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Plugging in: Business community input needed to address workforce challenges

In a 2016 poll of the Greater Cleveland Partnership (GCP) Board of Directors, approximately two-thirds of the respondents identified recruiting and retaining a qualified workforce as a top business challenge for their companies.

With the GCP ramping up its talent and workforce development efforts, there are currently several opportunities for GCP members to get involved in a variety of programs and initiatives.

Please see below and let us know where you and/or others in your company or organization can plug in to provide business community input.

Dual Career Network: A potential new talent offering
for our members

Talent is one of the largest issues that businesses face. Both attracting and retaining a qualified workforce is a top priority.

One specific piece of the talent equation—dual-career families—is sometimes a challenge to the success of employee relocations to a new market.

The Greater Cleveland Partnership is working to determine if there is value for your company in a potential new service for dual-career families and “trailing spouses,” which we are vetting as a potential talent offering for our members.

The “Dual Career Network” would be designed to help the spouses/partners of relocated employees with their local job search by providing a platform to share resumes, job opportunities and valuable career information regarding Northeast Ohio. Members of the network would host networking events with recruiters from GCP-member companies.

How to participate in our focus group

The GCP is convening a focus group around the Dual Career Network concept on Wednesday, February 22 from 8:30 to 10:30 a.m. at the GCP offices, 1240 Huron Road East in Playhouse Square.

We would like to use this opportunity to learn whether you think a concept like this would be helpful in your efforts to attract and retain talent.

The focus group is open to our member-company CEOs and/or VPs of human resources, talent or workforce development. If you are interested in attending, please RSVP to Shana Marbury at or 216.592.2249.

GCP LEAD: Emerging leaders wanted; nomination deadline extended

We are now accepting nominations of emerging leaders from Greater Cleveland Partnership member companies for the 2017 GCP LEAD Cohort 2.

The deadline for nominations has been extended to Monday, February 27.

GCP LEAD (Link. Engage. Advocate. Develop.) was created because the GCP recognizes the importance of cultivating our region’s future business and community leaders through the work of the GCP.

The GCP LEAD group will be an exclusive cohort of emerging leaders from member companies with at least five years of professional experience and an interest in getting involved in the areas of economic development, education and workforce, advocacy, diversity and inclusion, and business and physical development.

Members of the cohort will dive into a “GCP immersion experience” by participating in our current work and partnerships. Upon successful completion of the one-year program, GCP LEAD members are encouraged to stay engaged in the organization. GCP staff will work to place them in the areas that best suit their interests and strengths.

Nomination requirements

  • At least five years of professional work experience
  • Employed by a GCP-member company
  • Have an interest in the work of the GCP

Nomination process

All candidates must be nominated by their organization’s president/CEO via an email to Angela Finding at stating their intent to nominate, the nominee’s name, title and contact information.

REMINDER: The nomination deadline is Monday, February 27. Once nominated, the candidate is required complete a GCP LEAD questionnaire (for informational purposes only).

Please click here for information on participation fees and additional details about the program.

If you have questions, contact Angela Finding at 216.592.2385 or

Academies of Cleveland: Help CMSD 11th graders develop job-interview skills

As part of the Greater Cleveland Partnership’s college and career readiness work with the Cleveland Metropolitan School District Academies of Cleveland schools, we are helping to identify business professionals who are interested in conducting mock interviews on Friday, March 24 with 11th graders at Martin Luther King High Jr. School located at 1651 East 71st Street, Cleveland, OH 44103.

The interviews will take place over two shifts from 9 to 11 a.m. and 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. Volunteers can select a shift or choose to stay the whole time.

The purpose is to help prepare the students for real-life job interviews by acting as the interviewer and providing constructive feedback. Please contact Angela Finding at 216.592.2385 or with questions or to volunteer. Please indicate your shift preference when confirming your participation.

About the Academies of Cleveland

The Academies of Cleveland (AoC) is a new approach to college and career readiness for students in five Cleveland Metropolitan School District (CMSD) high schools: Garrett Morgan, Jane Addams Business Careers Center, Martin Luther King Jr., Max S. Hayes, and Washington Park Environmental Studies.

Each school focuses on career pathways from a variety of industries that drive economic growth in our community. The AoC 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.

True2U: Employers needed to host out-of-school experiences
for CMSD eighth-graders

True2U is a youth development and career exploration mentoring program designed for eighth grade Cleveland Metropolitan School District (CMSD) students. True2U is a shared vision of community, business, faith-based, philanthropic and educational leaders.

A key component of the True2U experience for students is it to give them “out-of-school experiences” that introduce them to career opportunities from a variety of sectors. The business community is an integral partner in this work. Our goal is to recruit employers to partner with us by hosting one or more groups of CMSD eighth-graders during their out-of-school experience.

All participating organizations will host a group of eighth-graders ranging from 15-65 students beginning at 9 or 10:30 a.m. during the weekdays of April 17-28. They will spend 90 minutes introducing the students to their organization and showing them the breadth of career options available.

Agendas for the day can be determined by each organization in coordination with True2U staff and can include some or all of the following:
  • An organization overview
  • A tour of the facilities
  • A demonstration or hands-on experience (if possible) and
  • A panel discussion showcasing the diversity of careers within the organization with staff sharing their career paths and choices.
If you are interested in being a host organization or have additional questions, please contact Angela Finding at or 216.592.2385.

During in-school mentor lead advisory sessions, True2U students have been exploring potential career paths available to them. But no amount of in-class activity or discussion can capture the level of engagement and in-depth learning students can have when provided the opportunity to venture beyond the classroom and experience the day-to-day operations of an organization.

By participating in this activity, your organization will give True2U students this opportunity and expose them to the possibilities that exist for their futures.

True2U is supported by community leaders from the Cleveland Foundation, MyCom, Greater Cleveland Partnership, and Neighborhood Leadership Institute. Currently in year two of its three-year phase in, True2U is serving approximately 1,600 eighth-grade students in partnership with over 200 business and community volunteer mentors.

By year three, True2U will serve every eighth-grade CMSD student—there are approximately 2,500—with the assistance of over 600 mentors.

If you are interested in learning more about mentoring for the 2017-2018 school year, please contact Angela Finding at

Online Diversity Assessment now available

The Commission on Economic Inclusion’s new online Diversity & Inclusion Organization Assessment can now be accessed for completion. It is a valuable resource whose results function as a barometer of inclusion in our region and provide employers with a tool and benchmarks for examining their own diversity and inclusion efforts.

The Assessment is available to all Greater Cleveland Partnership members as a benefit of membership. We encourage you to take advantage of this great opportunity!

During the past year, the Commission solicited feedback from stakeholders in various industries and job responsibilities and implemented a full re-design of the former Employers Survey on Diversity Assessment using a new online platform. The result is a far more powerful tool that is easier to use and will provide more meaningful feedback in a tighter timeframe.

Employers who complete the D&I Assessment will receive immediate feedback upon making their final submission, along with suggested resources which can be useful for internal diversity and inclusion strategic planning. The D&I Assessment and the associated resources can be helpful to any organization—whether they have an established D&I program in place, or they are looking for a place to start.

A report on aggregate results of all employers’ data, as well as a confidential individual scorecard for each organization that participated, will be distributed after the data collection is complete.

Need more information? Have questions?

If you have previously completed the survey and have not received your confidential link and password, or if your organization is interested in completing the Diversity & Inclusion Organization Assessment for the first time, please contact Scott Harrington at or 216.592.2213.

Apply now for the 2017 Best of Tech Awards

Applications are now open for the 2017 Best of Tech Awards, which will be presented on Thursday, April 27 as part of 2017 Tech Week.

The awards, which have been presented for the past 11 years, recognize successful companies, innovative products and inspirational leadership.

Here are the award categories:
  • Best Tech Services Company
  • Best Software Device/Product
  • Best Healthcare Tech Product
  • Most Promising Startup
  • Tech Team of the Year
  • Tech Company of the Year
  • Best Manufacturing Automation Product
  • Best Tech Workspace

The deadline to complete your application is Friday, March 3. Finalists will be announced on Friday March 24, and winners will be honored at the Best of Tech Awards Dinner on April 27. Click for details.

Launched by OHTec in 2011, Tech Week is an annual initiative to support, celebrate and engage the local tech community.

Sponsored by:

Join WIRE-Net’s competency-based CNC apprenticeship Consortium

As part of WIRE-Net's initiative to develop a skilled workforce, the organization is bringing its apprenticeship model to another critical "in-demand" career in our region – CNC Machinists.

Greater Cleveland Partnership members are invited to join WIRE-Net’s next Consortium focused on using a NIMS competency-based program, which measures apprentices' progress based upon "what they know and can demonstrate" versus "how many hours logged" in their program.

You can learn more at an information session for local manufacturers that will provide an overview of the program standards/design.

Northeast Ohio Manufacturers Apprenticeship Consortium
Information Session—CNC Machinists
Wednesday, March 1, 8 to 9:30 a.m.
WIRE-Net, 4855 West 130th Street, Cleveland, OH 44135

The consortium structure will provide a powerful method to attract and develop talent that keeps pace with changing technology. The consortium structure also helps spread program costs across members to deliver greater value.

This meeting is free, but you must register in advance. If you have questions, contact Michael Hoag at 216.920.1958 or