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GCP LEAD: Emerging leaders wanted

We are now accepting nominations of emerging leaders from Greater Cleveland Partnership member companies for the 2017 GCP LEAD Cohort 2. You may nominate one or two individuals.

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:  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

Welcome, new GCP members

We're pleased to welcome these Northeast Ohio companies as new Greater Cleveland Partnership Investors. Click on the links below to learn more about them. Click here to view our full membership list.

One week left to apply for Best of Tech Awards

You have one more week to apply for the 2017 Best of Tech Awards. The deadline has been extended until 11:59 p.m. EST on Monday, March 13. To apply, click to create a profile with DecisionDesk.

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
Finalists will be announced on Friday March 24, and winners will be honored at the Best of Tech Awards Dinner on April 27 as part of 2017 Tech Week.

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

Sponsored by:

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 1-May 5. 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 time frame.

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.

Lessons in business growth from the stars of “Cleveland Hustles”

The local entrepreneurs featured on Lebron James’ “Cleveland Hustles” reality TV show took center stage at last week’s COSE Annual Meeting to discuss what life on the show—which featured local businesses competing for financing—was like and the challenges they’ve faced in growing their respective businesses.

Speaking during a panel discussion moderated by Steve Millard, the Greater Cleveland Partnership’s executive vice president of product, foundation and small business initiatives, were (above photo left to right) Mike Gulley, founder of Old City Sodas; Jackie Wachter, co-founder and creative director of the leather goods store, Fount; and Geoff Hardman, co-founder of Cleveland Bagel Company.

Here are three lessons learned from the panel discussion:

1. Take advantage of opportunities when they present themselves.

Wachter said the show impacted the businesses of each of the companies represented on the panel. For instance, “Cleveland Hustles” changed the trajectory of Fount. The company is now planning to open at least one retail location per year.

And at least one of the panelists said he remains open to continuing to pursue opportunities. In response to an audience member’s question, Old City Soda’s Gulley indicated a willingness to go on another well-known reality program.

“I’d love to be on ‘Shark Tank,’” he said. “It’s one of my favorite shows!”

2. Stay true to your original business plan.

Building on Wachter’s point, Hardman agreed that being on “Cleveland Hustles” led to a business boost. However, he told the crowd one thing he learned from being on the show is that it is important to not lose sight of your original goals.

Don’t let growth distract you from what you originally set out to do.

Relatedly, he said it’s important to not let rapid growth lead you too far afield from your original aspirations. Cleveland Bagels’ goal is to make the “Cleveland Bagel” as much of a household name as, for example, the “Montreal Bagel.”

He said the promotional push from “Cleveland Hustles,” notwithstanding, Cleveland Bagels remains committed to its original goal of continuing to focus on making the very best “Cleveland bagels.”

3. Be comfortable with your financial partners.

While the premise of “Cleveland Hustles” is to partner with investors, the panelists agreed it’s crucial that the entrepreneur is comfortable with those investors.

Returning to the previous point about staying true to the company’s business plan, the panelists said it’s important both sides are on the same page regarding objectives and where they see the business going.

Connect with diverse suppliers at the B2B Matchmaker

The U.S Small Business Administration and the Council of Smaller Enterprises (COSE) invites Greater Cleveland Partnership member companies and organizations to participate as a buyer at the 2017 Cleveland Business-to-Business Matchmaker.

Please join us on Thursday, June 8 from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Terrace Club and Suites at Progressive Field, 2401 Ontario Street, for the opportunity to connect with a diverse group of businesses who can help fulfill your procurement and diverse supplier needs.

As a participant, you can meet with:
  • HubZone certified companies
  • Minority-owned businesses
  • Small businesses
  • Small disadvantaged and 8(a) certified companies
  • Veteran and service-disabled veteran-owned businesses
  • Women-owned businesses
Matchmaking appointments will pair your company’s needs with the capabilities of the small business attendees based on compatible NAICS codes, ensuring time well-spent for both you and the supplier.

Each 15-minute appointment will take place in a private suite at Progressive Field to allow you to have conversations without interruptions or distractions.

There is no cost to you as a buying organization. Continental breakfast, lunch and parking will be provided.

Click to learn more and register.

New online tool  matches students with 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