Jan 10

GCP president and CEO Joe Roman sat down with WTAM host Bills Wills last week to discuss some of the current projects happening around the city.

They started off their conversation talking about the renovations happening at The Q, resulting in what will look like a brand new arena at one-tenth the cost of actually building new. While going through all of this construction, The Q has still been conducting business as usual hosting Cavs games, Monsters games and other events.

GCP and MAGNET continue to work closely on several projects to promote manufacturing in Northeast Ohio. Joe explained how the old adage that manufacturing was dead 20 years ago just isn’t applicable to Northeast Ohio. It has changed into higher value add with fewer employees but people with more talents and greater productivity ratio. He said the city is starting to benefit from tariffs and tax changes and so, unlike a lot of other cities, Cleveland has remained a core manufacturing center. Joe noted that there are great jobs available in the manufacturing field that are highly skilled and have opportunity for growth—and he advised parents to encourage their children to consider those as career options.

Joe also recognized GCP for having its best membership year ever in 2018. He explained that a lot of the new numbers came from the small business community, and in part as a result of the organization putting out a new healthcare product two years ago. Because one of the greatest challenges employers face is providing healthcare for their employees, this new option is very attractive to small business owners. “You want to hold on to great people and healthcare is a part of that,” he said.

In other news from GCP, the Diversity & Inclusion Assessment is free and open to member companies. Joe discussed how in the last 15 years the community has begun to realize that diversity and inclusion is not just important to the company itself, but also part of driving an economy. And while it tends to be a last thought to employers, it needs to be top of mind in every company. Completing the assessment can open the door for suggestions and resources to enable companies to increase diversity in their workplaces and change their mindset to make it a top priority.

Along with diversity and inclusion, internships are another important tool when it comes to driving an economy. Joe and Bill discussed how the 2019 Cleveland Internship Summit, being held on February 21, is a crucial event for middle market companies that need help navigating the pathway and roadmap to adding internships to their companies.

Listen to the interview.