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Every Monday -- News from GCP

Cleveland-only minimum wage increase effort, opposed by GCP, is suspended

An initiative that proposed a Cleveland-only minimum wage increase was brought forward months ago that would have phased in a $15 an hour minimum wage (starting with $12 an hour in January 2018) while the rest of the state remained at $8.15.

The Greater Cleveland Partnership and our partners advocated for state intervention and opposed this misguided local minimum wage ballot issue because it would place the City of Cleveland at a disadvantage, hinder job creation, business growth, and the overall momentum the city is now experiencing.

In late December, state legislation – Senate Bill 331 – passed and was signed by the Governor that prohibits Cleveland and other political subdivisions from establishing minimum wage rates different from the rate required by state law.

Petitioners announced today that they are suspending their effort to raise the minimum wage in Cleveland but will continue advocating for a statewide effort to raise the minimum wage.

Introducing a new benefit for GCP members

For the past 16 years, the Commission on Economic Inclusion, a program of the Greater Cleveland Partnership, has collected data and reported the status of diversity and inclusion efforts in Northeast Ohio.

Starting in 2017, the annual Employers Survey on Diversity™ is undergoing significant changes that include a new name: the Diversity and Inclusion Organization Assessment.

In addition, all GCP member companies and organizations are invited to participate in the process.

The name of the tool has been changed to better reflect its purpose. Input from focus groups following last year’s survey cycle and feedback from both old and new participants produced a comprehensive list of suggested updates.

Changes also include plans to pre-populate the survey forms with the previous year’s responses, as well as a password-protected archive of past survey forms and scorecards.

Completing the D&I Assessment

Each organization will be assigned a single confidential password that can be shared within that organization to allow more than one person to enter data if necessary. Only one person per organization can be logged in at one time.

To receive a basic report, the workforce and senior management demographic data sections need to be completed. Best practices, supplier diversity and board diversity will be optional categories.

Access to the assessment will be available soon. IMPORTANT NOTE: All responses will remain confidential. Results will only be reported in the aggregate. If you have questions, please contact Scott Harrington, the D&I Assessment administrator, at

Learn more about the benefits your company or organization will receive by completing the Assessment.

More good news for CLE travelers

Southwest Airlines announced last week that it is expanding its service at Cleveland Hopkins International Airport, adding nonstop flights to Atlanta (ATL) twice daily starting June 4th

Monday through Friday, flights will depart CLE at 10:35 a.m. and 5:50 p.m., arriving in Atlanta at 12:20 p.m. and 7:25 p.m. respectively. Flights from Atlanta to CLE depart at 8:35 a.m. and 3:35 p.m. with arrival times of 10:05 a.m. and 5:20 p.m.

The airlines also will add a daily frequency to St. Louis, a route that has been highly successful for the airline since its launch in 2016.

With this expansion, Southwest will operate 21 daily flights from CLE to eight markets including nonstop service to Atlanta, Baltimore, Chicago Midway, Denver, Nashville, Las Vegas, Phoenix and St. Louis.

Business professionals needed for mock interviews
with CMSD 11th graders; two dates available

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 with a small group of 11th graders.

The interviews will be held Wednesday, January 18, 2017 from 8:30 to 10: 30 a.m. at the Jane Addams Business Careers Center, 2373 East 30th Street, and on Thursday, January 26, 2017 from 9 to 11 a.m. at Washington Park Environmental Studies, 3875 Washington Park Blvd, Cleveland, OH 44105.

The purpose is to help prepare the students for real-life job interviews by acting as the interviewer and providing constructive feedback to the students.

Please contact Angela Finding at 216.592.2385 or with questions or to volunteer. You may select one date or volunteer at both schools. Please indicate your preference when confirming your participation.

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.

GCP helping to connect employers and students through job shadowing experiences

The Greater Cleveland Partnership (GCP) is helping to connect Northeast Ohio employers with prep2practice™, an online tool powered by The Center for Health Affairs that matches students with real-life job shadowing experiences in several occupations. They include:

  • Healthcare
  • Advanced manufacturing
  • IT
  • Engineering
  • Construction
  • Creative industries and more
This system provides a centralized online location for students, schools and businesses to work collaboratively to create and coordinate prep2practice experiences. Click here to see how it works.

Prep2practice benefits Northeast Ohio in several ways including:
  • Businesses discover their future workforce by expanding their reach.
  • Schools make the connection with local businesses to help students find their future career.
  • Students discover the possibilities of their future through real-life job shadowing experiences.
Are you a business or school interested in prep2practice? Do you know a student who may be interested in a prep2practice experience?

To get started, please contact Angela Finding at 216.592.2385 or

CiF attracts foreign capital for Cleveland-area projects

Cleveland International Fund, Ltd (CiF) is a private equity fund that operates under the U.S. government's EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program, a development tool used to attract more than $220 million in foreign capital that has been invested in major economic development projects in the Cleveland area.

CiF has been designated as a regional center since 2010 and is authorized by the USCIS to operate in a geographic area that covers parts of Ohio and Pennsylvania, including the metro areas of Cleveland, Columbus, Cincinnati, and Pittsburgh.

It works with established developers and regional governmental authorities to finance job-creating EB-5 projects that offer the greatest chance for success.

This includes revival of the Flats East Bank and revitalization of the former Crowne Plaza Hotel into the new Westin Hotel located adjacent to the Cleveland Convention Center.

The impact of Chinese investors who have been connected by the CIF with Greater Cleveland development projects is highlighted in a recent article published on

In 2015, when the EB-5 program was set to expire, the Greater Cleveland Partnership worked with partners, including the CiF and others, to lobby Congress to have the program extended through September 2016.

The article notes that in December 2016, “Congress approved a measure to continue funding the program until April 2, 2017.”