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Looking ahead to build on positive momentum

As we welcome in the new year, the Greater Cleveland Partnership will continue to focus on continuing the positive momentum that has been building for many years and resulted in several memorable accomplishments in 2016. (See our 2016 year-end issue of Every Monday for details.)

Through the first half of 2017, we will launch a strategic planning process to identify where we should focus on percolating issues. We’ll also continue to drive the business community’s involvement in several of our current priority areas. They include:

Education and Workforce

Workforce development issues and challenges are at the top of the list of concerns faced by employers of all sizes. Through our many partnerships with the public and private sectors, we have developed programs focused on college and career readiness, internships, and job placement. Expect more to come in this area as a result of our strategic planning effort.

Government Advocacy

The GCP acts as a connector, listening to the business community to identify priority issues for the private sector and educating elected officials to create and shape public policy that will accelerate our region’s resurgence and maximize the economic development potential for all Greater Clevelanders.

Last year, our work helped eliminate a potential Cleveland only minimum wage ballot issue avoiding a negative outcome for the city. Later this month, we’ll publish our 2017-2018 Public Policy Agenda that will guide our government advocacy work for the next two years.

Business Development, Expansion and Retention

We’re committed to ensuring that companies that call Greater Cleveland home will remain here and grow. And, through our award-winning Business Development Team, we’re working hard to attract new companies to our community by providing connectivity and access to services and resources that help businesses of all sizes and various stages of maturity.

Infrastructure and Physical Development

Through our real estate and business development finance affiliate, Cleveland Development Advisors (CDA), and external partners, we work to leverage and connect existing assets and create new catalytic projects that stimulate additional economic development and investment.

Our goal is to support projects that further enhance the business climate and position Greater Cleveland as a great place to live, work and play. In December, CDA was awarded another $60 million in federal funding for catalytic projects in a very competitive national field.

Diversity and Inclusion

Success means that minorities will more fully participate in the benefits of and contribute to, economic growth in Northeast Ohio. Through the Commission on Economic Inclusion, we are focused on including more minorities in the senior management and board leadership of Greater Cleveland companies and organizations, increasing access to jobs that pay well, and growing minority-owned businesses in the region.

Air Service

We will continue to work closely with the city and Hopkins International Airport to ensure that important nonstop markets are served and encourage new carriers to consider Cleveland as an area of opportunity.

This is an exciting time for Cleveland, and we look forward to continuing to serve as the voice at the table, lead advocate and convener for the metro Cleveland's business community.