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Every Monday -- News from GCP

GCP Board welcomes two new members, approves nominees
to new regional economic development organization board

The Greater Cleveland Partnership Board of Directors has approved the appointment of two new members and the five GCP nominees to the board of the new regional economic development organization to be called Team NEO pending further branding discussion.

In action taken last week at its quarterly meeting, the Board welcomed Loretta Mester, president and CEO, Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland, and Robert Patterson, president and CEO, PolyOne Corporation, as new members.

GCP nominees approved for new Team NEO Board

The new regional economic development organization was created in response to recommendations by the Regional Economic Competitiveness Study (RECs). GCP's nominees to the board are (left to right):

Former GCP Board Chairs; William Christopher, president and CEO, Lakeview Consulting Enterprises; Alexander Cutler, chairman and CEO, Eaton; and Fred Nance, regional managing partner, Squire Patton Boggs LLP; Board Treasurer Robert Smith, president and CEO, Spero-Smith Investment Advisers, Inc.: and Board member Jodi Berg, president and CEO, Vitamix Corporation. Both Christopher and Smith have had leadership roles in the RECs discussion to date.

County Executive-Elect Budish discusses priorities that align with GCP agenda

Cuyahoga County Executive-Elect Armond Budish was a guest speaker at the December Board meeting. He discussed several of his new administration’s priorities that align with those of GCP and the business community. They include continuing progress to achieve public education reform, investment in infrastructure, business retention and expansion and delivering a successful 2016 Republican National Convention.

He thanked GCP members who are working with his transition team, including GCP Board Chair Beth Mooney, chairman and CEO, KeyCorp, and for providing input through loaned executives from their companies.

New Public Policy Agenda to be released January 2015

GCP Board member and Government Affairs Council Chair Thomas Zenty, chief executive officer, University Hospitals, and Marty McGann, senior vice president, advocacy, provided an overview of the GCP 2015-2016 Public Policy Agenda, which will be released in January.

The publication serves to maximize the organization’s political impact in Columbus and Washington, D.C. and organizes and orients GCP’s advocacy activities. It will be available on the GCP website to read or download early next month.

Federal program helping attract private investment in Cleveland neighborhoods needs Congressional support

Greater Cleveland Partnership President and CEO Joe Roman has written a guest column for urging Congress to to extend the New Markets Tax Credit (NMTC), which “has been an undeniable success,” before leaving Washington this month.

The New Markets Tax Credits program was designed to increase the flow of private capital in low-income communities by offering investors a tax credit on investments made in qualified businesses and economic development projects that will benefit the residents of these communities. In the column, Roman discussed the importance of NMTC to Cleveland Development Advisers, the GCP’s real estate development affiliate.

“CDA has had substantial success using the NMTC to expand private investment in its strategic and targeted redevelopment effort. CDA was one of the first community development entities to be awarded a NMTC allocation in 2003. We have been awarded a total of $105 million from this program, which has enabled us to generate more than $660 million in investment to support 30 catalytic development projects in the city.

“The impacts of our NMTC investments are considerable and concrete – creating more than 4,800 permanent jobs, nearly 1,200 new housing units and more than 3 million square feet in new commercial and industrial space in Greater Cleveland.”

CDA’s NMTC investments have included supporting renovation of Fairmount Creamery (image right), the historic building in Tremont that had been vacant since 1980. The $14 million mixed-use historic rehabilitation is expected to lead to additional economic investment in both the Tremont and Ohio City neighborhoods.

Click to read more.

Congress wraps up year-end items; FY2015 budget bill includes funding increase for NASA

With the holidays and the end of the current Congressional session rapidly approaching, Congress passed a series of measures to fund the federal government for the next year, among other items.

Following contentious House negotiations and ultimate passage of a FY 2015 budget bill, the Senate, late last Saturday passed the bill and sent it to the President for his signature.

The bill fully funded 11 of 12 agencies for the balance of the fiscal year. The Department of Homeland Security was funded through the month of February to allow the new Congress the opportunity to address concerns related to presidential action on the issue of immigration.

A funding increase for NASA

Of interest to Northeast Ohio, was an increase in funding for NASA. This is welcome news and is a result of direct advocacy by the Greater Cleveland Partnership (GCP).

Following a delegation meeting in Washington, D.C . with Glenn Research Center (GRC) leadership and the GCP advocacy team, the delegation submitted a letter supporting agency missions critical to GRC. Funding increases were approved for specific mission areas important to the Center, including space technology and aeronautics. These dollars are expected to flow to GRC due to its role in these missions.

Never satisfied, the GCP’s advocacy effort in support of critical items continues as the Administration and Congress considers its FY 2016 federal budget. In the coming weeks, a delegation letter supporting GRC is expected to be delivered to the administration and plans are being made for direct lobbying of agency officials by the GCP.

Other items still remain

With the House in recess, the Senate is expected to remain in session in attempts to pass additional pieces of legislation before the end of this Congressional session.

Important to the GCP and Cleveland Development Advisors is the fate of the “tax extenders” bill, which contains a retroactive authorization of more than 50 tax credits, including the New Markets Tax Credit.

The need to pass this bill and the separate federal terrorism reinsurance bill, is being used as leverage by the Democrat leadership in the Senate to secure votes on presidential nominations before control of the Senate switches to the Republicans in the next Congress.

It is expect that through a negotiated process, an agreement will be reached to allow a vote on some nominations followed by a vote on the tax extenders bill and terrorism insurance bill before the Senate adjourns for the year.

National Heritage Area reauthorized

With the passage last Friday of the defense department’s re-authorization, the Ohio and Erie Canalway National Heritage Area was reauthorized for another seven years.

The Heritage Area, which as has been a public policy agenda item for the GCP, contains the Cuyahoga Valley National Park. As a result of this legislation, the Heritage Area will be eligible to receive federal funding to support activities and organizations within the region.

2014 Employers Survey on Diversity™ under way

The Commission on Economic Inclusion’s 2014 Employers Survey on Diversityhas been distributed to Commission members.

For consideration for Best-in-Class awards and Commission 50™ distinction, organizations must submit the survey by February 6, 2014.

The Best-in-Class winners will be honored at the 2015 Greater Cleveland Partnership Annual Meeting before more than 1,200 business and community leaders. In addition, award winners will be featured in the Commission’s annual report, in the Commission and GCP e-newsletters and in other marketing channels.

Commission members that participate in the survey receive:
  • An aggregate report of the survey results with both regional and national diversity and inclusion benchmark data. The Commission provides the national data through a relationship with DiversityInc, a national benchmarking and consulting company that focuses on diversity management in the workplace.
  • A confidential individual score card sent to the CEO and senior human resource professional, including a new multiyear trend analysis, useful for monitoring your organization’s progress on diversity and inclusion outcomes.
Survey contacts who have not received their and password for the 2014 survey, or have other survey-related questions, should contact Scott Harrington at or 216.592.2213.

How middle-market companies can position themselves for superior results

When companies are in their middle-market stage, they set the course that determines whether they will become great companies, according to Jim Collins, leadership scholar and author of "Good to Great" and other classic studies.

Earlier this year, Collins talked with Thomas A. Stewart, executive director of the National Center for the Middle Market, about three critical capabilities middle-market companies need to develop if they are to become great.

Click to read or download an edited transcription of their conversation.

The National Center for the Middle Market is a strategic partner of the Greater Cleveland Partnership’s Middle-Market Initiative.

New issue of CLE‘s Going Places magazine available online

The Cleveland Airport System’s "Going Places" magazine Winter 2014-2015 is now available online.

The issue includes a Q&A with Greater Cleveland Partnership Board member Marcus Glover, senior vice president and general manager, Horseshoe Cleveland, and how to make the most of winter in Cleveland.

Click to read.

The “rustbelt” resurgence

A Cleveland State University senior research associate writes about the “rustbelt” resurgence in a post on Key points by Richey Piiparinen of CSU’s Center for Population include:
  • “The rustbelt revival relies not on mimicry but on embracing the regional culture that values production of things over simply their mere consumption."

  • “Cities like San Francisco, Portland and Seattle may have started with industrial roots, but their recent success has been tied to such factors as attractive geographies and, to Midwest sensibilities at least, mild climates."

  • “Over the last three years, the Cleveland metro has risen to third in the nation in the percentage gain of young adults with a college degree, behind only Nashville and Orlando. Cleveland’s gain of 15,500 college-educated young adults was greater than Silicon Valley’s and seven times that of Portland.”
Click to read more.