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Enhancing inclusion through County legislation: Why it matters

The Greater Cleveland Partnership is continuing advocacy efforts on Cuyahoga County’s inclusion legislation.

Introduced as a package in early February, the legislation seeks to implement key recommendations from Cuyahoga County’s economic disparity study, which found that minority and female-owned businesses are largely underutilized on County development projects.

In this week’s “GCP Insight” interview, Brian Hall, executive director of the Commission on Economic Inclusion, discusses the legislation and how it relates to broader efforts around community benefit agreements with “Insight” host, Lesic and Camper Vice President Steve Luttner.
The Commission on Economic Inclusion is a program of the Greater Cleveland Partnership.

The ”GCP Insight” video series focuses on topics of interest to the Greater Cleveland business community.

Ohio chambers speak out on medical marijuana legislation concerns

The Ohio Metro Chambers Coalition provided testimony last week before the Ohio House Medical Marijuana Task Force about business community concerns and potential issues for employers if medical marijuana is legalized.

The coalition includes the chambers of commerce in Akron, Canton, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Columbus, Dayton, Toledo and Youngstown, and the Ohio Chamber of Commerce, collectively representing more than 40,000 employers.

Key concerns for employers include workplace safety, HR policies, drug screening, workers’ compensation coverage and costs, unemployment compensation, and avoiding costly litigation.

Click here to read the testimony presented by Coalition Chair Phil Parker, president and CEO of the Dayton Area Chamber of Commerce.

He also provided task force members with language that should be included in any legislation, ballot initiative, or proposal to protect employers. Click here to read the provisions.

With the hearings completed, Ohio House leadership will consider how or whether to move forward on potential medical marijuana legislation.

Cleveland is a cost-friendly city for business

There’s good news about doing business in Cleveland.

According to KPMG’s biennial Competitive Alternatives study released last week, Cleveland is the fourth most cost-friendly city for American businesses among the 31 large metro markets—those with more than 2 million people—that were analyzed.

The analysis found that Cleveland has the third-lowest industrial lease costs and moderate costs in all other categories, including labor, facilities and transportation.

“These results present a positive picture of Cleveland for business executives, economic developers and policy makers considering sites for their business operations, “says KPMG Northeast Ohio Managing Partner John MacIntosh. “Many factors go into site selection decisions, and this study helps position the city as a viable option for business expansion or relocation.”

The analysis ranks cities based on a final cost index using 100 as a national baseline; Cleveland has a cost index of 94.6.

Click here to read more.

How to help CMSD students raise their career awareness

Recognizing that career readiness starts early, an innovative program—True2U—a collaboration among the Cleveland Foundation’s youth development program, My Com, the Cleveland Metropolitan School District (CMSD), Greater Cleveland Partnership and Neighborhood Leadership Institute—provides CMSD eighth-graders with support to explore their purpose, identify their strengths and set personal goals for success.

This career exploration and mentoring program links community capital to students and schools. Its objective is to begin raising career awareness for CMSD students on the cusp of entering high school.

Mentors are trained on a structured curriculum and work in teams of two with small groups of students once a month and are supported by a CMSD key teacher once a month.

Get involved!

You can get involved by volunteering as a mentor for the 2016-2017 school year.

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.

Senator Portman tours Port of Cleveland as Senate investigates Army Corps’ budget cut

The Port of Cleveland hosted U.S. Senator Rob Portman (R–OH) last week to discuss the Senate’s inquiry into the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ (USACE) apparently self-inflicted budget cut and the current dispute over the placement of potentially harmful sediment into the open waters of Lake Erie.

Senator Portman chairs the Senate’s Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations (PSI), which recently began examining the USACE’s role in the sudden cut of more than $3 million from the federal dredging budget for Cleveland Harbor.

The USACE has argued that open lake dumping of river sediment found to contain harmful chemicals is safe; meanwhile, the unexplained budget cut further complicates the ability to safely dispose of dredge material in upland disposal facilities.

The Port and others, including the Ohio EPA, have consistently opposed open lake disposal of the sediment. During Senator Portman’s visit, the Port provided a tour of its docks and facilities, including the confined disposal facility (CDF) where the Port believes the sediment should be placed. Port leaders also explained the critical importance of safely disposing the sediment and keeping Cleveland Harbor open for business.

“The economic impact of Cleveland’s maritime industry is immense—$1.8 billion in economic activity and 18,000 jobs depend on it. Equally important are the health and welfare of our water and wildlife,” said Will Friedman, Port of Cleveland president and CEO.

“The Port of Cleveland appreciates Senator Portman’s leadership on this issue. We were glad to provide important information, and eagerly await the results of the Senate Subcommittee’s inquiry into the Army Corps’ role in the dredging budget cut.”

To learn more about this issue, please contact Jade Davis, Port vice president of external affairs at

Above photo (left to right)
: Senator Rob Portman, Jim White, Port of Cleveland director of sustainable infrastructure, and Port President and CEO Will Friedman at the Port’s confined disposal facility.