Stay Informed on News and Policy

Every Monday -- News from GCP

Next steps outlined in GCP’s strategic planning process

Work to advance progress to date on the new Greater Cleveland Partnership three-year strategic plan is continuing over summer.

Next steps were outlined last week at the GCP Board’s quarterly meeting.

It will include securing additional feedback from GCP Board members and representatives from GCP member companies, as well as seeking their participation in task groups that will focus on the four key themes outlined by GCP Board Chair Rick Chiricosta at the organization’s Annual Meeting earlier this month.

Places of Impact: “This is about leveraging and investing in our assets—from maximizing the lakefront and creating a welcoming downtown—to growing the neighborhoods and ensuring we are equipped with amenities to support population growth.”

Talent that Fuels Growth: “The single biggest issue of concern for employers across the region is talent. Educational attainment, a focus on skills development, and improving the level of talent within the workplace are key areas of opportunity.”

Driving Connectivity: “While connectivity is critical, it is not without its challenges. We must understand the risks and make strategic, calculated decisions to continue our progress in areas such as air service, worker mobility, digital connectivity, and member connectivity.”

Environment to Support Start, Stay, Scale Up: “Northeast Ohio must be a place that can support existing companies, attract new companies, and provide entrepreneurs with budding ideas a place where they can take risks and grow. The best way to attract new companies is to continue demonstrating the expansion culture of existing businesses.”

“This work must be supported by an integrated Public Policy Agenda,” said GCP President and CEO Joe Roman, “along with an underlying commitment to diversity and inclusion as part of each initiative.

"It also must include a commitment to providing the very best support and resources for our member companies and organizations.”

The timeline calls for final recommendations to be presented at the Board’s third-quarter meeting in September, followed by final Board approval at the December meeting.

GCP Board members honored for small business leadership

Small business leaders from across the country convened in Washington, D.C. last week for the National Small Business Association (NSBA) 2017 Washington Presentation.

Several Greater Cleveland Partnership/COSE members took advantage of the opportunity to discuss challenges with policy makers, administration officials, and congressional staff inside the Beltway.

In addition, the NSBA recognized five small business owners as finalists for the 2017 Lewis Shattuck Small Business Advocate of the Year Award. Two of the honorees were GCP Board members who continually go above and beyond in advocating for policies to improve the business environment in our region and beyond: Deborah Rutledge of The Rutledge Group, Inc., and Michael Stanek of Hunt Imaging LLC and Cleveland Cycle Tours.

Rutledge is deeply engaged in small business groups and several charity efforts and has participated in numerous legislative visits across the spectrum. She has lobbied lawmakers in Ohio and Washington, D.C. on a wide range of topics including small business, workforce development, and cancer research.

Stanek has served as a city councilman in three different communities covering more than 13 years. He has testified before the U.S. House Small Business Committee on international trade and was recently appointed by Governor John Kasich as the sole representative of employers to Ohio’s Medical Marijuana Advisory Committee.

Other honorees recognized by NSBA Board Chair Pedro Alfonso and NSBA President Todd McCracken are: David Ickert, Air Tractor, Inc., of Olney, Texas, named 2017 Small Business Advocate of the Year; Curtis Richardson of C&J Electrical Services, LLC of Birmingham, Alabama; and Diane Sumpter of DESA, Inc. of Columbia, South Carolina.

The Northeast Ohio delegation that took part in the conference, capped the week’s activities by visiting with the offices of Senator Sherrod Brown and Senator Rob Portman.

Above photos (left): Pedro Alfonso, Deborah Rutledge, and Todd McCracken; (right) Pedro Alfonso, Mike Stanek and Todd McCracken.

CDA investments improve neighborhoods, create jobs

For more than a quarter of a century, Cleveland Development Advisors (CDA), an affiliate of the Greater Cleveland Partnership, has invested private-sector capital into real estate and business projects designed to attract additional development to improve the character and vitality of Greater Cleveland.

Results In 2016 included completion of four Salvation Army facilities financed in 2015, continued investment in workforce development and education, the commencement of the first phase of the long-awaited Lakefront redevelopment, and the crowning jewel of downtown projects: the grand opening of the reconstructed Public Square.

Learn more about CDA and its investments in the 2017 Investor Update.

Click to read or download.

How you can help deepen Greater Cleveland's talent pipeline

Recognizing that career readiness starts early, an innovative program—True2U—a collaboration between the Cleveland Foundation’s youth development program, My Com, the Cleveland Metropolitan School District (CMSD), the Greater Cleveland Partnership and Neighborhood Leadership Institute—provides CMSD eighth-graders with support to explore their purpose, identify their strengths and set goals for success.

Business professionals are invited to volunteer as True2U mentors for the program for the 2017-2018 school year. This career exploration and mentoring program focuses on raising career awareness for CMSD students on the cusp of entering high school.

Mentors will be trained on a structured curriculum and work in teams of two or three mentors with small groups of students once a month, for the duration of the school year, and will be supported by a CMSD teacher once a month.

Click for more information about True2U.

If you have questions, or want to sign up as a mentor, please contact Angela Finding at or 216.592.2385.

One volunteer's experience

Hear first-hand about one True2U volunteer’s experience from Irene Holifield of The Sherwin-Williams Company in this WKYC-TV3 “We the People” interview.

Click to watch.

Join the discussion: “For the Love of Cleveland”

Whether you’re a city dweller or suburban homeowner, a lifelong Clevelander, boomerang or transplant, we all benefit from a thriving urban core.

Our city now makes such lists as “the top 15 places to live” and “top places to live car-free.” Yet, these accolades don’t tell the whole story.

While some neighborhoods are thriving due to large amounts of investment, increased home ownership, new resources, and focused development, others continue to struggle.

What can—and should—be done to ensure all Cleveland neighborhoods are structurally sound, equitable, and sustainable?

"For the Love of Cleveland," a free City Club of Cleveland summer series, brings together local leaders and residents to discuss the building blocks of urban neighborhoods and examine Cleveland neighborhoods’ past and present successes, challenges, and growth areas. This conversation will be moderated by City Club CEO Dan Moulthrop.

The events will take place on Tuesdays at noon in Public Square. Food trucks will be on-site, so plan to arrive early, grab lunch, and be part of these free conversations.

Click the links below to learn about upcoming topics: