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Business groups release study, call for major changes to Governor’s budget tax proposal

The Ohio Metro Chambers Coalition, which is composed of eight of Ohio’s largest metropolitan chambers of commerce and the Ohio Chamber of Commerce, have concerns with Governor John Kasich's state budget proposal.

The Coalition has sent the Governor a letter expressing its concerns indicating it does not believe the proposal in its current form will achieve the shared vision “to boost economic competitiveness of Ohio.” Last month, the Coalition commissioned EY (formerly Ernst and Young) to conduct a study analyzing key components of the governor’s proposed budget. The study highlighted significant problems with the tax reform proposal, which if enacted—could stall Ohio’s recent economic rebound.

“As currently proposed, this is not the right tax plan for Ohio,” said Greater Cleveland Partnership President and CEO Joe Roman who is chair of the Ohio Metro Chambers Coalition. “Raising and expanding taxes on Ohio employers may make the state a less competitive place to do business.”

Click to read more.

Click to read the Coalition’s letter.

Milestone public-private collaboration agreement expands construction career opportunities for Max Hayes students

The City of Cleveland, the Cleveland Metropolitan School District (CMSD), union representatives and the private sector last week signed a milestone collaboration agreement aimed at increasing the number of diverse and City of Cleveland residents working on Greater Cleveland construction projects and facilitating a construction career path for students at the CMSD’s Max Hayes High School.

“I am happy our efforts led to an opportunity for Max Hayes students to enter the building trade apprenticeship program,” said Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson upon signing the agreement.

This new relationship among the construction collaboration stakeholders aligns with Max Hayes’ transformational goal to be among the country’s top career tech schools.

“I am particularly grateful for the full support of the Cleveland Building and Construction Trades Council for their full engagement in the development of the new programming at Max Hayes planned for the Fall of 2015 as part of The Cleveland Plan and our commitment to using the public’s construction dollars in support of our own students and residents,” said CMSD CEO Eric Gordon.”

All parties also have underscored their support for community benefit agreements—including the paying of prevailing wages—as an important component of expanding the number of diverse and local workers. This consensus represents an investment into the city and the community, said Dave Wondolowski, executive secretary, Cleveland Building and Construction Trades Council.

“The adoption of this amendment will help assure a fair day’s pay for a hard day’s work for current and future construction workers in Cleveland. We’re proud to stand arm and arm with the Greater Cleveland Partnership, the City of Cleveland and the other signatories of the MOU for this historic victory for Building Trades members.

The addition of prevailing wage is one of the desired outcomes of the Memorandum of Understanding that outlines the goals desired through Community Benefits. “We believe that true community benefits occur when there is equal access to opportunities, both for contracting and labor and that labor is paid at a good wage,” said Brian Hall, executive director of the Commission on Economic Inclusion, a program of the Greater Cleveland Partnership.

Click to read more.

Photos: Top left: Max Hayes High School alumnus Mayor Jackson talks with students from his alma mater prior to the press conference; (top right): CMSD CEO Eric Gordon; (bottom left): Dave Wondolowski, Cleveland Building and Construction Trades Council; and (bottom right) Eddie Taylor, co-chair, Commission on Economic Inclusion.

Business value of diversity and inclusion important
to Cavs’ organization, culture

The fifth program in the Dialogues on Diversity speaker featured Cleveland Cavaliers and Quicken Loans Arena CEO Len Komoroski, a GCP Board member (photo left), and Cavs Vice President and General Counsel Jason Hillman (photo right).

They discussed how they have imbedded diversity and inclusion (D&I) into their organization by articulating the business case and by focusing first on building a corporate culture that supports the business value of D&I.

More than 60 senior-level executives attended the discussion sponsored by the Commission on Economic Inclusion, a program of the Greater Cleveland Partnership, and the Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association. The Cavs’ executives also noted that their organization’s attention to D&I is reflected in their talent management strategy and in their relationship with the broader community and their suppliers.

The program, held at the CMBA offices last week, was moderated by Richik Sarkar of McDonald Hopkins LLP.

About Dialogues on Diversity

The "Dialogues on Diversity" series engages area leaders from the legal and corporate community in important discussions about the business and ethical case for diversity and inclusion, as well as effective strategies to promote and improve diversity and inclusion within area businesses, firms, organizations and the public sector.

Business leaders discuss why diversity and inclusion is important to their companies and why they value/expect their law firms and other professional consultants to commit to diversity in staffing projects and cases.

Potential suppliers learn how to build relationships with GE

Last week, the Greater Cleveland Partnership (GCP) and Ohio Aerospace Institute (OAI) coordinated efforts to bring four GE experts to discuss how businesses can benefit from building relationships with GE, which has a long history in Northeast Ohio.

This includes a world-class lighting R&D division in East Cleveland.

The GCP and OAI co-hosted a GE Corporate Supplier Summit where GE Capital representatives discussed their ability to finance fixed assets, M&A and working capital by delivering customized solutions to businesses.

A program called Access GE brings hard-earned insights of over 300 subject matter experts, powerful business tools and proven operational best practices from across the GE family of companies to address real-world business needs that extend beyond financing.

Presentations were also made on Additive Manufacturing (AM) and Supply Chain. Seen as a "disruptive technology," GE is encouraging the introduction of AM into its suppliers' design and manufacturing processes due to its ability to ease new product development and enhance the functionality of new products.

GE Aviation, a world-leading provider of jet, turboprop and turboshaft engines, making over 4,000 engines per year, forecasts that by 2020, 70 percent of its products and components will be new compared to 2014. This opens opportunities for Northeast Ohio suppliers since GE's Sourcing Program is constantly seeking to partner and identify new business opportunities and technology solutions to stay ahead of their competition.

Both the GCP and OAI are member-based organizations that serve the Northeast Ohio business community and collaborate on many initiatives. For more information about outcomes from the forum, contact Vince Adamus, GCP’s vice president of real estate and business development, at or 216.592.2258.

Above photo: GE representatives who presented at the forum (left to right): Tony Maricocchi, Executive Supplier Development, GE Aviation; Jeri Kuck, Access GE Capital Americas; Randall Cavitt, Access GE Capital Americas; and Ed Herderick, leader, Additive Technologies, GE Corporate Supply Chain & Operations.

GCP members among finalists for 2015 Best of Tech Awards

Congratulations to these Greater Cleveland Partnership members who are finalists for OHTec’s (formerly NEOSA) 2015 Best of Tech Awards. Winners will be announced and awards will be presented at the ninth annual Best of Tech Awards dinner from 5:30 to 9 p.m., Thursday, April 16, at Red Space at Hotcards, 2400 Superior Avenue.
Click for event details.