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Every Monday -- News from GCP

The Rooney Rule and diversity strategies from the NFL

The Commission on Economic Inclusion, a program of Greater Cleveland Partnership, held its second annual Leadership Forum today at The Union Club.

More than 125 attendees, which included GCP-member CEOs and members of their senior staff, heard from Robert Gulliver, the National Football League’s chief human resources officer, about the league’s diversity and inclusion efforts.

The discussion included a focus on the Rooney Rule, which requires at least one minority candidate to be interviewed for open NFL head coaching and senior football operations positions.

Gulliver also engaged in a conversation with Commission Co-chair and GCP Board member Paul Clark, regional president, PNC Bank Northern Ohio, about how the Rooney Rule can be implemented in corporate America.

The event was sponsored by the Cleveland Browns and Forest City Realty Trust with support from Squire Patton Boggs.

More information from the program will be included in "The Commission Connection" e-newsletter, which will be sent later this week.

Cast your vote for Cleveland's progress

Vote “Yes” on Issue 32

A "YES" vote on Issue32 proposal would approve a 0.5 percent City of Cleveland income tax increase providing funds to our city to enhance services, and grow and develop our neighborhoods.

It also will lessen the impact of other revenue cuts recently imposed on Cleveland.

“The Greater Cleveland Partnership does not take tax increases lightly,” said Greater Cleveland Partnership President and CEO Joe Roman said following the GCP Board of Directors’ endorsement of the issue earlier this year.

“Our support of this issue comes after lengthy review and analysis. We believe this issue will help to further energize Cleveland’s renaissance and will offer multiple benefits to people who live or work in the city, as well as those who visit. It will make Cleveland an even better city.”

Click to read more
about why passing Issue 32 is important.

Support continuing improvement for Cleveland students

The Greater Cleveland Partnership is urging a “YES” vote on Issue 108, a four-year renewal of the 15-mill operating levy that supports the Cleveland Metropolitan School District (CMSD) with 1 mill set aside for partnering with high-quality charter schools.

Levy funds will provide four more years of financial support for The Cleveland Plan, Mayor Frank Jackson's blueprint for positively transforming the delivery and impact of education for Cleveland’s K-12 students.

Click here for more information about the levy, how its funds will be used, gains that the CMSD is making as well as links to the campaign website.

You can show your support for continuing the progress and improvement of the CMSD with a “YES” vote for Issue 108 in the November 8th General Election.

Come to the Issue 108 Election Night Watch Party

You’re invited to join Issue 108 campaign leadership, staff, volunteers, financial supporters and other well-wishers at the Election Night Watch Party on Tuesday, November 8 at Local 979, United Steelworkers Hall, 3421 Independence Road.

Doors will open at 6 p.m. A ceremonial program will take place after the polls close.

When the votes have been counted, what do the results mean?

After the votes have been counted, the Greater Cleveland Partnership’s Government Advocacy Team will provide GCP members with a comprehensive analysis of the 2016 General Election results.

Find out how the election outcomes will impact the GCP’s priorities, the Northeast Ohio business community and economic development in our city and region.

First, you'll receive an electronic copy of the GCP's "Overnight Election Report," which will be delivered to your Inbox the morning of November 9.

Then, on Friday, November 11, you’re invited to join members of the GCP’s Government Affairs Council and the GCP Government Advocacy Team for a discussion of what to expect through the balance of 2016 from the state legislature and key policy areas to watch in the early days of a new federal administration.

Please RSVP to

Welcome, new GCP members

We’re pleased to welcome these companies and organizations that recently joined the ranks of Greater Cleveland Partnership Investors. Click the links below to learn more about them.

Ohio middle-market companies are optimistic
about their local economies

The rate of revenue growth in the U.S. middle market remains strong, and employment growth rates continue to accelerate across all sizes of middle-market companies and industry sectors, according to the National Center for the Middle Market’s 3Q Middle-Market Indicator (MMI) report released last week.

The national rate of revenue growth was 6.3 percent in the third quarter of 2016 and is in line with the long-term average growth rate. In Ohio, the rate of growth was lower at 2.4 percent.

Still, Ohio middle-market companies are more optimistic about their local economies than their counterparts nationwide: 85 percent compared to 80 percent.

“A higher rate of optimism among Ohio middle-market companies reflects positively on business trends in our various communities,” said Greater Cleveland Partnership Board member Bernie Moreno, president of Bernie Moreno Companies and chair of the GCP Middle-Market Committee.

“Of course challenges remain. However, we’re also looking at opportunities to grow our companies and continue to drive local economic momentum.”

The MMI found that 50 percent of Ohio companies are poised to expand through investment.
The National Center for the Middle Market, a partnership of The Ohio State University Fisher College of Business, SunTrust Banks, Inc., Grant Thornton LLP and Cisco Systems, is a strategic partner of the Greater Cleveland Partnership’s Middle-Market Initiative.

Share the positive: Pass the Plus!

Get your positive news about what’s happening in the Cleveland Plus region in this month’s issue of “Pass the Plus.”

Find out how, with a strong manufacturing base, a variety of university and institutional resources and  connections to end-user markets, Northeast Ohio continues to build its reputation as an additive manufacturing hub.
  • Click to subscribe and start sharing our region’s good news with your networks of colleagues, friends and family.
“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.

GCP tops United Way goal

The Greater Cleveland Partnership has topped its 2016 United Way campaign goal of $35,000 by raising $38,490.41 through employee pledges and fundraising activities.

“Funds from the annual United Way campaign help meet the needs of more than 450,000 Greater Clevelanders,” said GCP President and CEO Joe Roman. “We’re pleased to help support its vital services that are improving the quality of life throughout Greater Cleveland.”

A taste of CLE is heading to Chicago

Greater Cleveland Partnership President and CEO Joe Roman is making good on his World Series wager with Theresa Mintle, his peer at the Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce.

Joe and Theresa—who serve together on the Executive Committee of the Association of Chambers of Commerce Executives—each wagered $100 of locally produced merchandise (mostly food products) from their respective cities based on who would win the Series.

Roman is putting together a gift basket that will include Cleveland made specialties from Great Lakes Brewing Company, Gallucci’s, Campbell’s Sweets Factory, Malley’s Chocolates, and the CLE Clothing Company.

“Despite the outcome, the 2016 World Series provided a lot of great memories for our city and for Indians fans everywhere,” said Roman. “We're all very proud of our team."

New video celebrates downtown Cleveland’s summer excitement

Do you want to re-live the excitement that reverberated throughout downtown Cleveland this summer?

You can by watching a new video from Downtown Cleveland Alliance, “One More Time.”

Click to view.

Port looks to advance Great Lakes shipping following election

As the election season comes to a close, the Port of Cleveland is already looking forward to working with the next federal administration and Congress to better position Northeast Ohio and the Midwest to compete globally.

With transportation and infrastructure a focus of national campaigns, one key opportunity is to better leverage access to international markets via the St. Lawrence Seaway.

The Port’s Cleveland Europe Express (CEE) was launched in 2014 to provide the Great Lakes only scheduled direct shipping access to global markets, using the St. Lawrence Seaway to connect to Antwerp Belgium.

Shippers can save time and costs associated with using rail to access overcrowded coastal ports by shipping direct to Europe and points beyond via the CEE.

Currently, the Seaway closes each winter from late March to late December due to issues with weather and ice. However, with federal action, there could be an opportunity to extend the Seaway season for a number of weeks, reducing the closure window and creating better service for shippers seeking consistent access.

The Port also believes there is an opportunity to explore adding capacity to the locks along the Seaway route, again increasing access and efficiency.

“The Port of Cleveland will work to keep transportation and infrastructure as a primary focus of our leaders in Washington following the election,” said Jade Davis, the Port’s vice president of external affairs.

“These issues were rightly debated during the election, and we look forward to partnering with the new administration and Congress to better connect Cleveland’s economy to the world.”

For more information on the Port, please contact Jade Davis at

Above photo: The Florijngracht general cargo ship, managed by Spliethoff, visits the Port of Cleveland as part of the Cleveland Europe Express.