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Every Monday -- News from GCP

Business community input helps shape Cuyahoga County budget proposal; priorities include workforce training

Earlier this month, Cuyahoga County Executive Armond Budish released his executive budget proposal. This roughly $2.9 billion two-year spending plan is Executive Budish’s blueprint for operating the largest county budget in the state.

Yvette Ittu, the Greater Cleveland Partnership’s executive vice president for finance and operations, recently served on a county budget task force to help officials examine the current year budget and to take initial steps in the development of the next budget proposal.

In outlining his priorities, Executive Budish indicated a need to address an operating deficit and limited debt capacity. In addition, Budish prioritized workforce training, elimination of blighted properties, streamlining operations, and investment in high-quality pre-kindergarten education.

The Cuyahoga County Council is engaged in budget hearings on these issues and is set to approve a final budget in mid-December.

Important information about the November 3rd ballot issues

The Greater Cleveland Partnership is pleased to provide online information for employers to share with employees about four issues that are on the November 3rd ballot.

Click the links below to access our web pages.

YES on Issue 1: The GCP is urging a YES vote on Issue 1, the Fair Districts Ohio statewide ballot issue. Currently, the districts are drawn so the vast majority of candidates have little to worry about once they win their primary. The result is a polarization of our General Assembly. More accountability and fairness in the process will improve governing in our state.

YES on Issue 2: The GCP is urging YES vote on Issue 2, an amendment which, if passed, would limit constitutional amendments proposing to grant economic monopoly rights not available to other similarly situated persons.. It also would invalidate Issue 3 that would create a monopoly or oligopoly for marijuana.

NO on Issue 3
: Following a lengthy review, the GCP concluded that the ResponsibleOhio proposal to permit marijuana use for both recreational and medical purposes could negatively impact workplaces and burden small businesses in Ohio.

YES on Issue 8: The GCP urges voters to support Issue 8, which calls for renewal of an existing cigarette tax in Cuyahoga County that generates support for arts and culture. It is NOT a tax increase.

Get involved with the Issue 8 campaign!

When you volunteer for the Issue 8 campaign, you're doing more than helping to spread the word about a great cause. You're inspiring your community and taking a stand for one of Cuyahoga County's most treasured assets: our arts & culture organizations.

How to vote an early/absentee ballot

All Ohio voters have the opportunity to vote in the November 3rd election from the convenience of their homes by requesting that your ballot be mailed to you.

  • Click here to request and vote an absentee ballot.

  • Click here for the Cuyahoga County Board of Elections Vote by Mail application.

Once your ballot is completed you can either drop it off at your local Board of Elections or return it by mail.

Middle-market perspectives: Managing workforce growth

The National Center for the Market regularly publishes content aimed at providing middle-market executives with insights into topics and issues that impact their companies’ growth and competitiveness.

New articles by Rob Carey, an NCMM contributor and free-lance writer who focuses on the business-to-business niche, explore topics that impact operational excellence and talent management.

When a middle market company successfully grows its volume of business to where it needs to add employees, internal growing pains could come along with it.

But companies can be proactive to successfully adjust to having a larger workforce by “thoughtfully and regularly revisiting office rules and guidelines to make sure none have become obsolete.”

Carey offers four ways middle-market executives can make their office rules and guidelines better equipped to handle the needs of their organizations as the work environment evolves:

  • Establish a committee of newer employees, veteran employees and managers to revisit existing rules and consider new ones.
  • Create a handbook on an internal website or other source that's easy to update and access.
  • Enlist an ombudsman to handle personal consultations with employees.
  • Spell out discipline procedures for minor and major misconduct.

Click to learn more.

Creating efficiencies through your operations team

For a middle-market company, the quality of its operations is a key driver of success. Even if a middle-market company has competitive offerings and strong sales, operational inefficiency diminishes delivery of the best possible product or service.

But since many mid-sized companies don't have the resources to employ more than just a few people in this key function, how can your operations department maximize efficiency and productivity throughout the entire organization?

Rob Carey says It’s essential that the operations team first organize itself and its own processes properly before helping other departments. Here are a few ways to do so:

  • Establish subsystems: strategic, daily management and problem solving. According to a 2014 National Center for the Middle Market report, mid-sized firms' ability to achieve and maintain operational improvements comes about when their operations teams are well-organized through the use of certain subsystems.
  • Build the right communication channels. The success of these subsystems relies almost completely on effective communication. Therefore, the communication channels for each one must be easy for all employees to access and use.
  • Take outside vendors into account. Given the frequency with which midsized companies outsource various tasks to third parties, your operations teams must also build communication channels that accommodate the significant interaction between a company's departments and specific vendors.

Click to learn more.

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.

Port of Cleveland attracts tens of thousands
to Lakefront Nature Preserve

Since opening in 2012, the Cleveland Lakefront Nature Preserve—located just minutes from downtown and operated by the Port of Cleveland—has become an international destination for those seeking a unique setting to view wildlife and experience nature. In 2015 alone, the 88-acre site has welcomed over 20,000 visitors.

“The Lakefront Nature Preserve is a key to the Port’s commitment to being green and sustainable, while also providing the public opportunities for meaningful interaction with our waterfronts and wildlife,” said Port President and CEO Will Friedman. “We’re excited to play a role in connecting residents and visitors to Lake Erie and nature.”

The Nature Preserve originally was created as a confined disposal facility (CDF) to hold sediment dredged from the Cuyahoga riverbed to keep the shipping channel open. When sediment placement ended in 1999, the soil settled and an amazing array of flora and fauna gradually claimed the site.

Today, one can find multiple habitats and animals as diverse as coyotes, minks, foxes and deer (to name just a few) on site. Audubon Ohio has designated it an Important Bird Area, and over 177 species of birds have been recorded on site in just the past year.

The site also has become part of Cleveland’s destination tourism portfolio, with visitors from across the world stopping at the site to experience its tranquil natural settings and breathtaking views of downtown Cleveland and Lake Erie. Those who visit will also find 2.5 miles of walking trails and a scenic overlook plaza on the eastern edge with benches and public art.

“The eastern edge has beautiful vistas of the lake unlike anywhere in Cleveland,” said Linda Sternheimer, the Port’s development manager. “The Preserve is truly unique way to see nature, Lake Erie, and Cleveland. “It’s a place everyone should experience.”

The Preserve is free and open to the public during daylight hours. Click here to plan your visit.