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GCP highlights economic progress spurred by public-private partnerships

“Meet the Press” Moderator Chuck Todd delivers Annual Meeting keynote

Cleveland, Ohio—Optimism about Cleveland’s future is well-grounded in reality and results, even while challenges remain.

The Greater Cleveland Partnership’s Annual Meeting today highlighted many of the successes that have added to the community’s positive momentum as well as the work that’s yet to be done for sustainable economic progress.

GCP Board Chair Beth Mooney, chairman and CEO of KeyCorp, noted that the city is moving forward propelled by a strong collaboration among stakeholders in the private and public sectors.

“The GCP priorities—helping drive the Cleveland Plan, ensuring success of the 2016 Republican National Convention, expand air carrier service at Hopkins Airport, developing the waterfront, completing the Opportunity Corridor, working with the county to deliver economic development outcomes and many more—are all feasible because of the strong public- private partnership we enjoy in this community,” said Mooney.

“I’ve been very impressed with what seems to me to be a rising tide of involvement and enthusiasm, not just from the GCP’s more than 10,000 members, but from across our local spectrum—the business community, the political community, the philanthropic community and the public at large.”

Insights into Washington politics

Remarks by keynote speaker Chuck Todd, NBC News Political Director and the moderator and managing editor of “Meet the Press,” included insights into the 2016 presidential campaign and voter apathy. He commented that the candidate who best speaks to “economic anxiety” will get more traction and that there needs to be a massive focus on political reform that rebuilds trust.

GCP looks ahead

Mooney also noted that the GCP will continue its work with the Cleveland Metropolitan School District (CMSD) to advance The Cleveland Plan to improve education outcomes in the City of Cleveland.

“There are many signs of encouraging progress,” she said, including CMSD and charter schools sharing levy dollars and collaborating on new schools. In addition, the CMSD high school graduation rate has increased by 8 percent since the 2010-2011 school year and currently stands at 64 percent.

Another GCP priority for 2015 is the organization’s work with Mayor Jackson to implement the Department of Justice consent decree. “The more responsible we are in developing an implementation process means that we can achieve lasting change,” Mooney said. “ The business community, and GCP, has already pledged to help the mayor see this issue through to real reform.”

GCP President and CEO Joe Roman spoke about ongoing physical development projects that continue to change the face of Cleveland including Opportunity Corridor, the renovation of Public Square, and the transformation of the downtown lakefront. Even more good news was received earlier this week with the award of $50 million in federal New Market Tax Credits to Cleveland Development Advisors, the GCP’s real estate and business development finance affiliate.

“Cleveland is on a roll right now, but we have to work hard to keep moving forward,” Roman said. “This $50 million in federal tax credits will help propel us to the next stage of our multi-billion dollar resurgence.”

Other GCP priorities for the coming year include: Business Development: Ramping up efforts to support Northeast Ohio companies plans for growth, expansion and job creation.

Workforce Development: Developing a program with the CMSD called Pathway Partners. Funded by the Cleveland Foundation, the initiative will focus on college and career readiness for Cleveland students and connect the business community with education providers and students in developing Cleveland’s future workforce.

Advocacy: Continuing to collaborate with chamber partners to support public policies at the local, state and national levels that impact the Greater Cleveland business community and the region’s economic development priorities. The organization has endorsed and also will speak out on behalf of the business community for the Cuyahoga County Arts and Culture levy and Fair Districts in Ohio, a bi-partisan effort to change the process of drawing state legislative districts.

Achievements in diversity highlighted

The Commission on Economic Inclusion, a program of GCP, presented its annual Best-in-Class awards for diversity achievement at the GCP Annual Meeting:

Board Diversity: The MetroHealth System, nonprofit/government; Eaton, large corporation; YMCA of Greater Cleveland, middle market;

Senior Management Diversity: Cleveland State University, nonprofit/government; Cleveland Cavaliers, large corporation; Northeast Ohio Regional Sewer District, middle market;

Workforce Diversity: Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority, nonprofit/government; Medical Mutual, large corporation; Cleveland Airport System, middle market;

Supplier Diversity: NASA Glenn Research Center, nonprofit/government; Huntington National Bank, large corporation; Northeast Ohio Regional Sewer District, middle market.

The Commission also announced the induction of two members to its Hall of Fame after winning best-in-class three times in one category: Cleveland State University and the Northeast Ohio Regional Sewer District, both for senior management diversity.

Public broadcasting executives honored

WVIZ/PBS & 90.3 WCPN ideastream President and CEOJerry Wareham and Chief Operating Officer Kathryn “Kit” Jensen were honored as co-winners of the GCP’s Richard A. Shatten Leadership Award for their accomplishments in creating and growing public television and radio in Northeast Ohio into an entity that serves almost three million people and has been recognized with 91 international, national, regional and statewide awards.

The award is presented in memory of Shatten’s role in the economic revitalization of Cleveland as an accomplished educator and research mentor at the Case Western Reserve University Weatherhead School of Management and through his civic leadership with Cleveland Tomorrow and other organizations.


About the Greater Cleveland Partnership
The Greater Cleveland Partnership mobilizes private-sector leadership, expertise and resources to create attractive business conditions that create jobs, grow investment and improve the economic prosperity of the region.