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Every Monday -- News from GCP

It’s real and it feels terrific!

Here at the Greater Cleveland Partnership, we join countless others in offering our congratulations to the Cleveland Cavaliers, the 2016 NBA champs!

This victory is sweet—spelling the end of Cleveland’s 52-year major sports championship drought.

But you can also look at it another way.

We all know that our professional sports teams are tremendous economic assets. Yes, the names have changed. But the facilities now named Quicken Loans Arena and Progressive Field were the initial catalysts of downtown Cleveland’s multibillion-dollar rebirth.

New hotels, housing, restaurants, entertainment venues and more followed because of those two buildings. Thousands of jobs were created because of The Q and Progressive Field

And it’s ongoing.

Downtown Cleveland’s revitalization continues to be a draw to young people who want to live and work there. Cleveland companies have an easier time recruiting out-of-town employee prospects now that our downtown is vibrant and offers diverse activities.

The Cavs’ NBA championship—and the international attention it brings—is another opportunity to showcase the reinvention of our city. It give us yet another chance to tell the world why we’re so proud of our town.

The momentum is intensifying and will continue to build next month from July 18-21 when the spotlight will again be on The Q for the Republican National Convention.

But in the meantime, see you at the parade celebrating the Cavs’ championship on Wednesday.

Where else but in reborn downtown Cleveland!

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Fixing Ohio’s unemployment tax system: How your company can help

The Greater Cleveland Partnership (GCP) applauds recent legislative activity aimed at removing the burden of Ohio’s unemployment debt to the federal government from our employers.

However, we continue to seek reforms for employers that will bring long-term balance and stability to the state unemployment compensation fund that will directly impact you.

To do that, we need your help.

Ohio’s unemployment compensation fund was ill-prepared to handle rising costs during the recession. As a result, the state had to rely on a loan from the federal government to cover jobless benefits. Even as our state keeps gaining momentum on its economic recovery, Ohio employers have continued to pay the penalties on this outstanding debt in the form of higher unemployment taxes.

The GCP worked methodically with members and policymakers to relieve Ohio employers of this burden. Under recently passed legislation—the result of GCP and its partners’ advocacy efforts—the state is expected to pay off the federal debt a year ahead of schedule.

This solution will save Ohio businesses over $400 million in 2017.

While this short-term solution will make an immediate impact on Ohio’s business climate, long-term reform is necessary to ensure that the unemployment compensation fund can function as intended and costs do not increase again on employers.

The fund can function without emergency loans in the face of a recession, but it requires a commitment from all interested parties to address the issue and state legislation currently exists that aims to do just that.

The GCP is committed to responsible reform with the needs of the business community in mind. Your input is needed so we can properly convey the impact our unemployment system has on your operations.

Have your business’ unemployment compensation costs increased dramatically in recent years? If you would like to be an active participant in our efforts on this issue, please share your contact information and your stories with us here, and you will be contacted in the near future.

Read our most recent letter on this subject to Ohio legislators here.

Ensure your voice is heard by your elected officials

Every year, the business community faces several looming public policy proposals that would have a significant impact on company operations.

This year is no different.

There is the prospect of a Cleveland-only $15-an-hour minimum wage proposal, a 25 percent increase in Cleveland’s municipal income tax, what the legalization of medical marijuana in Ohio will mean for employers and their workforce, or that long-term reforms are needed in our state to achieve a stable unemployment system for Ohio employers.

With so many issues swirling around the Northeast Ohio business community, it’s critically important to ensure your voice is getting through to the key lawmakers and officials locally and in Columbus.

While the Greater Cleveland Partnership and COSE have made education and advocacy a crucial focus of what we do to support your company, there is no greater tool in those efforts than the work achieved through the Greater Cleveland Partnership Political Action Committee (GCP PAC).

Get answers to the most frequently asked questions regarding the GCP PAC

The GCP PAC allows us to support candidates for state and local office to enhance our region's business climate and support the business community’s agenda for economic growth. In short, our PAC helps ensure that the best interests of your company remain front and center with your elected officials.

For more information on the GCP PAC and how you can get involved in GCP advocacy efforts, please email

Please consider a contribution to the GCP PAC, so we can continue to lead the conversation in the development of common sense economic policy and regulatory reform.

No contribution to your cause is too small.

Resources to inform your diversity and inclusion strategies

The Commission on Economic Inclusion’s (COEI) Best Practices Repository provides a central location for resources and research on workplace diversity and inclusion. All sections of the repository can be accessed by any employee of a Greater Cleveland Partnership (GCP) or COEI member organization.

You’ll find valuable information regardless of where your organization is on its diversity and inclusion journey—whether it is in the early stages, considered Best-in-Class, or somewhere in between.

Click to access this month’s featured article
, the University of Washington Foster School of Business Supplier Diversity Toolkit.

Challenged to keep your CNC machinist jobs filled?
Join the conversation to help create solutions!

Are you an employer challenged by keeping your CNC machinist positions filled?

The Greater Cleveland Partnership (GCP), with the support of Cuyahoga County and other partners, is working to create and implement a targeted employer-driven strategy that addresses immediate workforce needs and identifies scale-up solutions.

To get started, we are convening small groups of industry-specific employers to provide us with feedback about what is needed to identify highly skilled job candidates.

We are currently collecting employer successes and challenges around the CNC machinist talent pipeline and invite you to participate with other employers to discuss workforce needs on Thursday, July 14 from 8:30 to 10 a.m. at the GCP Offices, 1240 Huron Road East in PlayhouseSquare.

The conversation will focus on:
  • Technical and soft skills needed for the job;
  • Where you have had the most successes in locating qualified candidates for CNC machinist positions;
  • The skills gap presented by the next-best set of candidates;
  • Barriers to keeping these jobs filled; and
  • What is missing that could help keep these positions filled long term.
Your feedback will help us leverage partnerships already under development to identify expanded and/or new interventions that can be immediately scaled up to build a sufficient and steady pipeline of qualified job candidates.

If you would like to participate in this conversation to help develop workforce solutions to impact the CNC machinist pipeline, or if you have questions about the GCP’s workforce development initiatives, please contact Shana Marbury at or 216.592.2249.

JumpStart’s second annual Startup Scaleup event set for June 28

JumpStart is once again teaming with many of its closest partners and collaborators to celebrate the growth of Northeast Ohio’s entrepreneurial ecosystem and showcase the full array of resources available to help entrepreneurs and small business owners.

Presented by PNC Bank, Startup Scaleup 2016 is an all-day, festival-style event to be held Tuesday, June 28 in the heart of Cleveland's Gordon Square Arts District, a diverse West-Side neighborhood boasting a plethora of theatres, eateries and creative spaces, 15 of which will be used for event programming and post-event entertainment.

“Startup Scaleup is an opportunity to celebrate our region’s ongoing transformation into a hub of innovation and entrepreneurship, “said JumpStart CEO Ray Leach of the upcoming event.

“Whether you are thinking of starting your own venture, currently building a startup or working to reinvent an existing business, we’re filling an entire neighborhood with people and resources that can help you achieve your entrepreneurial goals.”

This year’s event has been expanded from a half day to a full day and also features two track options, one focused on startup-related events, and the other focused on scaling existing businesses. Attendees can follow the track that best fits their entrepreneurial needs, or chart their own unique path throughout the day.

Full-day tickets for Startup Scaleup 2016 are $20 and will include a $10 lunch voucher, as well as two $5 snack vouchers redeemable at various local vendors in the Gordon Square Arts District. Half-day tickets are also available for $10. These tickets will include two $5 snack vouchers.

Click to register

New civic collaborative to catalyze innovative technology
for community impact

DigitalC is a newly formed civic tech collaboration that aspires to be a leading advocate for the transformation of communities across the nation into thriving, inclusive digital economies.

Led by a diverse team of designers, civic technologists, business leaders, and strategists, DigitalC partners with technology and civic leaders to provide a playbook for that transition, so communities can enter and thrive in the digital economy.

“We are catalyzing technology for community impact,” said Lev Gonick, DigitalC’s chief executive officer. “Our priorities include bringing together technology leaders to craft regional digital strategies, harnessing the power of data to reshape priorities and solve problems, and designing physical places to connect, inspire and ignite creativity and innovation.”

DigitalC has identified three focus areas where it will concentrate its activities:

New Civic Agenda: This includes convening private-sector tech CEOs, CIOs, designers, artists, and scientists to share their innovative work, and engaging civic and tech leaders to broaden their participation and collaboration.

Next Generation Apps and Services: This effort is creating a framework enabling communities to benefit from powerful, civic-focused, data-driven analytics and applications, to minimize the burden of continuous collection, and to facilitate the sharing of data.

Place-Based Activation: These concentrated geographic locations will be dedicated to bringing the technology, entrepreneurial, creative, and civic communities together to drive innovation, opportunity, and learning.

To learn more, click to visit the DigitalC website.

Port of Cleveland receives planning grant to advance
Irishtown Bend stabilization

The Northeast Ohio Areawide Coordinating Agency (NOACA) has awarded an $80,000 planning grant to the Port of Cleveland and Ohio City Inc.

The funds are dedicated to critical planning work to advance the Port’s plan to stabilize Irishtown Bend, a critical bank along the Cuyahoga River that threatens to collapse into the navigation channel if not stabilized.

The NOACA planning grant and an additional local match will provide a total of $100,000 to generate detailed plans and renderings integrating public amenities with bulkheads, retaining walls, and other work needed to stabilize the area.

This includes the planned Cleveland Foundation Centennial Trail, which will connect Wendy Park to the 110-mile Towpath Trail National Park System along the Cuyahoga.

“The Port of Cleveland appreciates the support of NOACA toward this critical infrastructure project,” said Port President and CEO Will Friedman.

“The planning grant is a critical starting point and will help the Port, our partners at Ohio City, and the community generate an exciting future vision for Irishtown Bend.”

“The Ohio City neighborhood is excited and grateful to NOACA for their investment in the planning of this project,” said Tom McNair, executive director of Ohio City, Inc.

“Irish Town Bend’s instability is a critical neighborhood issue that complicates future development, but stabilizing the hillside also allows us to explore creating a new waterfront and active living amenity.”

Friedman also noted that a recently completed study found that maritime commerce supports over 20,000 regional jobs and generates $3.5 billion in economic activity, and stabilizing Irishtown Bend will eliminate a serious threat to that economic impact.

The Port also recently secured $2.5 million from the State of Ohio capital budget, which will go toward construction of the Irish Town Bend project once final plans are in place.

To learn more about supporting the Port’s efforts to stabilize Irishtown Bend, contact Port Vice President of External Affairs Jade Davis at