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Every Monday -- News from GCP

Why GCP has a Political Action Committee and the power
of your involvement

Primary election season is in full swing, Iowa and New Hampshire have cast their ballots, and Ohioans will have their say at the polls on March 15.

And, don’t forget, Tuesday, February 16 is the deadline to register to vote in Ohio's primary election.

Now, more than ever, the business community needs to be proactive in helping candidates for office work towards common sense solutions in the areas of workforce, workers’ compensation, tax, regulation, health care, energy, economic development, and labor.

Individually, you may choose to support candidates through your contributions and your vote. While the right to vote and your perspective on the issues are crucial, many still believe their voice is not heard throughout the process.

Role of the GCP PAC

So, what role does the Greater Cleveland Partnership Political Action Committee (GCP PAC) play in amplifying the voice of business?

Stated simply, the GCP PAC is a nonpartisan, member-driven tool that unifies businesses of all sizes and industries in our region and aids us in educating key decision makers on the issues that are important to you. A Political Action Committee provides our members with the means for concerted political action.

And, the dollars contributed through the GCP PAC are used to provide support for state and local governmental leaders campaigning for election who share your interests.

The GCP PAC provides an avenue for you to make a meaningful impact on the process and by collectively mobilizing efforts (and, your engagement), GCP PAC creates synergy. Together, we are greater than the sum of our parts and our strength in numbers allows us to lead the conversation on public policy matters in Ohio.

Interested in learning more about the GCP PAC or how you can get involved in GCP’s advocacy efforts? Visit our website here or e-mail advocacy@gcpartnership.com.

PLEASE NOTE: Individuals, limited liability companies (LLCs), partnerships and sole proprietorships can legally make contributions to a PAC. Contributions must include itemized allocations by partners in partnerships or members of a LLC. Ohio law prohibits other corporate political contributions.

Your participation in the GCP PAC is completely voluntary and you may contribute as much or as little as you choose. You may choose not to participate without fear of reprisal. You will not be favored or disadvantaged by reason of the amount of your contribution or decision not to contribute.

Learn more about key projects recommended for state funding

In this week’s “GCP Insight” video, Alesha Washington, the Greater Cleveland Partnership’s vice president of government advocacy, discusses why some of the projects that the GCP is recommending for funding in the state’s 2016-17 capital bill were chosen.

The GCP is calling on state leaders to provide funding for 11 projects in our region. Tops on GCP’s priority list is the Lakefront Pedestrian Bridge. The GCP is requesting $8.5 million in funding for this project which will accelerate private investment in the downtown lakefront.

On February 12, GCP hosted members of the Ohio General Assembly and priority project sponsors ( photo below) for a discussion outlining the specifics behind each request.

The first draft of the 2016-17 bill is expected in early April.

Click to watch the video.

Click to see the full list of projects
in our press release.

The ”GCP Insight” video series, hosted by Lesic and Camper Vice President Steve Luttner, focuses on topics of interest to the Greater Cleveland business community.

GCP speaks out on state’s workforce reform plan

The Greater Cleveland Partnership recently submitted public comment on the State of Ohio’s draft 2016 Combined Plan for workforce development.

The combined plan sets the strategic direction for how the largest sources of workforce funding—the Workforce Investment Opportunity Act, Perkins, and Adult Basic and Literacy Education—are spent statewide to help bolster job training, education and job placement efforts.

The State of Ohio must submit its combined plan to the federal government this spring for approval. Once approved, the state, under the direction of the Office of Workforce Transformation, will require Ohio counties and regions to develop local combined plans that align with the state’s to guide workforce efforts.

You can read GCP’s public comment here and visit the Office Workforce Transformation’s website to learn more about the 2016 Combined Plan.

GCP launches new business model, creating unified
economic development strategy

The Greater Cleveland Partnership (GCP) and the Council of Smaller Enterprises (COSE) are working together to build an even stronger organization focused on supporting and advancing the broad business community in Northeast Ohio including small, middle market and large corporate businesses.

The new structure will better connect the work of COSE and GCP’s other divisions—OHTec, the Middle Market and the Commission on Economic Inclusion. These changes are being made as Board leadership of the GCP and its affiliates continually strive to refine and maximize the voice and reach of the Greater Cleveland business community. The GCP remains one of the three largest chambers of commerce across the country with stronger than ever financial resources to support future efforts.

While the GCP and COSE have been focused on different sizes and types of businesses, the organizations have been housed in the same offices and have worked collaboratively over the past 12 years on many programs and initiatives important to the businesses in Northeast Ohio..

Over time, we have learned that more issues unite segments of the business community than divide. Thus, we have decided to build upon that collaborative energy to create an even stronger voice for the region’s businesses. This stronger collaboration as one organization will produce a more significant impact across all size businesses and advance the community’s strategic priorities.

More connectivity in information, resources and support

Members of the GCP and COSE will likely see no changes in the services and benefits that they now receive but will be served by a more efficient and cohesive organization. COSE, OHTec, the Middle Market and the Commission will continue to have dedicated member and staff leadership that will drive the organization’s work on the very unique issues each face. However, members should feel and see more connectivity in information, resources and support allowing all of them to feel a part of something even greater.

Small and large businesses have been at the table together on many important issues in this region. These new changes will ensure a long-term seat at the table for small, middle-market and tech industry companies as well as our region’s largest businesses, which will ensure the broadest and most collaborative possible input on the work of GCP.

These organizational enhancements are a positive step in our effort to connect businesses in this region together to build and promote the economic vitality of our region.

GCP launches Internship Central initiative


The Greater Cleveland Partnership launched its GCP Internship Central initiative last week at the first-ever Cleveland Internship Summit held at—and in collaboration with—Cleveland State University. About 250 educators and representatives from the business community attended.

Many thanks to CSU President and GCP Board member Dr. Ronald Berkman (above photo left) for his support and for hosting the event.

Keynote speaker and Cleveland native Ronald Ferguson, Ph.D., adjunct professor of public policy at Harvard Kennedy School (p;hoto right), shared his insights on “ Internships and Youth Employment: Building Greater Cleveland’s Talent Pipeline.”

He said that preparing adolescents and young adults for career success—by providing opportunities such as internships—has a business rationale, but “it’s also our generation’s responsibility.”

In his presentation, he noted that finding a job as a means to starting a career is particularly challenging for non-college enrolled youth, according to research by the Center for Labor Market Studies at Northeastern University.

The study looked at the full-time employment rate of the Class of 2012 in the October following high school graduation and found that a very small percentage had secured full-time employment. The most employed were white men at 26 percent, while black men were the least employed at 5 percent.

Next steps: Strengthening collaborations, providing resources

Next steps include working with organizations and companies represented at the summit to compile resources to further develop GCP’s Internship Central, which will be a destination providing students with sustainable connections with Cleveland’s businesses.

It also will be a “one-stop shop” for employers who recognize the value of internships and other out-of-school learning experiences in creating their talent pipeline.

We’ll also focus on creating value for schools by providing additional opportunities for their students to obtain internships and help colleges and universities enhance their connections to the business community.

More photos from the Cleveland Internship Summit

We thank all of our presenters for their involvement and participation.

Click here for the full agenda.

Click here to learn more about our speakers. Our panelists (left to right):

From Internship to Leadership: Jeff Malbasa, president and CIO, Spero-Smith Investment Advisors; Andrew Miller, senior VP, strategy and business analytics, Cleveland Indians; Joe Roman, president and CEO, Greater Cleveland Partnership


The Changing World of Work: Aligning Faculty and Employers for Student Success: Richey Piiparinen, director, Center for Population Dynamics, Levin College of Urban Affairs, Cleveland State University; Bernie Moreno, president, Bernie Moreno Companies; Joe Calabrese, CEO & general manager, Greater Cleveland RTA; and Ray Leach, CEO, JumpStart


Learn from the Pros: How Employers Create and Maintain Successful Internship Programs: Tom Hopkins, senior vice president, special projects, The Sherwin-Williams Company; Ed Valentine, project executive, Gilbane Building Company; Lisa Logan, executive vice president (retired), Logan Clutch Corp.; Natalie Kuns, Central Region Campus Recruiting Leader, EY; and Boyd Yarbrough, vice president, student affairs, Cleveland State University.


Engaging High School Interns: Tailoring Your Program for a Positive Experience: Rob LaSalvia, chief, Office of Education, NASA Glenn Research Center; Jonas Robinson, associate, BMO Capital Markets; Amber Vura, E.C. Kitzel & Sons, Inc.; Christopher Keim, attorney, Frantz Ward; Jack Schron, president, Jergens, Inc.; and Shana Marbury, general counsel, VP, strategic initiatives and research, Greater Cleveland Partnership.



Legal Aspects of Internships: Legal issues Employers Should Know: James McWeeney II, Labor & Employment Attorney, Walter | Haverfield LLP

Brain Gain Resources: Retaining Proven Talent in Our Region’s Companies: Ed Evans, director, human resources, Maloney + Novotney LLC; Margy Judd, president, Executive Arrangements; Evan Ishida, board member, Engage! Cleveland; and Rick Batyko, senior VP, marketing, communications and development, Team NEO

How to reach an influential business audience

The Greater Cleveland Partnership’s portfolio of programs, events and marketing opportunities provides GCP members with the opportunity to connect your brand with Northeast Ohio's most influential business organization.

Through our corporate events, programs and communications outreach, you can deliver targeted messaging to audiences ranging from 50 to 1,500 decision and policy makers on-site, as well as more than 7,000 economic development influencers and stakeholders that can be reached through our digital and social media channels.

Click here to read or download our 2016 Sponsorship Guide. For more information about our sponsorship portfolio, call 216.592.2376 or email sponsorship@gcpartnership.com.

Help the effort to honor a Cleveland baseball legend

The Cleveland Indians have filed a petition to President Barack Obama, launching a campaign to have All-Star pitcher Bob Feller honored with the Presidential Medal of Freedom—and the effort needs your help.

The petition requires 100,000 signatures by March 4 to require a response from the White House. More than 88,000 signatures are still needed.

The Medal of Freedom is the highest civilian award in the United States and is given "for especially meritorious contribution to (1) the security or national interests of the United States; (2) world peace; or (3) cultural or other significant public or private endeavors."

Bob DiBiasio, the Indians’ senior vice president of public affairs, said in a release: "In addition to the incredible and lasting impact Bob made on the Indians organization, we think his meritorious contribution to the security and national interests of the United States makes him worthy of consideration for the Presidential Medal of Freedom."

Here’s some background on Feller’s military contributions from Indians.mlb.com:

“When Pearl Harbor was attacked, Feller was coming off his sixth season with the Indians. The Hall of Fame right-hander had been an All-Star four years running and was in the prime of his baseball career when he volunteered to serve in the Navy. Feller could have requested a deferment, given that his father was terminally ill with cancer at the time, but the pitcher insisted on serving immediately.

“Feller served aboard the USS Alabama and missed parts of four seasons (1942-45) while aiding the United States' efforts. He earned the rank of Chief Petty Officer and participated in the Battle of the Philippine Sea. (He) was decorated with six campaign ribbons and eight battle stars.”

Click to learn more about the petition and how to sign it.

Center delivers impact for Hispanic business owners

The Hispanic Business Center reports impactful results from 2015 in its work to help Hispanic entrepreneurs start, build or grow their businesses. They include:
  • Business starts: 18
  • Capital infusion: $1.7 million
  • Jobs created 176
  • Sales increase: $2.2 million
  • Total clients: 266
Click to visit the Center’s website to learn more about its work to serve as a resource for Northeast Ohio's Hispanic business owners.

Two new members appointed to Port of Cleveland Board

Darrell McNair and Patricia Ramsey have been appointed to the Board of Directors for the Cleveland-Cuyahoga County Port Authority. Each brings significant leadership experience in the business world, and will serve four-year terms on the publicly appointed board.

Darrell McNair is president and CEO of MVP Plastics, Inc., a global custom injection molder and assembler of plastics components based in northeast Ohio.

He previously worked in multiple fields including automotive, construction, health care services, medical supply, and retail and held leadership positions with Fortune 500 companies including IBM and Ford.

He is also chairman of the Cleveland-based Presidents’ Council, a group dedicated to enhancing growth and wealth creation opportunities for local minority business owners.

Patricia Ramsey is vice president of community and economic development for Fifth Third Bank in Northeast Ohio, and has previously served on the Port’s board.

A seasoned banking professional with extensive community outreach and development experience, Ramsey has helped forge strong relationships with nonprofit organizations and various government agencies to spur neighborhood revitalization, small business development, and workforce development.

She also serves on numerous committees and groups including the Cleveland Citywide Development Corporation, The Center for Dialysis care, and Cleveland Neighborhood Progress.

“The Port of Cleveland’s Board of Directors is pleased to welcome Darrell and Pat,” said Board President Chris Ronayne. “Each brings critical additional expertise in business to our leadership group, and we are excited to leverage their talent and energy to keep our momentum growing at the global, green port on the Great Lakes.”