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GCP Chairman’s Forum reviews strategic plan progress
and next steps

Progress continues as the Greater Cleveland Partnership works to complete its new three-year strategic plan by the end of the year.

Last week, about 100 business leaders from GCP member companies heard an update on the plan’s current status and next steps at the GCP Chairman's Forum from Board Chair Rick Chiricosta, chairman, president and CEO of Medical Mutual, and GCP President and CEO Joe Roman.

The plan is shaping up around four areas of focus: Places with Impact; Talent that Fuels Growth; Driving Business Connectivity; and Environment to Start, Support, Scale,
and Stay.

Following meetings with groups that included the GCP Board, key stakeholders and subsets of GCP members, four task teams were assembled for a deep dive into each priority area to sharpen the focus, determine metrics and better understand the GCP’s role.

Next steps include sharing feedback from each task team at the GCP Board’s third-quarter meeting on Wednesday.

Over the next few months priorities, metrics, and role of GCP and partners in the core initiatives will be finalized with the plan to be published and shared with the broader community after the Board gives its final approval in December.

Thanks again to our Chairman’s Forum sponsors:

CMSD making progress, but more improvement is needed

The Greater Cleveland Partnership’s current K-12 education priority is our effort to support The Cleveland Plan, which works towards ensuring that every child in Cleveland attends a high-quality school and that every neighborhood has a multitude of great schools from which families can choose.

Last week, the Ohio Department of Education released the state report cards for each Ohio school and district. The report cards measure district and school performance in the areas most critical to success in learning.

While the Cleveland Metropolitan School District (CMSD) is still struggling to meet key indicators, important improvements have been made in K-3 literacy, the high school graduation rate, and English and math test results. Specifically:
  • The K-3 literacy score increased 13.7 percent over the prior year, raising CMSD to a “C” from an “F” on this indicator. This means that more than twice as many K-3 students moved from off-track to on-track compared to the previous year.

  • The high school graduation rate has increased another 2.8 percent to a new district record high of 71.9 percent. While this is an “F” on the state report card, this represents a 19.7 percent increase in the graduation rate in just six years—since before implementation of The Cleveland Plan.

  • In grades 4 through 8, there were gains in English and math exams in nearly every grade. In several of those grades, gains were larger than estimated state averages.
While this doesn’t mean that CMSD students are performing at the same level as their statewide peers, it does mean progress is being made in closing that performance gap.

Although gains continue to be made, many areas of improvement are needed to ensure that progress continues. The GCP and the business community remain committed to The Cleveland Plan and working with our educational partners to ensure that Northeast Ohio creates, attracts and retains a 21st century workforce.

To view and learn more about the Ohio report cards, please click here. To learn more about the CMSD’s report card, visit the district's home page.

Nominate your emerging leaders for GCP LEAD

We are now accepting nominations of emerging leaders from Greater Cleveland Partnership member companies for the 2018 GCP LEAD Cohort 3. 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 becoming engaged in the GCP's work.

Nominees must have at least five years of professional experience and an interest in getting involved in the GCP priority areas of economic development, education and workforce, advocacy, diversity and inclusion, business development, or physical development.

To submit your nomination(s), please contact Angela Finding at

Click to learn more about GCP LEAD.

It's not too late to sign up! Help build Cleveland’s talent pipeline

From talking and listening to our members of all sizes from all across the region, we know that their single biggest issue of concern is talent. 

Educational attainment, a focus on skills development, and improving the level of talent within the workplace are key areas of opportunity for business community involvement.

One way for direct involvement—right now—is for our member companies to offer True2U—a career awareness and mentoring program for Cleveland Metropolitan School District (CMSD) eighth-graders—as an opportunity for your employees to volunteer as mentors for the 2017-2018 school year.

It's not too late for you to sign up! Applications will be accepted until the end of September.

Why participate?

As you know, the business community is an essential component in efforts to prepare our youth to be successful as adults in tomorrow’s workplace.

One part of the solution to the challenge of attracting and retaining talent lies in early exposure to career pathways and helping students make decisions that best position them for lifetime success.

Our goal: To connect with all CMSD eighth-graders

More than 150 business volunteers recruited by the GCP joined mentors from the wider community in serving approximately 1,700 youths in 44 Cleveland schools during the 2016-2017 school year.

During the 2017-18 school year, True2U’s goal is to serve approximately 2,500 students in 68 schools—every enrolled CMSD eighth-grader—to help prepare them for the transition from middle school to high school.

Three hundred business volunteer mentors are needed. Starting in October, mentors will work with eighth-grade students to create career awareness and goals for success on a monthly basis. The program uses a unique advisory model in which small groups of students are led by a team of two to three mentors and supported by a CMSD teacher.

Getting started with True2U

True2U is the shared vision of community leaders from the Cleveland Foundation, MyCom, the CMSD, Neighborhood Leadership Institute, Greater Cleveland Faith-Based Collaborative, Inc., and the GCP, the lead business partner.

CMSD students learn about careers that drive Northeast Ohio's economic growth

The Academies of Cleveland (AoC) focus on college and career readiness for students in five Cleveland Metropolitan School District (CMSD) high schools. Each school—Garrett Morgan, Jane Addams Business Careers Center, Martin Luther King Jr., Washington Park Environmental Studies and Max S. Hayes—concentrates on career pathways from a variety of industries that drive economic growth in our community.

On September 14, over 200 ninth-grade students attended career experience fairs held at Max Hayes and CMSD’s East Professional Development Center to learn more about in-demand industries, a variety of careers and the skills needed to succeed in specific fields.

The students interacted with professionals representing a variety of industries such as finance, engineering, culinary and hospitality, public safety, manufacturing, automotive technology, construction technology, environmental science and animal science.

A special thank-you to all Greater Cleveland Partnership members who attended to provide industry expertise and interactive, career-exposure experiences for the AoC students.

Energy audits: Our team does the heavy lifting

The Greater Cleveland Partnership/COSE Energy Team will help you learn how your building uses power and identify areas that can be improved, a possible savings of 25-30 percent on your operating costs.

Get a first-hand account in this video of how the team helped Food Equipment Manufacturing Corp. find energy efficiencies in its building by taking the lead on an energy audit.

Click to watch.

Celebrating 15,000 residents in downtown Cleveland

Beginning Monday, September 18 through Saturday, September 23, 2017, First National Bank is presenting the second annual Downtown Days.

Produced in partnership with Downtown Cleveland Alliance, the Greater Cleveland Partnership and many other downtown stakeholders, the week will feature a series of community-building activities for current and future downtown residents.

Click to learn more about the events.