Stay Informed on News and Policy

Every Monday -- News from GCP

Investing in The Q boosts Cleveland’s growing hospitality industry

Last week, Greater Cleveland Partnership President and CEO Joe Roman was interviewed on “ESPN Cleveland Tonight” on ESPN 850 WKNR by host Dave Skoczen about the proposed renovation of Quicken Loans Arena.

He talks about how the expansion would have a positive impact on Cleveland’s hospitality industry—which is a steadily growing contributor to the city’s economy.

He also discusses why renovations are needed now to ensure that the 23-year-old arena can be competitive with newer facilities.

In addition, he points out that no new tax money is needed for the renovations; the dollars are generated by activity coming the Q and would be a reinvestment to maximize its long-term potential.

Click to listen.

Help CMSD eighth-graders set goals for career success

Recognizing that career readiness starts early, an innovative program—True2U—a collaboration between the Cleveland Foundation’s youth development program, My Com, the Cleveland Metropolitan School District (CMSD), the Greater Cleveland Partnership and Neighborhood Leadership Institute—provides CMSD eighth-graders with support to explore their purpose, identify their strengths and set goals for success.

Business professionals are invited to volunteer as True2U mentors for the program for the 2017-2018 school year. The career exploration and mentoring program focuses on raising career awareness for CMSD students on the cusp of entering high school.

Mentors will be trained on a structured curriculum and work in teams of two or three mentors with small groups of students once a month for the duration of the school year and will be supported by a CMSD teacher.

Click to learn more
about True2U.

For more information or to sign up to mentor, please contact Angela Finding at or 216.592.2385.

GCP helps support business expansion project in Solon

Gorbett Enterprises of Solon Inc., dba Great Lakes Cold Storage, announced last week that its expansion planned for the Solon location continues to advance.

The company is currently home to 135 employees and has plans to create 68 new full-time positions over the next four years. In addition, the company anticipates investing more than $2.0 million in facility improvements.

“It is an exciting time for our business and I am extremely proud of my management team and all of our employees,” stated Patrick J. Gorbett, Great Lakes Cold Storage president and CEO. “We pride ourselves on providing total customer satisfaction, and our ability to take on this new work load is a direct reflection of our team and the confidence that I place in them and future opportunities in the marketplace.”

Great Lakes Cold Storage has been working on the expansion for several months. Tremendous support has been provided by its local economic development partners including the City of Solon, Cuyahoga County, the Greater Cleveland Partnership (GCP), Team NEO and JobsOhio. First Commonwealth Bank has also been a key component in Great Lakes’ ability to take on such an expansion.

“This project is the perfect example of how our economic development system works for Greater Cleveland businesses,” said GCP President and CEO Joe Roman. “We applaud the company’s confidence in the Greater Cleveland market and all our partners' efforts to secure this expansion in Cuyahoga County.”

Read more in the press release.

A free benefit for our members: Schedule an energy audit
for your facilities

Achieving energy efficiency can be challenging.

The Greater Cleveland Partnership/COSE Energy Team has a solution to help GCP members improve the overall efficiency of their facilities and gain access to rebates.

The first step is a free comprehensive assessment—valued at $7,000—of how your facility uses power: gas, electric, or even steam.

An energy auditor will assess your building and provide opportunities and recommendations.

To learn more, please visit or email the Energy Team at

GCP/COSE members connect with elected officials in Columbus

About 50 Greater Cleveland Partnership/COSE members had an opportunity to discuss and learn more about public policy issues that impact them during this year’s COSE Day at the Capitol in Columbus on April 5.

The day gave entrepreneurs and small business owners an exclusive opportunity to connect with elected officials and key decision-makers on topics of primary importance to the business community in Northeast Ohio.

The timing of this year’s event provided members with the opportunity to share their experiences and meet directly with 14 members of the legislature and their policy advisors during a key time in the legislative process.

Each moment allowed attendees to influence Ohio’s biennial budget deliberations and public policy issues, ranging from tax reform to workforce development, which will continue to be among the many initiatives in the limelight through the summer.

Featured speakers this year included Attorney General Mike DeWine, Senate President Larry Obhof, House Minority Leader Fred Strahorn, Representative Kirk Schuring and Greg Moody, director, Governor’s Office of Health Transformation

Small Business Advocate of the Year Award winners

Sen. Obhof and Rep. Schuring also were honored  as winners of 2016 COSE/GCP Small Business Advocate of the Year Awards.

Current Senate President Obhof played an important role in ensuring legislation, which was signed into law and prevents political subdivisions from establishing minimum wage rates different from the rate required by the state. It was brought to the floor of the Ohio Senate for a vote during a “lame duck” session on Dec. 7, 2016.

Rep. Schuring co-chaired a joint committee in the summer and fall of 2016 that focused on the state’s unemployment compensation system. Under his leadership, the committee’s work led to an initiative that allowed the state to pay federal debt a year ahead of schedule, saving Ohio job creators millions of dollars.

Learn more about the work of our Advocacy Team on the GCP and COSE websites.

Above photos:
GCP Board members Mike Stanek (left) and Kevin Johnson (right), who chairs the Small Business Caucus, presented the awards to Senator Obhof (top photo-center) and Rep. Schuring (bottom photo-center).

GCP supports commercial docket

Efficient and consistent resolution of legal business disputes can be a competitive advantage for our region. The Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Court Commercial Court, in effect from 2013 to 2015, was one such success that made our region a better place to do business.

Following a modification to Ohio Supreme Court rules, the Greater Cleveland Partnership is joining other organizations from across our region in calling for reestablishment of this important docket.

Click to read our letter of support.

Introducing our Internship Central Lunch & Learn webinar series

The new Greater Cleveland Partnership Internship Central Lunch & Learn webinar series, to be held quarterly, will provide valuable information to employers on issues related to starting, managing, and/or growing internship programs.

On the first GCP Internship Central Lunch & Learn webinar series, James McWeeney, attorney at Walter Haverfield, will share his expertise regarding legal issues employers should know about internships. Internship programs can present some specific legal questions including: What is the legal definition of an internship? Is an intern an employee?

This legal primer will answer these questions and more. The webinar will be held Tuesday, June 20 from noon to 1 p.m.

Click here to register.

About the presenter

Walter | Haverfield attorney James M. McWeeney II focuses his practice on education law. In particular, he handles First Amendment issues specific to school districts and recently has provided guidance on navigating potential violations of the Establishment and Free Speech Clauses.

James also advises clients on labor and employment matters, contract drafting and disputes, public record requests, as well as policy drafting under Ohio law. He regularly speaks at professional development seminars for school district employees.

James graduated from the University of Virginia School of Law. While attending law school, he was honored with the Dillard Fellowship, where he mentored first-year law students with legal research and writing skills.

CSU launches continuing education program in diversity management

Business leaders in the 21st-century need a combination of smarts, emotional intelligence and cultural competence to address the often complex issues they face while also meeting the needs of an increasingly diverse workforce and clientele.

To further assist managers in developing the culturally competent skills necessary to succeed as 21st-century leaders, Cleveland State University (CSU) is launching a continuing education and professional development program in diversity management.

The initiative will offer a wide range of courses for working professionals including Creating an Engaged Work Culture, Managing Intercultural Conflict and What to do About Unconscious Bias.

It builds on CSU’s highly successful Master’s in Diversity Management program, which is one of the only programs in the country combining cultural competence with leadership development and management training to develop culturally competent leaders.

Courses are ongoing and are scheduled through 2017. Click here for a complete listing, as well as information on individual CE credits per course.