Stay Informed on News and Policy

Every Monday -- News from GCP

CLE air service: renovations and upgrades;
passenger traffic on the rise

Once the construction inconvenience at Cleveland Hopkins International Airport (CLE) is over, your travel experience will be greatly improved. CLE’s $68M in renovations are on track for completion by May 2016.

The $24M terminal renovation continues to be on schedule and budget. The exterior façade, which has not been renovated since the terminal was built, is near completion. The face lift includes covered curbside parking and more safety glass to increase the flow of natural light into the facility as well as new entrance doors to increase energy efficiency and improve the customer point of entry experience.

“These projects clearly demonstrate that optimism about air service at Hopkins is well-founded,” said Greater Cleveland Partnership President and CEO Joe Roman. “Upgrades that will be in place for the Republican National Convention will continue to be part of our travel experience for years to come.”

CLE travelers will also begin to notice new finish upgrades to floors, walls, columns, as well as new signage and LED lighting to support the airport’s plan of reducing its carbon footprint.

More premium covered parking

The Red and Blue canopy parking lots are under construction with an anticipated completion date of May 2016. The nearly $10M project will provide customers with a premium covered parking close to the terminal featuring updated security and new way-finding signage.

New Inline Baggage System to increase efficiency

Construction on a new $27M Inline baggage system—which will dramatically increase the efficiency of delivering bags to planes and baggage claim carousels—starts this month. This new system will consolidate all airline bag screening processes.

The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) is funding 90 percent of the project with completion anticipated by January 2017.

A boost in passenger traffic

Year-to-date total passengers were 6,769,603 up 336,416 or 5.23 percent from a year ago. Spirit Airlines is the largest contributor increase to date with 484,318 passengers followed by Frontier with a 474,394 passenger increase.

The two carriers have almost offset United’s 1,094,741 passenger decrease.

“Cleveland remains a strong market for air travel,” said Lee Thomas, who chairs GCP’s Air Service Demand Task Force. “We will continue working with the City of Cleveland, the State of Ohio and other partners to identify markets and carriers that will provide even more options for convenient and affordable air service for business and leisure travelers.”

CLE projected Q4 departures

Flights are up 4.2 percent and seats are up 10.6 percent compared with Q4 2014. The increase in flights is due primarily to JetBlue and Spirit. American Airlines’ increase is a result of its merger with US Airways.

A face lift at Burke

Construction at Burke Lakefront Airport’s Landmark Executive Terminal and Hanger also is underway. This much-needed project will incorporate office space, pilot lounge, weather briefing areas, as well as creating additional hanger space for corporate customers.

Discussion explores status of Northeast Ohio air service

Greater Cleveland Partnership President and CEO Joe Roman was among the guests on 90.3 WCPN’s “The Sound of Ideas” program, “The Status of Our Airports,” which aired last week.

Other guests included Todd Payne, chief of marketing & air service development, Cleveland Airport Systems; Susan Glaser, travel editor, The Plain Dealer; and Richard McQueen, president & chief executive officer, Akron-Canton Airport.

Click to listen.

GCP urges action to respond to proposed
NASA Glenn budget cuts

The Greater Cleveland Partnership has been a leading advocate for the NASA Glenn Research Center. The economic impact of NASA Glenn is vital to the vibrancy of Northeast Ohio, as it has added billions of dollars to the regional economy while attracting some of the nation's best and brightest to our community.

The GCP is deeply concerned about proposed cuts to NASA Glenn’s budget that recently came to light. A proposed $150M set-aside for a specific program at another NASA location could cost NASA Glenn tens of millions of dollars.

“NASA Glenn is a large and unique part of the Northeast Ohio economy that provides more than 3,200 jobs including scientists, engineers, technicians and much more,” said GCP President and CEO Joe Roman.

“This proposed cuts would be devastating to NASA Glenn and the broader Greater Cleveland community. We urge our congressional delegation to work together to push back on these cuts.”

Click for additional information

Photo provided by NASA Glenn Research Center

AkzoNobel dedicates new R&D facility

The Greater Cleveland Partnership's Business Development Team was on hand to help celebrate the December 1st ribbon-cutting for AkzoNobel's new Strongsville Technology Center.

A $14.3 billion company headquartered in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, AkzoNobel has a long-established presence in Northeast Ohio focused on its performance coatings operations, indicative of the region's strengths in this business segment in terms of business investment, sales, supply chain and workforce capability.

The new facility performs R&D work and customer support in performance coatings that are used in packaging and metal coil coatings businesses worldwide.

When AkzoNobel identified its previous Strongsville facility as no longer consistent with its future business needs, the GCP Business Development staff worked with our partners at the City of Strongsville, the State of Ohio and Team NEO, and with AkzoNobel's in-house and contracted real estate and tax officials, to create a package that supported a move to a new Strongsville location.

Faced with the possibility of the operation leaving Ohio altogether, the collaborative effort saved 131 jobs and will lead to the creation of 10 new jobs. After a $10 million investment in the new Technology Center, the facility has additional room to grow as new business opportunities are presented.

The GCP is pleased to provide value to Northeast Ohio's business community by assisting with expansion and retention projects. For information on how GCP can help your business, please contact our award-winning Business Development team at 216.592.2208 or

Above photo: AB Ghosh, managing director, metal coatings, AkzoNobel, holds the scissors for the technology center ribbon-cutting. Others attending the event included Ohio Lieutenant Governor Mary Taylor, Cuyahoga County Executive Armond Budish, Strongsville Mayor Thomas Perciak and Honorary Consul for the Kingdom of the Netherlands Peter de la Porte.

Share the positive: Pass the Plus!

In this month’s issue of the “Pass the Plus” e-newsletter, read about new rankings from Forbes and Site Selection magazines that rate Ohio as a great place to do business. 

Each year, both publications release their individual rankings, highlighting the best and worst states for doing business. This year, the Buckeye State came in at No. 15 on Forbes’ list (up 11 spots from 2014) and No. 7 on Site Selection’s ranking.

Forbes notes that the cost of doing business in Ohio is nearly 3 percent below the national average, further illustrating the state’s business friendly climate. In the Site Selection rankings, Ohio was the top-rated Midwestern state.

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

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

Middle-market perspectives: Consider the benefits
of going paperless

Should your middle-market company go paperless?

Stephanie Dube Dwilson, a National Center for the Middle Market contributor and publicist, journalist and attorney, blogs that there can be significant benefits to a paper-free work environment.

“Not only does a paper-free work environment save money, but it also shows that your company is committed to being environmentally friendly and keeping a small carbon footprint. With some research and preparation, getting your employees on board doesn't have to be difficult.”

Here are a few reasons why you should consider going digital:
  • Greater efficiency and fewer errors. When you switch to an all-digital system, you can cut down significantly on human error.
  • Cost savings. Although an initial investment is needed, businesses that go paperless eventually see that money returned.
  • Greater security. When you have back-ups of all your files saved in the cloud, you won't have to worry about a fire or other disaster destroying your most important documents.
Click to read more.

The National Center for the Middle Market, a collaboration between The Ohio State University Fisher College of Business and GE Capital, is a strategic partner of the Greater Cleveland Partnership’s Middle-Market Initiative.

Port of Cleveland hosts Ohio legislators to discuss
critical infrastructure needs

Last week, the Port of Cleveland hosted a group of Ohio General Assembly members for an informational tour of Cleveland Harbor to discuss Northeast Ohio’s growing maritime economy and the infrastructure needed to protect it.

Of particular interest during the tour was Irish Town Bend, an unstable bank along the Cuyahoga River that presents a threat of collapse into the commercial shipping channel.

While on the tour, the group also heard about how maritime commerce generates $1.8 billion in annual economic activity and nearly 18,000 jobs for Cleveland and Northeast Ohio. That economic impact is threatened by the Irish Town Bend situation. But a recent Port-commissioned study determined a cost effective plan for stabilizing the bank – with the linchpin being the construction of new bulkheads.

Representatives from the Ohio Manufacturers' Association and ArcelorMittal Cleveland also joined the tour, with the members of the Ohio 131st General Assembly (photo left to right):
  • Rep. Kent Smith (D-8)
  • Rep. Mike Dovilla (R-7)
  • House Speaker Rep. Cliff Rosenberger (R-91)
  • Rep. Kirk Schuring (R-48)
  • Rep. Stephanie D. Howse (D-11)
  • Sen. Michael Skindell (D-23)
“The Port greatly appreciates the interest Ohio legislators are taking in the key role maritime plays in driving Ohio’s economy,” said Port President and CEO Will Friedman. “It was good to provide information on the Port’s work and the challenges we face along the river.

“We look forward to partnering with the General Assembly and others to help advance the creative solution we’ve identified to solve the issue.”

Volunteers needed for 2016 Republican National Convention

Do you want to volunteer for the 2016 Republican National Convention? Then take the first step and sign up on the 2016 Cleveland Host Committee website.

About 8,000 Cleveland Ambassadors are needed to help make the event a success and a big plus for our city and region.

Click to learn more and sign up by clicking the SIGN UP NOW button.

Please note: Signing up does not guarantee a position. The official volunteer forms must be completed when registration opens.