logistics dollars locally.

You can learn more about the Port's new global shipping service at an Executive Briefing on Friday, Sept. 18 from 8 to 9:30 a.m. at the Aloft Hotel Outdoor Courtyard, 1111 West 10th Street.

Hear directly from satisfied CEE users, shipping line executives and the Port including:
  • Brian Buckholz, CEO, WEST Forwarding
  • Bart Peters, Head of Americas for Ship Owner and Line Manager, Spliethoff Group
  • Mark Long, Global Logistics Director, Siemens Energy
  • Bill Mitchell, Business Developer, Reptap
  • Will Friedman, CEO, Port of Cleveland
Register: Please contact Melisa Freilino at 216.377.1339 or click here to email her.

Parking: Click to access the brochure.

Questions? Please contact Melisa Freilino at 216.377.1339 or

Presented by:

Port of Cleveland container traffic continues
record year of growth

Buoyed by increasing returns from its creation of the Cleveland Europe Express (CEE) liner service, the Port of Cleveland continued to see record numbers in August, particularly in containerized cargo.

While numbers for containers were up an impressive 300 percent through June, traffic has continued to accelerate at an even greater pace since. Compared to figures through August 2014, this year’s increase now stands at a whopping 475 percent.

The overall growth produced by the CEE is “quite exceptional and a breakthrough in St. Lawrence shipping,” said Betty Sutton, administrator of the U.S. Saint Lawrence Seaway Development Corporation (SLSDC). The SLSDC recently recognized the Port’s dramatic uptick in shipping through the Seaway with a Robert J. Lewis 2014 Pacesetter award.

“The nearly five-fold increase in containerized cargo shows that the Port is achieving the vision behind the Cleveland Europe Express,” said Will Friedman, Port president and CEO.

“Our research and analysis indicated that Northeast Ohio and Great Lakes businesses would use a direct, scheduled international maritime service to compete globally. That’s why the Port created the CEE, and the market’s acceptance of the service is proving the investment was the right course.”

Operated by Dutch ship owner Spliethoff Group, the CEE provides the Great Lakes economy direct maritime access to European markets, with ships calling in Cleveland at least twice monthly.

That unique service has given Northeast Ohio greater access to and the ability to compete in the global marketplace. It has also proven critical in generating increased traffic through the Port of Cleveland this year.

“The direct international connection the CEE provides has largely driven the surge in containers” said Dave Gutheil, Port vice president of maritime & logistics, who explained that last year, the CEE attracted mostly break-bulk cargo, including larger freight like machinery.

“This year, we’re keeping that break-bulk business while greatly expanding into the container market.”

Those interested in finding out more about using the Cleveland-Europe Express or the Port’s maritime services should contact Dave Gutheil, vice president of maritime & logistics at or 216.377.1363.

Discovering identity and a possible career path

True2You, a collaborative career exploration/volunteer mentoring program for 800 Cleveland Metropolitan School District (CMSD) eighth-graders was launched last week with a kickoff event at the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo.

Many thanks to the volunteer mentors from GCP-member companies, including The Lubrizol Corporation, Medical Mutual, KeyBank and The Sherwin-Williams Company, who attended the launch event

The students’ day included interactive sessions with author of The New York Times best-seller, “Teens Can Make It Happen: Nine Steps to Success,” and nationally known motivational speaker Stedman Graham (photo right).

The discussion focused on the importance of self-knowledge and self-esteem as the way to overcome peer pressure and daily stresses. The book is an integral part of the True2You curriculum.

True2U—created by the Cleveland Foundation’s youth development program, My Com, and the Cleveland Metropolitan School District (CMSD), provides CMSD eighth-graders with support to explore their purpose, identify their strengths and set personal goals for success. The GCP is the lead business partner for True2U and is coordinating the participation of more than 100 business professionals as volunteer mentors for the program.
NOTE: At this time, all mentors for the 2015-2016 school year have been confirmed. If you would like to sign up to be a mentor for the 2016-2017 school year or added as an alternate in case a need for additional mentors arises during the school year, please visit the GCP website and fill out the online registration form.

Support arts and culture in our community: Vote YES on Issue 8

The Greater Cleveland Partnership is backing passage of Issue 8, the November 3rd ballot issue calling for the 10-year renewal (it is not a tax increase) of the current 1.5 cents tax per cigarette sold in Cuyahoga County to support arts and cultural organizations.

Our arts and culture sector is a cornerstone of Cuyahoga County, bringing worldwide recognition and economic strength to our region for more than a century. The many benefits we all gain from arts and culture include:
  • Arts and culture is a crucial component of Cleveland’s resurgent economy, responsible for thousands of jobs and hundreds of millions of dollars in direct annual economic activity, and plays a leading role in attracting millions of tourists and visitors to our region.
  • Arts and culture organizations provide enriching education programs throughout Cuyahoga County. These experiences are critically important for our children: students who participate in arts and culture demonstrate improved math and reading skills, perform better academically, stay in school longer, and graduate at higher rates.
  • The arts and culture sector also strengthens and energizes our neighborhoods and retains and attracts new and creative residents to our region who help keep and grow local businesses.
Get involved with the campaign!

Please visit the Vote for Issue 8 website for information about volunteering for the campaign and how to share your support.

“Pass the Plus:” Share the positives about Northeast Ohio

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 success of the Port of Cleveland’s Cleveland-Europe Express (CEE) that provides service between the Cleveland Harbor and Europe, via the Saint Lawrence Seaway, how the headquarters and professional services sector continues to grow in the region and more.

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 and start sharing our region’s good news with your networks of colleagues, friends and family.