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Tackling the challenges of talent development and retention

Hiring and retaining a high-caliber workforce is a major concern for employers of all sizes.

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce, which is hosting a sold-out “Talent Pipeline Management” conference on Wednesday, March 23 in Washington, D.C., notes that “The American economy is facing a serious crisis…U.S. businesses are leaving jobs unfilled because they cannot find qualified talent.”

Here in Northeast Ohio, the need to focus on talent development and retention is being addressed by the Greater Cleveland Partnership and the business community on several fronts including:
  • Exploring how better health outcomes lead to a healthier workforce and community at the Cleveland Health Means Business Forum on Wednesday, April 6.

  • Focusing on talent management, one of the key concerns of middle-market companies, at the Greater Cleveland Middle-Market Forum, presented by the Greater Cleveland Partnership, on Thursday, May 12th at Corporate College East.

  • Connecting IT professionals, recent graduates and college students with leading Northeast Ohio companies to discuss career paths and job opportunities at the Linking IT Talent to Opportunity event on April 20 as part of Tech Week activities.
See below for more information about these events.

Register now for the Cleveland Health Means Business Forum

Greater Cleveland Partnership members are invited to join prominent business and community leaders to discuss how to create a healthier Cleveland at the Cleveland Health Means Business Forum on Wednesday, April 6 from 7:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Global Center for Health Innovation.

The forum will leverage the influence of local, regional and state businesses to empower healthier individuals and communities through education, employment and income. It will include a mix of speakers, panel discussions and audience engagement opportunities with participants tackling community health priorities.

Featured speakers:
  • Paul Bakus, President, Corporate Affairs, Nestlé
  • John Carmichael, President, Pizza and Snacking Division, Nestlé
  • Armond D. Budish, Cuyahoga County Executive
  • Joseph D. Roman, President and CEO, Greater Cleveland Partnership
  • David Krol, Senior Program Officer, The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation
  • Thomas F. Zenty III, Chief Executive Officer, University Hospitals also will be a featured speaker leading a session on the Healthy Workforce.
Click here for the agenda, details about the speakers and to register.

Space is limited to the first 150 registrants. Complimentary valet parking is available.

The Cleveland forum is the seventh in a 10-forum series as part of a Health Means Business campaign to promote better health through economic development. It is hosted by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation, the Greater Cleveland Partnership, University Hospitals, the Health Action Council, the Global Center for Health Innovation and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

Hot topics for the C-suite: Talent management, cyber security, and export readiness

Please join us at Northeast Ohio’s signature event for middle-market leaders—the 2016 Greater Cleveland Middle-Market Forum, presented by the Greater Cleveland Partnership, on Thursday, May 12 from 7:30 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. at Corporate College East.

You’ll walk away with the latest insights, best practices and the latest research on topics that matter to you. This includes talent management, which has consistently remained a challenge identified by middle-market executives, according to research by the National Center for the Middle Market (NCMM).

More than half of the respondents to the NCMM's 4Q 2015 Middle Market Indicator report said staffing issues will affect performance in the short term, and nearly as many believe staffing will be an issue throughout 2016.

Our Forum panelists will zero in on “Attracting Top Management Talent.” We’ll announce the speakers in the next few weeks.

Other topics and presenters include:

Cyber Security:
  • Ralph Greco, Director, Business Analytics Initiative, The Risk Institute, The Ohio State University Fisher College of Business
  • Howard Forman, Senior Vice President, Product Group Manager, PNC Bank
  • Ganpat Wagh, Supervisory Special Agent, FBI Cleveland
Export Readiness:
  • Melissa Blackledge, Senior International Trade Specialist, U.S. Chamber of Commerce
  • Amy Liu, Vice President and Director, Metropolitan Policy Program, Brookings Institution
  • Oded Shenkar, Ph.D., Academic Director, National Center for the Middle Market (NCMM), Ford Motor Company Chair in Global Business Management, The Ohio State University Fisher College of Business.
“The Market that Moves America”
  • NCMM Executive Director Thomas Stewart will present the latest research results on the health of and outlook for the middle market from the 1Q 2016 Middle-Market Indicator.
NOTE: This forum is for middle-market CEOs, C-suite executives and their direct reports.

Register now at the discount rate!

This event is limited to 250 participants. Click to register now at the GCP-member early-bird discount rate.

Thanks to our sponsors:

Where companies connect with IT professionals, recent grads and college students

The Greater Cleveland Partnership, NEOintern and OHTec (formerly NEOSA) are pleased to present the 2016 Linking IT Talent to Opportunity career fair and networking event on Wednesday, April 16 from 1:00 to 4:30 p.m. at the Independence Civic Center.

The event connects IT professionals, recent graduates and college students with leading Northeast Ohio companies to discuss career paths and job opportunities. It is one of many events that are part of OHTec’s Tech Week 2016 that runs from April 13-24. (See the next story for Tech Week details.)

For more information, please contact Truc Cao at the Greater Cleveland Partnership at or 216.592.2387.

Sponsored by:

Presented by:

12 Days of Tech

Tech Week 2016, presented by OHTec (formerly NEOSA), connects, celebrates, promotes and supports the incredible technology industry of Northeast Ohio.

Events running from April 13-24 include:
  • April 13: Recruiting, Reskilling, and Re-entry in Tech with Tech Savvy Women and Tech Elevator

  • April 14: TechniCLE Speaking: Fostering Innovation presented by Jones Day; CIO of the Year Awards, Tech Talks: Case Western Reserve University

  • April 15: Get IT Here Summit and Health-Tech Corridor Tech Crawl

  • April 18: Mobile Monday and Pitch Night presented by SIM

  • April 19: Tri-C Speed Networking and Health IT Summit

  • April 20: Health IT Summit and Linking IT Talent to Opportunity career fair and networking event

  • April 21: Best of Tech Awards
Click here for more information.

GCP applauds passage of Health and Human Services levy

On March 15th, Cuyahoga County voters approved an eight-year renewal of one of two health and human services levies that provides funding for those most in need in our community.

The eight-year renewal is longer than prior renewals, meaning the “no tax increase” rate of 4.8 mills is locked in for a longer period of time, and fewer campaigns are needed to maintain the services. The levy generates roughly $130 million annually.

Additional levy and issue campaigns will be in front of voters later this year and over the next few years.

Click to view the anticipated schedule.

GCP welcomes new director to NASA Glenn

The Greater Cleveland Partnership—which has been a leading advocate for the preservation and expansion of the NASA Glenn Research Center (GRC)—is pleased to welcome former astronaut Janet Kavandi (photo left) as the new GRC director.

Kavandi, who has been serving as GRC’s deputy director since February 2015, takes over the top job today replacing James Free (photo right) who has been named deputy associate administrator for technical in the agency’s Human Exploration and Operations Mission Directorate in Washington, D.C.

She will lead a center that has a decades-long tradition of excellence in aeronautics and spaceflight, with more than 3,200 civil service and contractor employees and an annual budget of approximately $580 million.

“With an annual economic impact of $3 billion, NASA Glenn is an important part of our economy,” said GCP President and CEO Joe Roman. “We look forward to working with the new director to help ensure that the Center continues to play a significant role in NASA’s aeronautics and space exploration programs.”

Kavandi was selected as an astronaut in December 1994. During her time in the Astronaut Office at Johnson, she supported space station payload integration, capsule communications, robotics, and served as deputy chief of the Astronaut Office.

A veteran of three spaceflights, she has logged more than 33 days in space, serving as a mission specialist on the STS-91 mission in 1998, STS-99 in 2000, and STS-104 in 2001.

Click to read more about the new director

Exploring Ohio’s key role in presidential politics

The “Politically Speaking Series: Presidential Politics in the State of Ohio” will continue with a discussion of the presidential primary process by Amy Walter, national editor of "The Cook Political Report," at 7 p.m. Thursday, March 31, at John Carroll University in University Heights. The program will be held in Donahue Auditorium at the Dolan Center for Science & Technology.

Walter provides analysis of issues, trends and events that shape the political environment for The Cook Political Report. Her weekly column appears on She is also an exclusive panelist on NBC’s "Meet the Press" and a regular panelist on PBS’ “Washington Week” with Gwen Ifill and Fox News’ "Special Report with Bret Baier."

The “Politically Speaking” series is sponsored by Baldwin Wallace University, Cleveland State University, Cuyahoga Community College, Kent State University and John Carroll University. It offers a unique, Buckeye State-centric examination of the presidential election process in the lead up to Cleveland hosting the 2016 Republican National Convention in July.

Future installments will address “Why Polling Data Still Matters” (sponsored by KSU in April) and “The Economic Impact of National Political Conventions” (sponsored by Tri-C in June).

The event is free and open to the public; registration is required.

Click to register.

Port of Cleveland sets stage for growth in maritime
with new agreements

The Port of Cleveland Board of Directors has approved a new services agreement with Spliethoff Transport BV to operate the Cleveland Europe Express (CEE), the Port’s liner service between the Midwest, Europe, and connecting points worldwide.

The CEE has established Cleveland as North America’s inland-most hub for trade with Europe, creating regular maritime commerce between the two regions for the first time in over 40 years.

In 2015, the service increased tonnage by over 500% and container volumes by more than 400 percent as compared with 2014.

The new agreement with Spliethoff ensures an average of at least two ships per month with travel between Cleveland and Europe during the shipping season. The new agreement also ensures that following the 2017 shipping season, Spliethoff will bear all costs of the CEE going forward.

“The Port’s new services agreement with Spliethoff to operate the Cleveland Europe Express meets all of our strategic goals for the service in 2016,” said Will Friedman, Port president and CEO.

“We’ve maintained the frequency and high quality of the service while cutting costs to the Port and continuing to position Cleveland and the Great Lakes for growth in the global economy.”

The board also approved Federal Marine Terminals, Inc. (FMT) as terminal operator for the 2016 Shipping Season to handle traditional, non-containerized steel shipments. Total revenue from all cargo handled by FMT is expected to be just over $1.5 billion in 2016.

The 2016 Great Lakes shipping season begins Wednesday, March 23.

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

Above photo: The Florijngrachta general cargo ship, managed by Spliethoff, visits the Port of Cleveland as part of the Cleveland Europe Express.