Stay Informed on News and Policy

Every Monday -- News from GCP

GCP Board votes to endorse Health and Human Services levy

The Greater Cleveland Partnership Board of Directors voted last week to endorse the Cuyahoga County Health and Human Services Levy (HHS) , which will be on the November ballot, and to provide $15,000 in support.

“This levy supports many critical health and human services activities that are critical to the well-being of our community including MetroHealth and services for seniors, children and families,” said GCP President and CEO Joe Roman. “This levy is important to our ability to take care of increasing needs.”

The HHS levy is a five-year replacement property tax levy at 3.9 mills, including a 1 mill increase. It would generate $106 million annually or $27 million over the current tax rate. The levy will be Issue 1 on the Cuyahoga County ballot. You can follow the campaign on Twitter @1ForAllofUs. Learn more on the campaign website.

Connect your YPs with Engage! Cleveland

The GCP Board also approved the appointment of Ashley Basile Oeken, executive director of Engage! Cleveland (E!C), as a nonvoting member. In a brief presentation, Oeken encouraged Board members to connect their Young Professionals (YP) with E!C’s activities, which are focused on attracting and retaining employees between the ages of 20-39.

She noted that this age group is the smallest percentage of the Northeast Ohio workforce, a statistic that her organization is attempting to change. E!C is already working on several fronts to help employers develop and sustain a YP talent pool. They include:

  • Offering the YP perspective to sell Greater Cleveland to out-of-town recruits.
  • Consulting with employers on internal YP engagement and empowerment.
  • Connecting YP employees with a vibrant YP community outside the office to help support a well-balanced quality of life.
  • Connecting employees to projects and organizations in the community to advance leadership development capabilities.
  • Providing connectivity hub through the E!C website.
  • Providing employers with specific YP marketing materials.

“Millennials first decide where they want to live, then they look for a job,” Oeken told the GCP Board. She said that several cities across the U.S. have launched initiatives to attract YPs, and Cleveland needs to develop a strategy to compete. “No other organization is focused directly and solely on this effort,” she said. “Engage! Cleveland seeks to be the convener of all things young professional.” For more information:

GCP Board member featured as minority business success story

As a follow-up to a story in the Commission on Economic Inclusion’s August e-newsletter, GCP Board member Sharlene Rasmos Chesnes is featured as a success story on the national Minority Business Development Agency website. The Commission’s story reported that Chesnes’ company, Interchez, a client of the MBDA Business Center Cleveland, secured a $1 million line of credit with KeyBank with assistance from the Cleveland office.

Founded in 2002 by Mark and Sharlene Chesnes, Interchez is a full-service national and international logistics, translation, and consulting company that uses technology-driven solutions to integrate and simplify complex logistics operations. With estimated annual revenue of $20 million, 25 employees and the drive for success, the company has been recognized by the U.S. Department of Commerce as one of the fastest-growing minority-owned companies in the U.S.

Upcoming events spotlight Opportunity Corridor

Learn more about the proposed $324 million Opportunity Corridor at two upcoming events: 

Tuesday, October 1, 4 to 8 p.m. at Mt. Sinai Baptist Church: The Opportunity Corridor Public Hearing will allow citizens to review and provide comment and feedback on the project’s Draft Environmental Impact Statement through written or recorded verbal comments. Click here for details.

Wednesday, October 9, 6:15 P.M., Gartner Auditorium, Cleveland Museum of Art: Circle Neighbors:Designing the Opportunity Corridor will be a panel discussion with Deb Janik, senior vice president, real estate and business development, Greater Cleveland Partnership, Vickie Johnson, executive director, Fairfax Development Corp., Chris Ronayne, president, University Circle, Inc. and Angela Schmitt, writer and activist for Streetsblog Network. Steve Litt, art and architecture critic for The Plain Dealer, will moderate the program.

For reservations, call 216.707.2527 or visit and click the RSVP button.

United's reinterprets "Fly the Friendly Skies" ad campaign

Last week, United Airlines rolled out a new brand featuring the iconic "Fly the Friendly Skies" tagline, reinterpreted for today's travelers. The new campaign, United's biggest in more than a decade, is based on feedback from customers that "user-friendly" today means the combination of service, technology and product enhancements.

It includes network, cable and spot television, radio, magazine, newspaper, out-of-home and digital advertising, plus social media. All of the United co-workers shown in the advertising are actual United employees.

Click here to see the new television commercials and print ads.

State grants to be awarded for employee training

The Ohio Development Services Agency is launching round two of the Ohio Incumbent Workforce Training Voucher Program, which is targeted to provide direct financial assistance to train workers and improve the economic competitiveness of Ohio's employers.

A pre-application can be completed and saved until September 29, 2013, in preparation for submission on September 30. Applications for the grant program will be accepted for review that day beginning at 10 a.m. $27 million in grants will be awarded on a first-come, first-served basis. 

Click here to review the guidelines and application instructions for this program and to access the pre-application. For additional assistance, contact: