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Every Monday -- News from GCP

Don’t dim a good source of our city’s economic power

In a guest column in this week’s Crain’s Cleveland Business, Greater Cleveland Partnership President and CEO Joe Roman talks about why investing in The Q is also an investment in our community’s neighborhoods.

He notes that “The Q is a steady and dependable economic driver that enhances our fiscal resources and improves our business environment. It’s a fact that the Q is an economic powerhouse that benefits everybody in Cuyahoga County, including those who never attended any of the more than 200 annual events held at the facility.

“The venue creates a wide array of positive economic conditions. Last year alone, The Q was responsible for producing $44 million in taxes. And, since it opened in 1994, it has generated a total of $500 million in taxes.

“Much of those revenues go directly to Cuyahoga County and the City of Cleveland to provide public services for all of us who live, work and play in Greater Cleveland.” (Above photo from Wikipedia)

Click to read the article.

Great Lakes chambers deliver infrastructure projects list
to Congress

Twenty-five members of the Great Lakes Metro Chambers Coalition (GLMCC) attended the organization’s annual Fly-In and lobby days in Washington, D.C. last week to express their support for infrastructure legislation and present the list of priority Great Lakes infrastructure projects compiled by the coalition.

The group, which included representatives from the Greater Cleveland Partnership, attended more than 50 meetings with Members of Congress and staff, making the case for the coalition’s highest legislative priorities.

“Business groups across the Great Lakes region are speaking with one voice in Washington to tell Congress what issues are most important to the economic vitality of our region, said GCP President and CEO Joe Roman. “Passing a large-scale infrastructure bill and fully funding the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative are top priorities.”

President Trump and his 2016 opponent, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, both highlighted infrastructure investment as key policy goals. The GLMCC hopes to work with the Trump administration and the Great Lakes congressional delegation to advance a large-scale infrastructure package in 2017.

The coalition also expressed strong support for The Great Lakes Restoration Initiative, which is facing a possible 97 percent cut, and discussed H-1B high-skilled workers and a strong trade relationship with Canada as important to the economic growth of the Great Lakes region. In addition, GLMCC members emphasized the importance of a comprehensive energy policy to the Great Lakes states.

GCP provides comment on state’s plan to align with federal education directive

The Greater Cleveland Partnership (GCP) recently provided public comment on Ohio’s draft state plan for the federal Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA).

ESSA, signed into law December 2015, reauthorizes the Elementary and Secondary Education Act and replaces the No Child Left Behind Act.

The new federal education law is designed to provide states and school districts with greater decision-making authority and flexibility to design education programs based on their unique needs. To begin implementation of the new federal law, states are required to submit draft plans for how they will strategically align with ESSA either in April or September 2017.

GCP President and CEO Joe Roman highlighted that “high-quality education and a skilled workforce are top priorities for [GCP’s] membership. Greater Cleveland needs a strong, skilled talent pipeline that attracts new businesses, and we must retain those who make our region their corporate home.”

ESSA, and Ohio’s draft plan, provide the platform to maximize local control, which is critical for continued momentum on the Cleveland Plan for Transforming Schools. As a key partner for the Cleveland Plan and the Transformation Alliance, the local governing body that monitors the progress of the plan, the GCP also asked the state to consider the later deadline for submission of its draft plan to ensure that key issues raised by the education community can be fully addressed.

The Ohio Department of Education now begins the process of incorporating public feedback into its draft ESSA plan.

You can read the GCP’s full letter here.

To learn more about Ohio’s draft ESSA plan click here.

CTU tentative agreement impacts the Cleveland Plan

Last week, the Cleveland Teachers United (CTU) overwhelmingly accepted a new tentative agreement proposed by the Cleveland Metropolitan School District (CMSD) that markedly impacts the differentiated compensation system concept that is a key component of Cleveland’s Plan for Transforming Schools.

Under the tentative agreement, a three-year contract, teachers—except those deemed ineffective under the evaluation system—will automatically receive a 2 percent pay increase in year one (retroactive to July 1, 2016), a 2.75 percent pay increase in year two (2017-18), and a 2.75 percent pay increase in year three (2018-19).

Despite this modification, the differentiated compensation concept of the Cleveland Plan does still remain in effect. The tentative agreement implements a redesigned Differentiated Compensation System for Teachers and Related Service Providers that rewards members earning a rating of “Accomplished,” the highest performance rating, with a one-time cash bonus for earning this rating and prohibits any member earning an “Ineffective” rating from earning a salary increase.

Additionally, the redesigned system allows newer teachers who are working hard at gaining proficiency the opportunity for quicker pay raises. This system also maintains bonuses for school-based members whose schools meet identified academic, social and emotional learning targets with school-based bonus pay.

Some additional key changes included in the new agreement include clarification of high school scheduling and compensation for extra teacher work assignments, joint commitment by the CMSD and CTU to reduce unnecessary testing, and updates to hiring timelines that will allow CMSD to hire teachers for the coming school year as early as February of the prior year.

The CMSD School Board will vote on the tentative agreement on March 21. If approved by the school board, the new contract goes into effect immediately.

Source Lunch with...Yvette Ittu

Yvette Ittu, the Greater Cleveland Partnership’s executive vice president of finance and operations, is in the news as the subject of Crain’s Cleveland Business’ “Source Lunch with…” column in her role as president of Cleveland Development Advisors, the GCP’s real estate and business development finance affiliate.

Click to read her conversation
with Crain’s senior reporter Stan Bullard, who covers real estate and construction.

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

D&I Assessment webinars offered this week

The new and improved Diversity & Inclusion (D&I) Organization Assessment from the Commission on Economic Inclusion is live!

The online tool is available to all Greater Cleveland Partnership members. Employers who complete the Assessment will receive immediate feedback upon making their final submission, along with resources that can be useful for internal diversity and inclusion strategic planning.

The Assessment and the associated resources can be helpful to any organization—whether it has an established D&I program in place or it is looking for a place to start.

We encourage you to take advantage of this great opportunity!

The first 10 organizations that complete the Assessment for the first time this year will receive one free registration for the Commission’s annual Inclusion Conference in August—a $125 value.

Learn more at our webinar

We are hosting a webinars for anyone who is completing the Assessment for their organization and has questions or who wants to learn more about it.

There will be two sessions. Click one of the links below to register.
For more information, please contact Scott Harrington at or 216.592.2213.

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