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Every Monday -- News from GCP

Promoting inclusion in Greater Cleveland construction projects

The Construction Diversity & Inclusion (CDI) initiative of the Commission on Economic Inclusion reports progress and activity on three fronts in its efforts to increase the use of Minority Business Enterprises (MBEs) and Female Business Enterprises (FBEs) firms in Greater Cleveland’s major construction projects.

Collaborative efforts are addressing challenges or producing results in workforce readiness, local hiring, and owners outreach and reporting.

Workforce readiness: Results from the CDI’s demand study completed in September 2014 found that while there are significant long-term job opportunities on Northeast Ohio construction projects, there is also a workforce gap that is creating a challenge to fill those jobs. Actions include:
  • The CDI effort has established a registered Pre-Apprenticeship Training (PAT) program with the Ohio State Apprenticeship Council (OSAC) which maximizes the opportunity to connect local diverse candidates – both women and minorities – into the construction and building trades.
  •  The Urban League of Greater Cleveland, Towards Employment and El Barrio/The Centers have served as community partners in the PAT effort. Each organization identifies prospective PAT candidates, brings those candidates through a soft skills program to prepare them for the eight week classroom and “hands-on” technical skills training experience, which is held at the Cuyahoga Community College Advanced Technology Training Center.

    Class 5 of the PAT program concluded July 17. To date, 39 students have successfully completed the PAT program with 27 students initially placed into the trades and 10 employed elsewhere.
  • The Cleveland Building and Construction Trades Council (CBCTC) has been an active partner in the PAT process. Through a partnership announced in March, the CBCTC is creating career pathways with students at the New Max Hayes School
Owners outreach and reporting: The CDI is currently tracking over $1.5 billion in construction activity in Northeast Ohio. All Project Owners who signed the Community Benefits’ Memorandum of Understanding and/or the Owners’ Endorsement, continue to actively participate in the CDI Owners Outreach and Data Reporting Subcommittee. Actions include:
  • Project Owners and their representatives also participate in quarterly meetings of the Owners Outreach group where discussion of best practices, communication strategies and reporting are fully engaged.
Local hiring: The Greater Cleveland Partnership and the Commission on Economic Inclusion joined the City of Cleveland in opposing HB 180 and SB 152 in the Ohio legislature that would eliminate local government’s ability to ensure that construction projects in the region benefit the local workforce. Other actions include:
  • The GCP and the Commission provided testimony in opposition to the bills. Member companies and organizations have also signed a letter urging members of the General Assembly to oppose HB 180 and SB 152.
  • The CDI continues to work closely with the GCP Government Advocacy team and will provide updates on these efforts.

Why our arts and culture community needs public funding

Cuyahoga County’s arts and cultural assets have brought worldwide recognition and economic vitality to our region for more than a century. But by the early 2000s, it was clear that private donations alone couldn’t support this sector, which had produced so much public benefit.

Prior to 2006, Cuyahoga County was one of the largest metro areas in the nation without dedicated public funding for arts and culture. Today, we are among one of the nation’s leaders in providing public funding for arts and culture, and the dividends this investment has paid have been tremendous.

To continue that funding, the Greater Cleveland Partnership is supporting the passage of the November 3rd ballot issue calling for the 10-year renewal (it is not a tax increase) of the current 1.5 cents tax per cigarette sold in Cuyahoga County to support arts and cultural organizations.

These organizations play a leading role in attracting millions of tourists and visitors to our region. In 2013 alone, they served almost 6 million residents and visitors.

Get involved. Support the campaign!

You can help support the levy by getting involved in the campaign. Please visit the levy renewal campaign website to volunteer, request an early voting ballot, or even donate to the campaign.

And be sure to vote YES for the arts and cultural renewal levy.

A middle-market forum for CEOs: Perspectives on the 2015 National Economy and Outlook for 2016

The Greater Cleveland Partnership is pleased to invite CEOs from our middle-market member companies to our Fourth-Quarter Middle-Market Forum where our speaker will be Dr. Martin A. Regalia, senior vice president for economic and tax policy and chief economist at the United States Chamber of Commerce.

The forum will be held Wednesday, November 11 from 7:30 to 9 a.m. at the GCP Offices, 1240 Huron Road in PlayhouseSquare.

Please join us for an informative presentation to hear how the national economy shaping up in the fourth quarter of 2015. You’ll also hear about some of the key economic trends to watch for in 2016 that could impact your middle-market company.

Registration information will be available soon. Please note: This is event is for CEOs only. Invitations are nontransferable.

Thanks to our sponsors:

Middle-market perspectives: Strengthen your bottom line
with cloud technology

Cloud technology that can store company data in a system capable of scaling up to meet rising needs can be a game changer for middle-market businesses.

The various cloud functionalities available from third-party applications allow midmarket companies to compete with larger industry players on more equal footing. They help level the playing field in critical areas such as data analytics that help inform research and development, sales, marketing and customer service. Other cloud applications improve worker efficiency, thus strengthening the bottom line.

Rob Carey, a National Center for the Middle Market contributor and a features writer recommends that middle market companies need to first determine how much of the organization should leverage the cloud's servers, networks and individual applications.

He says it’s also important to choose the right cloud provider as well as understand the process and the terms of storing, processing and retrieving data on demand.

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.

Flats East Bank development vision realized with help
from Port of Cleveland

With its riverfront boardwalk now open and drawing large crowds, the Flats East Bank development is one step closer to realizing the vision of an inviting waterfront neighborhood laid out by the late Bert Wolstein a decade ago.

The Port of Cleveland has been a strong partner to the project since its inception and sharing the vision of reconnecting Clevelanders to the water.

Developed through a partnership between The Wolstein Group and Fairmount Properties LLC, Flats East Bank is a three-phase, mixed-use development featuring offices, apartments, a hotel, retail, restaurant, and entertainment options, and dedicated public space along the Cuyahoga River.

It sits on a 23-acre site that first helped secure Cleveland’s place as an industrial powerhouse, was later a thriving entertainment district but fell into vacancy and blight by the early 2000s.

Initially, the Port assisted the Wolstein Group and Fairmount with land assembly of the blighted parcels. With the site assembled, the Port later issued nearly $230 million in bonds to finance construction of the project, and maintains an ownership interest in the property while the bonds are retired.

The financing proved important, as it helped the development weather the tight capital markets following the global recession that began in 2008 as the project was readying to launch.

The Port also worked to secure additional state, federal, and local dollars for roadways, storm sewers, and bulkheads along the riverfront. It was also the recipient of the public grants to create the boardwalk along the Cuyahoga River.

“We’re excited to see the vision becoming reality,” said Will Friedman, Port president and CEO. “This development is a prime example of how the Port can provide public-private partnerships to make transformative development happen.”

To read more about Flats East Bank, visit

Those interested in exploring use of the Port’s development financing services should contact Brent Leslie, the Port’s chief financial officer, at

Developers Showcase spotlights Northeast Ohio’s business growth potential

NAIOP Northern Ohio’s Developers Showcase on Wednesday, September 30 from 1 to 5:30 p.m., will feature a a panel of national site selectors discussing Northeast Ohio's business growth and attraction strengths, weaknesses and opportunities.

Moderated by William Friedman, president and CEO of the Port of Cleveland, the event will be held at the Music Box Supper Club, 1148 Main Avenue. The agenda also includes an update on planning activities for the 2016 Republican National Convention by Greater Cleveland Partnership President and CEO Joe Roman.

In addition, leveraging the Industrial Asset Management Council (IAMC)'s Fall Forum in Cleveland, the program will have a special announcement of a joint initiative of IAMC and the Society of Industrial and Office Realtors (SIOR) that will be of special interest to industrial developers and design professionals.

IAMC Executive Director Tate Godfrey will unveil the findings of a new study from the DesignFlex2030 initiative that explores the potential of new design approaches that could lead to more flexible, adaptable and sustainable facilities.

Click for details.

High-powered business summit coming to CLE;
GCP members get special discount

The Greater Cleveland Partnership and Fuel Leadership LLC are pleased to announce a 20 percent discount for GCP members who register for the “12 Rock Stars of the Business World,” business summit on Wednesday, September 30 at the Connor Palace in PlayhouseSquare.

You’ll leave this one-day high-octane summit pumped with actionable ideas, strategies and tactics from foremost experts in business leadership that will help you:
  • Expand leadership skills
  • Catalyze innovation with new ideas
  • Forge new networking opportunities
  • Improve company performance
  • Entrench client relationships
  • Reward and enhance your top employees
Who should attend?
  • CEOs, CFOs, COO’s, CMOs, CIOs, VPs, Directors and other senior leaders
  • High-potential leaders on the raceway to increased responsibility
  • Entrepreneurs
  • Community leaders and those looking to drive innovation and change
Seating is limited, so check out the schedule and register now.

The best discount is only available through GCP. To receive 20 percent off, be sure to enter the code GCP when registering.

Join the 2016 convention team

Here’s how you can be part of the team that will be working to ensure that our city is best represented during the 2016 Republican National Convention and that the convention is the most successful to date.

Volunteer opportunities include airport greeters, hotel greeters, transportation greeters, and street ambassadors. Volunteers will also be needed to assist with hospitality for field volunteers during the convention.

While specific details of these opportunities are still being developed, we encourage you to sign up by visiting the volunteer information website and clicking the "SIGN UP NOW" button*.

For questions, please contact

How your company can 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 work 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.