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Every Monday -- News from GCP

How state efforts are supporting minority business growth

In this week’s “GCP Insight” interview, Jeffrey Johnson, chief of the Minority Business Development Division at Ohio’s Development Services Agency, talks with Greater Cleveland Partnership Vice President of Advocacy Alesha Washington about the state’s outreach activities to support the growth of minority business enterprises (MBEs).

Click to watch and learn more about how the state is working to ensure that MBEs participate in the growth of Ohio’s economy.

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

MBDA Business Center Cleveland grant not renewed
by U.S. Dept. of Commerce

Last week, the U.S. Department of Commerce Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA) announced that it will not renew the five-year grant in support of the MBDA Business Center Cleveland. The original award ended March 31, 2016.

Over the past five years, the Center, which was operated by the Commission on Economic Inclusion, produced outstanding results and ratings from the Department of Commerce.

With the Center’s assistance, local and minority-owned businesses around the state received $100 million in contracts and $21.5 million in capital awards, which created 844 new jobs and retained 942 jobs.

Efforts are under way (see the next story) to ensure that the gap left by the closing of the MBDA Cleveland Center is filled.

Pilot program launching to assist Northeast Ohio MBEs

Eleven Northeast Ohio business assistance organizations are teaming up to mutually identify and support promising minority business enterprises (MBEs) to stimulate job growth and economic development in the region.

The goal of the Minority Business Service Providers Collaborative is to fully leverage business development resources in a coordinated and efficient process to accelerate the growth of promising businesses. Participating organizations are:
For more information, please contact Scott Harrington at or 216.592.2213.

GCP members receive national diversity honors

Congratulations to these Greater Cleveland Partnership members who are among the companies honored as part of the DiversityInc’s 2016 Top 50 for Diversity recognition.

Honorees include KeyCorp, led by Greater Cleveland Partnership Board Chair Beth Mooney, Key’s chairman and CEO. Kudos to:

Top 50 Companies
  • EY #2
  • PricewaterhouseCoopers #5
  • Accenture #15
  • KPMG #16
  • Time Warner #37
  • KeyCorp #44

Top 5 Hospital and Health Systems

  • Cleveland Clinic #2

Top 10 Regional Companies

  • Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland #7
  • PNC Financial Services Group #8
More than 1,800 companies participated in the DiversityInc survey in 2016. The survey, now in its 17th year, leads to a detailed, empirically driven ranking.

DiversityInc, a leading national source of business information on diversity and information management, is a strategic and resource partner of the Commission on Economic Inclusion, a program of the Greater Cleveland Partnership.

IT talent connects with leading tech companies

The Greater Cleveland Partnership, in collaboration with OHTec (formerly NEOSA) and Northeast Ohio Council on Higher Education (NOCHE) held the Linking IT Talent to Opportunity event on Wednesday, April 20 at the Independence Civic Center.

For five consecutive years, the event has been successful in connecting recent IT graduates, college students, and professionals with some of the region's leading tech companies to discuss career paths and job opportunities. As one of the key events of 2016 OHTec Tech Week, Linking IT Talent to Opportunity hosted 20 Northeast Ohio companies and more than 125 attendees.

Companies exhibiting at this year’s event were: BlueBridge Networks, Blue Technologies, Dakota Software, Dolbey Systems, Experis, Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland, Foundation Software, Hyland Software, Medical Mutual, MurTech, Onix Networking, Patriot Software Bank, PolyOne Corporation, Quadax, Inc., The Sherwin-Williams Company, Staffing Solutions Enterprises, TECH Corps., Thunder::Tech, TMW Systems, Staffing Solutions Enterprises, and Vertex Computer Systems.

Special thanks from the GCP to event corporate sponsor OEConnection and location sponsor the City of Independence. The GCP Business Development Team appreciates the participation and support from partner organizations, companies and individuals who contributed to this year’s Linking IT Talent to Opportunity’s overall success.

Above photo left:
Steve Millard, GCP executive vice president, product, foundation and small business Initiatives, welcomed employers and tech talent; and (clockwise) representatives from participating companies Blue Technologies, Medical Mutual, and Sherwin-Williams.

Meet the Best of Tech winners

Winners of Best of Tech honors, announced last week as part of OHTec’s Tech Week, included these Greater Cleveland Partnership Investor members:
Launched by OHTec in 2011, Tech Week is an annual initiative to support, celebrate and engage the local tech community. It includes include programming that supports entrepreneurs, executives, students, educators and other stakeholders of the IT industry.

Click here to see the list of all winners.

Academies of Cleveland students and teachers learn
about Nashville schools’ progress

A group of Academies of Cleveland (AOC) Student Ambassadors and teachers were hosted by two Academies of Nashville schools last week to learn about the strategies and structures that are producing real progress in Nashville high schools.

Activities during the visit were designed to inspire the Cleveland students and help them discover what they can do to impact positive change in their high schools.

The CMSD students and guests toured and learned from educators and student ambassadors at Cane Ridge and McGavock high schools.

Cane Ridge offers Academies of Arts and Communication, Architecture and Construction, Health Management, and Law. McGavock offers the Academies of Aviation and Transportation, Digital Design and Communication, Health Science and Law, and Hospitality and Finance.

Much of the schools’ success is due to businesses and organizations from across the Nashville region coming together to work with students, teachers and schools.

About the Academies of Cleveland

The Academies of Cleveland are part of five CMSD high schools: Garrett Morgan; Jane Addams Business Careers Center; Max S. Hayes; Martin Luther King, Jr.; and Washington Park Environmental Studies. The schools work to ensure that young people are prepared to learn for a lifetime, thrive in tomorrow’s dynamic workplaces, and contribute to Cleveland’s economic and civic prosperity.

Above photo: Academies of Cleveland students from Martin Luther King and Jane Addams high schools at Nashville’s Cane Ridge High School academies of law, arts and communications, health management and architecture and construction.

How you can help CMSD students raise career awareness

Recognizing that career readiness starts early, an innovative program—True2U—a collaboration between 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 focuses on raising career awareness for CMSD students on the cusp of entering high school.

Business professionals are invited to volunteer as mentors for the program for the 2016-2017 school year. Click here to download an application. Once your application is completed, email it to Angela Finding at

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

Port of Cleveland work boats prepare to make
city’s shoreline shine

The Port of Cleveland will soon launch its tandem work boats, Flotsam and Jetsam, for the 2016 season, and make Cleveland’s Harbor shine well in advance of July’s Republican National Convention.

The ships are staffed by a five-member crew via the Port’s partnership with Downtown Cleveland Alliance, which provides the seasonal crew from its full-time Clean and Safe Ambassador program.

The boats operate from May through mid-October to create a cleaner, safer water environment for everyone using the harbor and river — from pleasure boaters and rowers to lakefront businesses and tourists and wildlife.

Since beginning operations in September of 2012 and through last season, the work boats’ crews have removed over one million pounds of debris from the Cuyahoga River ship channel and North Coast Harbor. That debris can include anything from plastic beverage containers (retrieved by the thousands each season) to large logs and branches, road tires, and even a derelict floating dock.

Originally funded with support from the U.S. E.P.A.’s Great Lakes Restoration Initiative, the boats take their names from marine terms for two different types of debris. Flotsam floats off sinking vessels or falls into the water (e.g., trees branches) and Jetsam includes items that are thrown into the water by people.

“The Port of Cleveland is excited to continue our efforts to make the waters of Lake Erie and the Cuyahoga River more clean and improve the appearance of our shores and waterways,” said Port President and CEO Will Friedman.

“With Cleveland firmly in the global spotlight this summer, the Port is proud to do our part to help make the city shine.”

For more information on Flotsam & Jetsam and the Port’s environmental efforts, please contact Jade Davis, Port vice president of external affairs at