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Every Monday -- News from GCP

How supporting home rule can create more jobs
for Cleveland residents

In a special “GCP Insight” video interview, State Senator Sandra Williams (D-21) discusses her opposition to and concerns with two bills in the Ohio Assembly that would eliminate local governments’ ability to ensure that construction projects in the region benefit the local workforce.

In Cleveland, the mandate requires that 20 percent of the workforce on large construction projects are city residents. Columbus and Akron also have local hiring laws.

The proponents of HB 180 and SB 152 say the requirement prohibits contractors from hiring the best workers, which opponents say is flawed reasoning based on the assumption that highly qualified workers don’t live in Cleveland or other major cities around the state.

A coalition, which includes the Greater Cleveland Partnership, the Commission on Economic Inclusion, a program of the GCP, the City of Cleveland, the Cleveland Building Construction and Trades Council and project owners, also points out that the bills would interfere with home rule—where locals make decisions on what is best for their community without intrusion from the state.

Click to watch.

About GCP Insight

The ”GCP Insight” video series focuses on topics of interest to the Greater Cleveland business community. This week’s interview was produced in collaboration with GCP’s Morning Conversation series, which is sponsored by PNC.

PAT program building a pipeline of women and minority construction workers

One goal of the Commission on Economic Inclusion’s Construction Diversity and Inclusion Committee is to create a robust talent pipeline of women and minority workers for the Greater Cleveland construction industry.

In addition to establishing a registered Pre-Apprenticeship Training (PAT) program with the Ohio State Apprenticeship Council, CDI is working with the Urban League of Greater Cleveland, Towards Employment, El Barrio/The Centers and the Advanced Technology and Training Center at Cuyahoga Community College to deliver required classroom training.

With five PAT classes completed, the pipeline is beginning to be populated.

Class 5 concluded July 17. To date, 39 students have successfully completed the PAT program with 27 students initially placed into the trades and 10 employed elsewhere. Participation in the program has landed PAT graduate Russell Wilson a full-time position with The Albert M. Higley Co. as a project engineer in the Customer Service Group. Russell is a graduate of Warrensville Heights High School and has experience as an electronic technician and independent contractor.

“The quality of this individual is a direct reflection on the (PAT) program,” says Gareth D. Vaughan, president of AMHigley and CDI committee co-chair.

About the PAT program

The PAT is an eight-week, 315- hour fast-track program that provides instruction and training in subjects related to careers in the construction skilled trades. Participants gain an overview of a variety of trades and hands-on project work in carpentry, residential electrical, plumbing, masonry, roofing, drywall installation, construction measurement and more.

The next PAT class will begin in early October. To learn more about enrolling in the program, prospective students should contact one of the CDI’s partner organizations:

Learn how your company can access workforce training money

More than 122,000 Ohio employees already have been trained through the Ohio Incumbent Workforce Training Voucher Program. That number will increase because Round 4 begins soon.

Businesses can begin the online application process on Monday, September 28, and will have more than two weeks to gather the necessary information to complete their request. Applications will be accepted on a first-come, first-served basis and can be submitted beginning at 10 a.m. on Wednesday, October 14.

Training in the following high-demand fields is eligible:

  • Advanced manufacturing
  • Aerospace and aviation
  • Automotive
  • Back office
  • Biohealth
  • Corporate headquarters
  • Energy
  • Financial services
  • Food processing
  • Information technology and services
  • Logistics, polymers and chemicals
  • Research and development

Training opportunities include, but are not limited to, operational skills training, certification processes and equipment training. Training can occur at the employer’s facility, at provider’s training facility or at a third-party site.

Training reimbursement requirements

The Ohio Development Services Agency will reimburse employers for up to 50 percent of the eligible training costs, up to $4,000 per employee, after (1) the employer pays the full cost of the training and (2) the employee successfully completes the training. The maximum amount an employer may qualify for in a fiscal year is $100,000. The company must be in operation for at least 12 months in Ohio to participate.

For more information about the Ohio Incumbent Workforce Training Voucher Program, please visit the Ohio Development Agency website.

Contacts for additional assistance:

For assistance with the application, please contact Greater Partnership Business Development Manager Truc Cao at

Minority manufacturers featured on the radio: Four MBEs interviewed for WNWV-FM “Local Spotlight”

In 2014, the Minority Business Development Agency Business Center Cleveland, operated by the Commission on Economic Inclusion, received a $100,000 Advanced Manufacturing grant to support the delivery of strategic business consulting and deal-making services to eligible minority business enterprises (MBEs)  in manufacturing.

The MBDA Cleveland Center and MAGNET, an Ohio Manufacturing Extension Partnership affiliate, identified and began working with five Northeast Ohio MBEs.

Their objective is to improve operational excellence and quality, order fulfillment, sales, marketing, innovation, and workforce management to boost their competitiveness in both domestic and international markets.

The MBEs have been featured recently in an WNWV-FM Local Spotlight segment:

Click here to visit the WNWV website where you can listen to the interviews.

Corporate leaders find competitive advantage in Port’s global shipping service

For the first time in recent memory, shipping containers are stacked on dock at the slips are full at the Port of Cleveland—thanks largely to the Cleveland Europe Express (CEE).

And according to a panel of local executives and leaders in the logistics industry, Northeast Ohio and Great Lakes businesses are seeing the benefits of the service and signing up to use it.

The CEE provides companies trading globally with a fast, efficient and cost saving shipping alternative to crowed East Coast ports. In partnership with the Greater Cleveland Partnership, the Port of Cleveland hosted executives last week to explain the CEE’s value. Panel members praised the CEE as an essential tool for regional businesses to compete globally.

“The Port of Cleveland set out to build a better way for companies to trade globally and establish a gateway to the global market from Lake Erie,” said Port of Cleveland President and CEO William Friedman.

“With our partners at the Spliethoff Group and WEST Forwarding, we’ve seen an increase in local job creation and have established a faster, smarter, greener way to ship with the Cleveland-Europe Express.”

Local companies find competitive advantage through Port shipping

Siemens Energy uses the CEE monthly to ship large heavy equipment across the Atlantic to markets in Europe and Africa.

“The CEE has expanded Siemens’ logistical flexibility to better serve our customers and we have seen huge savings on land transportation,” said Mark Long of Siemens Energy. “The Port of Cleveland provides boutique-style service – no other regional port provides this kind of premier service with the level of attention.”

Retap, a locally based, environmentally conscious water bottle manufacturer uses the CEE to source materials from multiple European locations. “The CEE has been a tremendous asset for us,” said Bill Mitchell, co-founder of Retap, which recently relocated to Cleveland from San Francisco for the proximity and benefits of the CEE.

Also on hand during the panel were Bart Peters from Spliethoff and Brian Buckholz from WEST forwarding, who explained the value of the service from the logistics industry’s point of view.

They noted that the Great Lakes should be seen as part of the global logistics network, not just a regional system, and that the market is moving to adopt that vision.

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

Our arts & culture assets need your support

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

A primary factor in Cleveland’s world-class image and reputation, our arts and culture organizations instill pride in our community and also are among the many assets that often amaze visitors to Cleveland.

“Greater Cleveland enjoys a much-deserved regional, national and international reputation for the high quality of its arts and cultural offerings,” says University Hospitals CEO Tom Zenty, who chairs the GCP Government Affairs Council.

“This existing tax helps us maintain those distinct assets and also assists many smaller community arts groups and local artists throughout the county.”

Passing Issue 8 this November is essential since the arts and lulture levy approved in 2006 will expire soon. You can help ensure community support by voting yes on Issue 8.

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.

SAVE THE DATE: Cyber Resiliency Conference

Many of Northeast Ohio’s leading institutions, including Case Western Reserve University, the Cleveland Clinic, the U.S. Attorney’s Office, the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland, and the Cleveland Foundation, are teaming up to create a cross-sector consortium to improve cyber security in the region.

You are invited to a daylong conference on Wednesday, October 14 focused on ways to prevent cyber intrusions and what to do if your system is compromised. The program will be held from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Cleveland Convention Center Global Center Ballrooms A&B.

Who should attend:
  • Chief information officers
  • Chief technology officers
  • Network and IT experts
  • Protective services
  • Privacy/legal executives
Learn more.

Seating is limited! Click here to register.

Middle-market perspectives: Are you a disruptor
or are you being disrupted?

It’s inevitable that your market, your industry, and your middle-market company will change.

But whether you're in front of disruptive change or stuck behind it depends largely on your ability to play a game of "Educated What-If?" What might the world look like in five years, and what would that reality mean for your business? And most importantly, what are you going to do about it?

The pace at which disruption occurs is increasing exponentially. And you can fine several examples of what happens when industries are taken by surprise by disruptive technology.

But how do you predict the future when you’re focused managing and growing your middle-market business?

Brandt Handley, writing for the National Center for the Middle Market, says that “predicting the future isn’t magic. Instead, “it comes down to separating certainties from possibilities and then determining how those certainties could affect your business (or, conversely, what opportunities they may produce).

Click to read more about what you should consider when thinking about how your business should respond to disruption.

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.

Calling all real estate and property development professionals!

Register today for NAIOP's Developers' Showcase on Wednesday, September 30 at the Music Box, Cleveland's two-story supper club and concert venue on the West Bank of the Flats.

National site selectors, fresh off the Industrial Asset Management Council (IAMC) convention in Cleveland, will discuss Northeast Ohio's strengths and weaknesses from the site selectors' viewpoint.

Additionally, we will have an update on preparations for the 2016 Republican National Convention and a first unveiling of a new design system for re-purposing industrial buildings, created by IAMC and SIOR, called "DesignFlex2030."

Come network with professionals from the economic development, real estate and commercial development industries while enjoying the riverfront views.

See you there!

Click here to register.