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Cleveland Development Advisors provides financing
for The Beacon

Cleveland Development Advisors (CDA), an affiliate of the Greater Cleveland Partnership, closed on a $5 million loan for Stark Enterprises’ new project, The Beacon.

The 20-story residential tower will be built on top of the garage located at 515 Euclid Avenue in downtown Cleveland. It will feature 187 one- and two-bedroom luxury units.

Building amenities include a rooftop party room, patio and dog park, plus a fitness room with a yoga studio.

The Beacon, which will open in 2019, will be the first high-rise residential building constructed in downtown Cleveland in decades.

CDA’s mission is to invest in real estate and business projects intended to attract additional development with the overall goal of improving the character and vitality of Greater Cleveland.

It has been committed to urban housing, helping to create over 5,300 new residential units in the city. It has invested in numerous housing projects along East 4th Street, Euclid Avenue, the Warehouse District and University Circle.

CDA also has been successful in investing New Markets Tax Credits in low-income neighborhoods to generate significant community impact. Its two New Markets investment funds have been awarded total allocations of $215 million.

Federal overtime rule invalidated

The U.S. Justice Department has said it will not appeal a court decision that the federal government overreached its authority when it increased the salary threshold that would require employees to be paid overtime.

As a result, the rule has been invalidated, and the annual salary threshold of $23,660 remains the same.

Employers are astutely aware that many workers are entitled to overtime pay for hours worked over 40 hours. However, businesses may exempt workers from the requirement, if their duties are managerial in nature and if they reach a certain salary threshold.

Last year, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) attempted to increase the standard salary threshold to $47,476. After the proposed change was challenged, the court ruled that this was an overreach.

Greater Cleveland Partnership members—particularly smaller businesses—were concerned about the proposed rule, since it would have doubled the threshold under which employees must be paid overtime.

This would have negatively impacted employers with the potential for increased compliance costs. In addition, the rule could have forced some businesses to reduce employee hours.

Public comments on the subject will continue to be accepted by the DOL through September 25, 2017.

BRAC and Military Affairs Taskforce formed

Last week, the Ohio House of Representatives announced members for its newly created Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) and Military Affairs Taskforce.

The task force is one of several that Ohio House Speaker Cliff Rosenberger has called for to further examine key policy issues and provide recommendations for future legislative action.

The role of the BRAC and Military Affairs Taskforce will be to analyze Ohio's current federal Department of Defense and NASA assets, resources and missions in anticipation of potential BRAC actions by Congress. The task force also will consider other major mission realignment opportunities that the state’s federal and defense assets could capture.

The Greater Cleveland Partnership has a long history of supporting federal and defense assets in the region when the organization worked closely with congressional leaders to reverse a BRAC decision to close DFAS Cleveland and most recently with NASA Glenn to advocate for critical budget and future mission opportunities.

The GCP worked closely with the chair of the BRAC and Military Affairs Taskforce to nominate Representative Dave Greenspan (R-Westlake). Representative Greenspan previously served on Cuyahoga County Council and has a deep knowledge of the impact of NASA Glenn Research Center and DFAS Cleveland on Northeast Ohio.

The GCP will work with Rep. Greenspan and the task force to highlight the federal and defense assets in Northeast Ohio and advocate for their best interest. Members of the task force include:
  • Cassie Barlow (Dayton), Director of Aerospace Professional Development, Southwestern Ohio Council for Higher Education
  • Rep. Hearcel Craig (D-Columbus)
  • Rep. Bob Cupp (R-Lima)
  • James Dignan, President, Youngstown /Warren Regional Chamber
  • Wendy Gramza, President, Toledo Regional Chamber of Commerce
  • Richard Green (Mansfield), Legislative Director, National Guard Association
  • Rep. Dave Greenspan (R-Westlake)
  • Rep. Laura Lanese (R-Grove City)
  • Rep. Rick Perales (R-Dayton), Chair
  • Paul Sullivan (Columbus), Old Sullivan LLC, Defense and Space Senior Consultant
  • Steve Tugend (Columbus), Director and Chair, Government Affairs, Kegler Brown
  • Mike Wiehe (Dayton), Director, Wright State University Applied Policy Research Institute

FTC hears small business concerns on cyber security

Small businesses are a prime target for cyber criminals.

For example, phishing campaigns, targeted them approximately 43 percent of the time, according to a recent Internet Security Threat Report provided by Symantec, a company that specializes in cyber security. That’s a significant increase when considering that, in 2011, about 18 percent of attacks focused on small businesses.

The Greater Cleveland Partnership recently hosted a roundtable discussion for small businesses on cyber security and fraud with representatives from the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). Cleveland was just one of three cities visited by the FTC.

A lack of information, time, and money were challenges that were discussed extensively at the FTC roundtable. But, in today’s constantly changing environment, it is crucial that small business owners spend time to educate themselves and properly protect their investment from a security breach.

While the purpose of this meeting was for the FTC to listen to business owners’ experiences and concerns, it’s also noteworthy that assistance is available.

Click for more information.

To connect with other businesses representing all facets of IT, click here to learn about OHTec, a program of the GCP.

Common Sense Initiative: 2017 mid-year update

Created in 2011, Ohio’s Common Sense Initiative (CSI) has focused on promoting innovation and the practical regulation of businesses around the state.

Recently, the CSI released its 2017 Mid-Year Report detailing its actions between Jan. 1, 2017, and June 30, 2017. Highlights include:
  • Completed review of more than 1,500 business regulations, with 55 percent being amended or rescinded

  • Modernized the Ohio Business Gateway, with the roll-out of Phase One scheduled for this fall.

  • Completed review of 55 percent of rule packages in 30 days or less.
Two Greater Cleveland Partnership members are members of the CSI Small Business Advisory Council, which provides feedback on the impact state rules or regulations may have on the business community.

Click to read or download the report.

Welcome, new GCP members

Meet the Northeast Ohio companies that recently joined the Greater Cleveland Partnership as Investor members.

Click the links below to learn more about them.

Highlights from the CIO Symposium

OHTec’s 2017 CIO Symposium held last week featured conversations about focal points in today’s tech industry and hot topics on the horizon.

Close to 200 Northeast Ohio tech leaders attended the day-long session at the Cleveland Aiorport Sheraton Hotel. Here are a few highlights:

Morning Plenary

Panelists Kathy Golden, chief technology officer, OEConnection and Hu Yoshida, chief technology officer of Hitachi Data Systems shared their views on “What’s Next: How businesses are driving value from technology.” Topics included the challenges of finding and keeping talent. The discussion was moderated by Hitachi’s chief technology strategist Greg Knieriemen.

Luncheon Keynote

Edward Marx, incoming chief information officer at Cleveland Clinic, said one goal is to deliver medical care to patients using technology.

Breakout sessions:

Building a Highly Skilled, Industry Responsive IT Workforce

Recommendations included hiring bright people who are a culture fit. Thanks to panelists Sean Gallagher, NASA Glenn Research center; Terry Phillips, Robert Half; Mel McGee, We Can Code IT and moderator Courtney DeOreo, RITE Board.

Tech Organization Health: Defect Metrics and Quality Assurance

When there is a quality issue, we feel safe in calling it out, said Joe Yanoska of American Greetings, who was joined on the panel by Rangan Goel, Extreme Networks and Brian Schiff, PolyOne Corp. David Bialek of American Greetings was the moderator.

Cyber security Protection and Data Privacy

Panelists cautioned that proper policies and procedures must be in place for an insurance policy to cover the cost of a cyber breach. Thanks to panelists Justin Cameron, Netserve 365 and Carl Hammer, Truvincio LLC, and moderator Robert Eckman, MCPc.

IoT in the Enterprise, Machine Learning and Predictive Maintenance in Industrial Applications

You've got to be aware of which IoT capabilities you're adding to products and potential security risks, said Brian Ray of Cleveland Marshall College of Law during the discussion with Vikki Nowak, Nottingham Spirk, Hugh Arif, AT&T, moderated by Greg Knieriemen.

Pass the Plus! Cleveland named as top city for tech talent

In this month’s issue of the “Pass the Plus e-newsletter,” learn why Cleveland is included among the top cities for tech talent.

Thanks to our city’s lower cost of living, Cleveland made PCMag’s list of “14 High-Tech Cities to Live In,” joining such cities as Austin and Seattle.

Cleveland comes in at No. 12—ahead of Charlotte and Orlando.

Click to read more.

“Pass the Plus” is a Cleveland Plus/Team NEO free monthly e-newsletter that provides informative news and information related to the many positive developments shaping Northeast Ohio.

Click to subscribe and start sharing our region’s good news with your networks of colleagues, friends and family.

Cleveland Plus and Team NEO are part of the regional economic development system that the Greater Cleveland Partnership helped to create and continues to support.

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.

Share your industry expertise with CMSD
high school students

The Academies of Cleveland (AoC) focus on 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 concentrates on career pathways from a variety of industries that drive economic growth in our community. 

We are inviting Greater Cleveland Partnership members to provide industry expertise and interactive, career-exposure experiences for Academies of Cleveland students at Ninth Grade Career Experience Fairs, on Thursday, September 14 from 9 to 11 a.m. 

The Ninth Grade Career Experience Fairs will provide an avenue for all Academies of Cleveland high school freshmen to explore a breadth of career areas in order to better make informed decisions about their future career path. 

We are recruiting representatives from the following industries to exhibit at these locations:
  • Biomedical Science and Engineering at Max S. Hayes High School, 2211 West 65th Street, Cleveland, OH 44102;

  • Culinary Arts, Finance, Hospitality, and Marketing at East Professional Development Center, 1349 East 79th Street, Cleveland, OH 44103

  • Exercise Science and Sports Medicine, Health Care, and Law and Public Safety at East Professional Development Center

  • Animal Science and Management; Horticulture and Landscape Design; Industrial Power Technology at East Professional Development Center

  • Automotive Technology, Construction Technology, Diesel Technology, and Manufacturing at Max S. Hayes.
If you are interested in participating in the Career Experience Fairs please contact Angela Finding at or 216.592.2385 to sign up or receive further information.

The business community is an essential component to ensuring we are preparing our youth for career opportunities in in-demand industries experiencing a shortage of talent. 

Your participation in the Career Experience Fairs and other Academies of Cleveland business engagement opportunities also ensures 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.