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News Highlights

Joe Roman on WTAM

In this month’s conversation, GCP President and CEO Joe Roman talks with “Wills and Snyder” co-host Bills Wills about ongoing efforts at the state and federal levels to ensure that funding is provided to improve and maintain water quality of Lake Erie and the other Great Lakes.

Also, the importance of investing in Cleveland neighborhoods to help attract residents and grow the the city's population. Click to listen.

Important information for employers about Workers’ Comp initiatives

The Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation (BWC) is returning more than $1 billion to Ohio's private and public employers starting today, July 10.

More about the specifics of the rebate and eligibility is provided here.

Equally important for some employers is that the BWC—with the help and support of partners in the business community—is planning new health and safety initiatives with a $44 million investment to create safer, healthier workplaces in Ohio. Read more.

Next steps outlined in GCP’s strategic planning process

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

Those 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, Talent that Fuels Growth, Driving Connectivity and Environment to Support Start, Stay, Scale Up.

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. Read more.

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 grand opening of the reconstructed Public Square.

Learn more about CDA and its investments in the 2017 Investor Update. Click to read or download.

Commission 20 highlights broader list of strong performers

The Commission on Economic Inclusion's recognition of Northeast Ohio employers for their progress in creating, enhancing and sustaining their diversity and inclusion strategies includes selecting the Commission 20.

This group is composed of the Best-in-Class winners and those organizations who were strong contenders for a Best-in-Class award.

This recognition is based on their responses to the Commission’s Diversity and Inclusion Organization Assessment. Click to see who's on the list.

Joe Roman on WTAM

In this month’s interview, GCP President and CEO Joe Roman talks with “Wills and Snyder” co-host Bill Wills about areas of focus in the organization’s new strategic plan including workforce development, business connectivity and supporting business growth.

Other topics include key items in the state budget--currently under discussion in the Ohio General Assembly--that impact business competitiveness. Click to listen.

Commission announces 2016 Best-in-Class winners

The Commission on Economic Inclusion, a program of Greater Cleveland Partnership, will recognize eight organizations for their diversity and inclusion efforts at the GCP Annual Meeting on Thursday, June 7 from 4:30 to 7:30 p.m. at the Hilton Cleveland Downtown Hotel.

The Best-in-Class Award winners are selected based on the results of the Commission’s annual Diversity and Inclusion Organization Assessment. Click to find out who won.

GCP Annual Report available online

The 2016 Greater Cleveland Partnership Annual Report is now available online.

It provides an overview of our work in advocacy, business development, education and workforce development, physical development, economic inclusion and more to advance the Northeast Ohio business community’s agenda.

It also includes a summary of accomplishments from our partner organizations BioEnterprise, JumpStart, MAGNET and Cleveland Plus/Team NEO.

Click to view or download.

Joe Roman on WTAM

Topics in this month’s conversation with “Wills and Snyder” co-host Bill Wills, GCP President and CEO Joe Roman include the GCP’s work to transform Cleveland neighborhoods.

This includes securing involvement of U.S. Senators Brown and Portman to help champion efforts to extend the New Markets Tax Credits program.

The credits are used by Cleveland Development Advisors, a GCP affiliate, to invest in catalytic neighborhood projects in the city. Click to listen.

We need your vote!

A designated representative of a member company of the Greater Cleveland Partnership or COSE is entitled to vote in the 2017 election of the GCP Board of Directors.

By checking the appropriate box on the ballot, you may either submit proxy instructions to vote for the entire slate of nominated candidates or submit proxy instructions to vote for individual names. Read more.

Click to download the ballot.

CDA investment helps second phase of Innova project move forward


The Finch Group has closed on financing for the second phase of the Innova project on Chester Avenue in the Hough neighborhood.

Cleveland Development Advisors (CDA), an affiliate of the Greater Cleveland Partnership, provided a $1.5 million loan from its Advance Cleveland Development Fund.

The $26 million investment will add 70 apartment units and 7,700 square feet of retail. The initial phase, 177 apartment units and 23,000 square feet of retail was completed in 2015. CDA provided $3 million of financing for the first phase. Read more.

Reshaping big-box retail creates a multimillion-dollar company

When a company grows from initially operating out of one of its founder’s garage to being named by Forbes magazine as one of the next “billion-dollar startups,” there has to be an intriguing back story.

That company is Boxed, and co-founder and CEO Chieh Huang shared some of that story with the more than 125 attendees at the 2017 Greater Cleveland Middle-Market Forum held May 11 at Corporate College East. Read more.

CDA invests New Markets Tax Credits in Charter Steel expansion

Charter Steel has closed on financing for its $153 million expansion project in Cuyahoga Heights. Cleveland Development Advisors (CDA), an affiliate of the Greater Cleveland Partnership, provided $10 million of New Markets Tax Credit allocation.

Charter Steel, a division of Charter Manufacturing, is a leading American supplier and manufacturer of carbon and alloy steel bar, rod and wire products. The project will expand its wire rod production facility, helping the company to stay competitive in the U.S. steel industry. Read more.

U.S. middle market carries strong momentum into 2017; Ohio predicting strong revenue growth

The U.S. middle market closed 2016 on a high note and has carried that momentum into 2017, with all indicators pointing to an increasingly robust performance.

Actual and projected revenue and employment growth rates continue to rise significantly, and economic confidence is keeping pace, according to the National Center for the Middle Market's 1Q 2017 Middle-Market Indicator (MMI) survey.

Meanwhile, Ohio’s middle-market companies are expecting their revenue to grow over the next 12 months at a higher level than their counterparts across the U.S. (9.5 percent compared to 8.8 percent). Read more.

Joe Roman on WTAM

In case you missed it, GCP President and CEO Joe Roman talks with “Wills and Snyder” co-host Bill Wills—live from Tel Aviv—about this week’s visit by Cleveland business leaders to Israel.

Of particular note are the high levels of innovation and entrepreneurship that are helping drive that country’s economy and the robust economic activity generated by venture capital investing. Click to listen.

Investments preserving Northeast Ohio’s environmental, economic health

Kyle Dreyfuss-Wells, the newly appointed CEO of the Northeast Ohio Regional Sewer District (NEORSD), recently sat down with Steve Luttner, vice president of Lesic & Camper, for a “GCP Insight” interview.

They discussed the critical importance of our freshwater resources and the massive investments being made to preserve our region’s environmental and economic health. Click to watch the video.

Notice of Greater Cleveland Partnership 2017 Annual Meeting of Members

Pursuant to the Code of Regulations of the Greater Cleveland Partnership (GCP), the 2017 GCP Annual Meeting of Members will be held from 4:30 to 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday, June 7, 2017, at the Hilton Downtown Cleveland Hotel, 100 Lakeside Avenue East, Cleveland, Ohio, 44114.

A reception will begin at 4:30 p.m. with the meeting starting promptly at 5:30 p.m. The agenda for this meeting includes confirmation of the election of Directors to the GCP Board.

Pursuant to the GCP Code of Regulations, the candidates for directorships will be recommended through the Nominating Committee chaired by Scott Chaikin.

Those members desiring to nominate any candidate(s) to the GCP Board of Directors should submit names and contact information to Secretary, Greater Cleveland Partnership, 1240 Huron Road East, Suite 300, Cleveland, Ohio 44115-1717, by 5 p.m., Monday, May 8, 2017.

The GCP ballot, including the candidates for the GCP Board of Directors, is forthcoming.

CDA closes on financing for UH Rainbow Center in Midtown


Cleveland Development Advisors (CDA), an affiliate of the Greater Cleveland Partnership, has closed on financing for the UH Rainbow Center for Women & Children in Midtown.

CDA provided a $10 million federal and $2.5 million Ohio New Markets Tax Credit Allocation. Additional allocation was provided by Northeast Ohio Development Fund (NEODF) and PNC Bank who also served as the investor.

The newly constructed facility of UH Rainbow Babies & Children’s Hospital and UH MacDonald Women’s Hospital will serve a federally designated medical/dental underserved area. Read more.

Joe Roman on WTAM

In this month’s interview, GCP President and CEO Joe Roman talks with “Wills and Snyder” host Bill Wills about what’s happening with the state budget, the boom in the number of residents living in downtown Cleveland (reaching 15,000 this summer), and actions by the county and city to fund the proposed renovation of Quicken Loans Arena.

In addition, learn about the April 22nd groundbreaking of Stage 3 of the Towpath Trail. The new section will add 30 acres of dedicated park space to Cleveland and 1.9 miles of the Trail to the completed 88 miles between Cleveland and New Philadelphia. Click to listen.

Investing in The Q boosts Cleveland’s growing hospitality industry


Last week, Greater Cleveland Partnership President and CEO Joe Roman was interviewed on “ESPN Cleveland Tonight” on ESPN 850 WKNR by host Dave Skoczen about the proposed renovation of Quicken Loans Arena.

He talks about how the expansion would have a positive impact on Cleveland’s hospitality industry—which is a steadily growing contributor to the city’s economy.

He also discusses why renovations are needed now to ensure that the 23-year-old arena can be competitive with newer facilities. Read more.

Click to listen.

Joe Roman on WTAM

In this month’s interview with “Wills and Snyder” co-host Bill Wills, Greater Cleveland Partnership President and CEO Joe Roman discusses the Great Lakes Metro Chambers Coalition’s recent presentation of its priorities in Washington, D.C.

The conversation also included why it’s important to invest in improvements to Quicken Loans Arena, and more. 

Click to listen.

Don’t dim a good source of our city’s economic power


In a guest column in this week’s Crain’s Cleveland Business, Greater Cleveland Partnership President and CEO Joe Roman talks about why investing in The Q is also an investment in our community’s neighborhoods.

He notes that “...The Q is an economic powerhouse that benefits everybody in Cuyahoga County, including those who never attended any of the more than 200 annual events held at the facility.

“The venue creates a wide array of positive economic conditions. Last year alone, The Q was responsible for producing $44 million in taxes. And, since it opened in 1994, it has generated a total of $500 million in taxes.

“Much of those revenues go directly to Cuyahoga County and the City of Cleveland to provide public services for all of us who live, work and play in Greater Cleveland.”

Click to read the article.

Nominate your emerging leaders for GCP LEAD

We are currently accepting nominations of emerging leaders from Greater Cleveland Partnership member companies for the 2017 GCP LEAD Cohort 2. You may nominate one or two individuals.

GCP LEAD (Link. Engage. Advocate. Develop.) was created because the GCP recognizes the importance of cultivating our region’s future business and community leaders through the work of the GCP.

The GCP LEAD group will be an exclusive cohort of emerging leaders from member companies with at least five years of professional experience and an interest in getting involved in the areas of economic development, education and workforce, advocacy, diversity and inclusion, and business and physical development. Learn more.

Plugging in: Business community input needed to address workforce challenges

In a 2016 poll of the Greater Cleveland Partnership (GCP) Board of Directors, approximately two-thirds of the respondents identified recruiting and retaining a qualified workforce as a top business challenge for their companies.

With the GCP ramping up its talent and workforce development efforts, there are currently several opportunities for GCP members to get involved in a variety of programs and initiatives.

Learn more about how you and/or others in your company or organization can plug in to provide business community input. Read more.

Joe Roman on WTAM

In this month’s conversation with “Wills and Snyder” co-host Bill Wills, GCP President and CEO Joe Roman talks about provisions in Governor Kasich’s proposed budget, including tax reform, and why the Greater Cleveland business community has an even stronger interest in what could happen with tax reform at the federal level.

There’s also positive news about job creation and business development from some of Northeast Ohio’s major employers.

Click to listen.

Addressing the challenges of recruitment and talent development

Workforce continues to be an area of challenge for Northeast Ohio employers.

Businesses are seeking skilled workers who are reliable, have on-the-job experience and are committed to growing with the company. At the same time, college students in the region are learning that in today’s competitive market, real-world work experience is crucial to landing a job and advancing their careers.

The second annual Cleveland Internship Summit, presented by the Greater Cleveland Partnership (GCP) last week at the Embassy Suites in Independence, helped further the conversation around these workforce challenges and provided best practices in recruitment and talent development. Read more.

GCP instrumental in significant business expansion project

The Greater Cleveland Partnership's Business Development team and Cleveland Development Advisors (CDA), the GCP’s real estate and business development finance affiliate, were instrumental in helping to marshal a financial package to support Charter Steel’s $150 million investment to build a new Special Bar Quality (SBQ) bar mill adjacent to its existing coil mill and steel-making operations in Cuyahoga Heights.

In addition, CDA has reserved (pending final underwriting and board approval) $10 million of its current award of New Markets Tax Credit Allocation for this significant business expansion project. Read more.

Online Diversity Assessment now available online

The Commission on Economic Inclusion, a program of the Greater Cleveland Partnership, has collected data and reported on the status of diversity and inclusion in Northeast Ohio for 16 years using the Employers Survey on Diversity, now known as the Diversity & Inclusion Organization Assessment.

The results of the D&I Organization Assessment function as a barometer of inclusion in our region and provide employers with a tool and benchmarks for examining their own diversity and inclusion efforts.

The new Assessment was rolled out last week to organizations that have participated in the past. It is also available to all GCP members as a benefit of membership. Learn more.

Joe Roman on WTAM

In this month’s interview with “Wills and Snyder” co-host Bill Wills, GCP President and CEO Joe Roman provides updates on several topics related to GCP priorities.

They include the new state budget and the GCP’s work to gain support to continue the region’s positive economic momentum; how the addition of more nonstop routes at Hopkins International Airport is a response to the strong market demand in our city; and the importance of protecting key assets such as NASA Glenn and our Great Lakes. Click to listen.

Introducing a new benefit for GCP members

For the past 16 years, the Commission on Economic Inclusion, a program of the Greater Cleveland Partnership, has collected data and reported the status of diversity and inclusion efforts in Northeast Ohio.

Starting in 2017, the annual Employers Survey on Diversity™ is undergoing significant changes that include a new name: the Diversity and Inclusion Organization Assessment.

In addition, all GCP member companies and organizations are invited to participate. Learn more.

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. Read more.

A lasting tribute to Voinovich’s vision, leadership


By Joe Roman
GCP President and CEO


The opening of the new eastbound Innerbelt bridge last year completed a half-billion-dollar investment in Cleveland—one that offers a towering testament to a unique leader, a city’s future and the ability of government to work effectively for the public.     

Together with its corresponding westbound twin, the two George V. Voinovich bridges spanning the Cuyahoga River downtown will each carry five lanes of traffic, bringing with them significant transportation efficiencies and other substantial economic benefits for Greater Cleveland.   

The spans are a fitting tribute to a man who dedicated his life toward moving Cleveland forward. Read more in our blog.

Above photo: At the ribbon cutting for the George V. Voinovich westbound Innerbelt Bridge in November 2013, the former U.S. Senator, governor and mayor (third from left) was joined by family members, state and local elected officials and hundreds of onlookers.