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Ohio’s middle market steady growth tops national rate

Revenue growth for Ohio’s middle-market companies over the past 12 months topped that of the national rate, according to the National Center for the Middle-Market’s 2Q 2015 Middle Market Indicator (MMI) report.

Ohio companies reported growth at 6.8 percent compared to a national rate of 6.6 percent.

“Ohio’s middle-market businesses are continuing to drive our state’s economy” said GCP President and CEO Joe Roman noting that more than half of those companies are in Northeast Ohio.

“We recognize that the middle market is critical to our region’s competitiveness and future and are focusing resources through our Middle-Market Initiative to identify and address the needs of these companies.”

Defined as companies with annual revenues between $10 million and $1 billion, Ohio’s middle-market firms provide nearly 28 percent of all jobs, although they represent less than 1 percent of all Ohio businesses.

“When we’re talking about employment, by comparison, the middle market more than holds its own when compared to small businesses and large corporations,” says Bernie Moreno, chair of the GCP’s Middle-Market Committee and president of Bernie Moreno Companies.

“While middle-market companies are a small fraction of Ohio employers, it is able to provide jobs for a significant number of the state’s workers."

Click to read or download the Ohio MMI.

Other key MMI findings include:

Slower employment growth persists

While middle-market companies continue to hire, and 46 percent report increases in the size of their workforce, the rate of employment growth is continuing the decline that began last quarter.

Companies reported mean total employment growth of 39 percent down from 4.3 percent in 1Q 2015 but still higher than levels reported one year ago. Looking ahead, expectations for employment growth over the next year continue to be lower at 2.7 percent

Talent and regulation concerns are growing

Employment issues, including hiring and retention remain the top internal challenges for middle market companies. External challenges include competition and the impact of government regulations, which are expected to be the biggest hurdles they will have to overcome in the year ahead.

Click to read or download the national MMI.

More highlights: 2Q 2015 MMI Webinar

Tom Stewart, executive director of the National Center for the Middle Market, will share highlights from the Center's Q2 2015 Middle Market Indicator (MMI) report in a webinar on Tuesday, Aug. 4 from 1 to 2 p.m.

Click for details.

The National Center for the Middle Market, a collaboration between The Ohio State University Fisher College of Business and GE Capital, is a strategic partner of the Greater Cleveland Partnership's Middle-Market Initiative.

Opportunity Corridor’s Steering Committee names new co-chairs

The steering committee that provides crucial guidance and oversight of the Opportunity Corridor project in Cleveland has appointed two new co-chairs to assist in ensuring that the new roadway maximizes its potential to become a job-producing, economic development catalyst. They are:

Eddie Taylor, Jr., (photo left) president of Taylor Oswald – an insurance brokerage firm partnered with Oswald Companies and headquartered in downtown Cleveland. Taylor has previously owned or operated companies in a variety of industries including warehousing and distribution.

A co-chair of the Commission on Economic Inclusion, the Cleveland area native completed the Executive MBA Program at the Case Western Reserve University Weatherhead School of Management.

Michael Taylor, (photo right) senior vice president at PNC, where he is responsible for community and economic development activities in Northern Ohio and five other states. He was previously president and executive director of the National City Community Development Corp., the first community development corporation founded by a financial services company.

Taylor is a graduate of Central Michigan University with a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration and a master’s degree in Administration. He is also a graduate of the Robert M. Perry School of Banking.

Click for more information.

Opportunity Corridor: Learn more, get social

Stay up to date with the latest news about the Opportunity Corridor project by connecting with the Opportunity Corridor Partnership:

Last chance to register! Annual Inclusion Conference is August 5

Today is the last day to register for the Commission on Economic Inclusion’s seventh annual conference, “Aligning Inclusion with Business and Talent Outcomes,” to be held Wednesday, August 5 at Corporate College East.

The conference begins with breakfast and networking at 7:30 a.m. networking opportunity and concludes with a reception hosted by Parker Hannifin at 3 p.m. Click for the full agenda.


Who should attend: diversity & inclusion practitioners, senior human resources managers, supplier diversity managers, procurement managers

About the speakers:

Keynote: Sandy Harris, vice president, corporate diversity strategy & internal operations, Sodexo

Over the past 25 years, Sandy Harris has been working to create diverse, inclusive and high-performing work environments for an array of esteemed organizations, including six Fortune 500 companies. Her progressively responsible experiences have continued to be shaped by a commitment to diversity and inclusion, and have helped her to excel in a number of different positions prior to her arrival at Sodexo.

After receiving her bachelor’s degree in economics from the University of Virginia, Sandy held positions for Cargill, Wilson Learning, Wang Laboratories and the Xerox Corporation. She worked as manager of workforce diversity for General Mills, and as vice president of the Global Diversity Center of Excellence at Thomson Corporation. Most recently, Sandy was the head of global inclusion, diversity and engagement for Medtronic, the world’s largest medical technology company.

Click for her full bio.

Featured speaker: Ralph Moore, president, Ralph G. Moore & Associates

Ralph G. Moore, CPA, is president of Ralph G. Moore & Associates (RGMA) and is recognized as one of the world’s foremost thought-leaders in the area of supplier diversity and minority business development. A former accountant at Arthur Andersen & Co., Mr. Moore was Vice President of Chicago Community Ventures, a Minority Enterprise Small Business Investment Company (MESBIC) and Controller for Parker House Sausage Company, a “Black Enterprise 100” meat-processing company, before establishing RGMA in 1979.

Mr. Moore, who has been the lead trainer for the National Minority Supplier Development Council for over 20 years, is the author of the RGMA Five Levels of Supplier Diversity which has been embraced as the gold standard for benchmarking supplier diversity initiatives. He is also a member of the Procter and Gamble and Macy’s Supplier Diversity Advisory Councils and a Special Advisor to APC Holdings; a MBE certified private equity firm.

Click for his full bio

Featured speaker: Janet B. Reid, Ph.D., CEO, BRBS World, LLC, and managing partner, Lemand Kyver Consulting

Janet B. Reid, Ph.D. is a founder and former Managing Partner of Global Novations, a global management consulting firm that serves Fortune 100 corporations in strategy and talent development.

After growing the business domestically and internationally for 20+ years, she and her partners sold Global Novations to Korn/Ferry International in 2012. Dr. Reid continues her long career in consulting through her role as CEO of BRBS World, LLC and Managing Partner of Lemand Kyver Consulting. Additionally, she is an equity partner in several business ventures.

Dr. Reid’s prior professional experience includes a decade at Procter & Gamble where she held a series of progressively more responsible positions including: research chemist, section head and brand manager. She earned a Ph.D. in bio inorganic chemistry from Howard University in 1979, and a B.S. in chemistry from the same institution in 1975.

Click for her full bio.

Welcome, new GCP members

We’re pleased to welcome these companies and organizations that recently joined the ranks of Greater Cleveland Partnership Investors. Click the links below to learn more about them.


National debt and the 2016 presidential campaign

With Cleveland hosting the Republican National Convention next year and the RNC debates this week, many national issues will be presented and discussed in our city. One of those issues—the national debt and the 2016 presidential campaign—will be the topic of a free City Club of Cleveland breakfast at 8:30 a.m., Thursday, August. 6

You’re invited to a conversation with Greater Cleveland Partnership Board member Sandy Cutler, Eaton’s chairman and chief executive officer, and Maya MacGuineas, president of the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget, on the national debt crisis and its significance in the 2016 presidential election.

The U.S. national debt is at post-war record highs, both in dollars and as a share of the economy. Not only has it grown from 35 percent of the gross domestic product (GDP) in 2007—about the post-war average—to 74 percent today, it is projected to exceed the entire economy in the 2030s.

Cutler was very instrumental in persuading the Republican National Committee to host the convention in Cleveland. In his role as co-chair of the Cleveland 2016 Host Committee, he is working with other influential leaders and business executives to promote Northeast Ohio and ensure that Cleveland is well-represented.

He will bring his impressive wealth of experience, knowledge and passion for fiscal issues to this discussion. He'll talk about why it is important for the presidential candidates to discuss how they will rein in the growing national debt as well as the role Ohio will play in the 2016 general election.

Click to register. There is no cost to attend.

2016 RNC: Learn how you can volunteer

You can be part of the team to help ensure that our city is best represented during the convention and that the 2016 RNC is a success.

Sign up now for volunteer opportunities that will include airport greeters, hotel greeters, transportation greeters, street ambassadors, and hospitality. Volunteers also will be needed for clerical, office, and special project support in the months preceding the convention.

While specific details of these opportunities are still being developed, you can visit the volunteer opportunity website and sign up by clicking the "SIGN UP NOW" button.

Click for more information.

Port’s Cleveland-Europe Express making Ohio an attractive place to do business

Since launching in 2014, the Port of Cleveland's Cleveland-Europe Express (CEE) has provided strategic benefits in logistics to those seeking to connect their businesses to and from Northeast Ohio. With direct, nonstop maritime access to world markets, the CEE is attracting more use by a diverse clientele, including Germany’s powerhouse technology leader Siemens.

The relationship developed as Siemens acquired Rolls-Royce Energy, including a plant location in Mount Vernon, Ohio, where assembly of massive gas turbine generators is finalized. Looking for strategic advantages in speed, service, and cost, Siemens turned to the Port of Cleveland and the CEE’s ability to move cargo with speed, efficiency, and superior service.

“For Siemens Mount Vernon, the Cleveland Europe Express’s value is really basic logistics,” said a Siemens spokesperson. “The Port of Cleveland delivers the fastest service and does so at a lower overall cost. From our viewpoint, the CEE makes Ohio a more attractive and competitive place to do business.”

Components for Siemens generators are manufactured in France, then shipped to Ohio on the CEE. Production is then finalized in Mount Vernon, and the generators are then shipped out to their final destinations.

Weighing over 150 tons, the generators are so large that moving them by water directly through the Port of Cleveland provides major efficiencies – shipping via the St. Lawrence Seaway is 24 percent more fuel-efficient than rail and a whopping 531 percent more than trucking.

“We’re thrilled to serve Ohio employers like Siemens and help make them more globally competitive,” said Port President and CEO Will Friedman.

“Whether it’s large break-bulk cargo like Siemens’ generators or shipping containers filled with thousands of widgets, the CEE can do the same for anyone looking to connect to and compete in the global economy.”

CSU program helps companies identify, connect with engineering talent

Cleveland State University’s (CSU) Washkewicz College of Engineering is again partnering with Northeast Ohio companies for its Senior Design program that connects teams of senior engineering students with sponsoring companies to develop solutions for real-world problems.

The cost of sponsorship is $5,000 per team per academic year (August-May), and your sponsorship is considered a philanthropic gift to the CSU Foundation. Three-thousand dollars of your sponsorship fee will be used to cover material costs for the students’ project design and prototype, while the remainder will cover travel and other administrative costs associated with the program.

Upon confirming your sponsorship, companies will assign a project manager to serve as the contact person who works directly with your student team(s). The team can be viewed as an outside “consultant” working on your defined project, while the project manager would oversees the team’s work to ensure it is meeting company needs.

Last year, about half (23) of the 47 Senior Design projects were sponsored by industry. This year, it is expected that 70 Senior Design projects are available for sponsorship. This is a win-win proposition through which companies receive a tangible benefit of solutions to problems, as well as being able to evaluate potential employee hires over a nine-month period. The students benefit by working on real-world projects in a business environment.

For more information, please email Danielle Vath, coordinator, Cooperative Education Program, or call 216.687.6970. Click the links below for additional details.