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Focusing on the future, CMSD students pledge their commitment to graduate

Cleveland Metropolitan School District’s (CMSD) ninth graders who attend Academies of Cleveland (AoC) schools recently pledged their commitment to graduate in a ceremony held at each of the five AoC schools.

AoC is a new approach to college and career readiness for students in the following CMSD high schools: Garrett Morgan, Jane Addams Business Careers Center, Martin Luther King Jr., Max S. Hayes, and Washington Park Environmental Studies.

It is one component of Pathways Partners, an initiative of the Greater Cleveland Partnership that connects the business community with education providers and students in developing Cleveland’s future workforce.  

The ninth-graders committed to graduating from AoC career-technical schools and to pursue their chosen career pathways in the workforce or go to college. For many CMSD students, ninth grade is a critical year, and its outcome can determine if they persevere and receive diplomas.

The students, who received commitment-to-graduate certificates, also heard from their teachers and administrators who pledged to help them every step of the way and from graduates who attended their schools and pursued postsecondary education and/or careers.

They will spend the year concentrating on academics and later will choose one of the school’s career pathways. Each school focuses on career pathways from a variety of industries that drive economic growth in our community.

The AoC schools work to ensure that young people are prepared to learn for a lifetime, thrive in tomorrow’s dynamic workplaces, and contribute to Cleveland’s economic prosperity and civic advancement.

Above photo: Students at Max S.Hayes High School participated in their school’s commitment-to-graduate ceremony.

Vote 'YES' for continued improvement in Cleveland schools

A higher graduation rate is just one of the improvements achieved by the Cleveland Metropolitan School District (CMSD) since 2012.

To continue this positive trend, the Greater Cleveland Partnership is urging a “YES” vote on Issue 108, a four-year renewal of the 15-mill operating levy that supports the CMSD with 1 mill set aside for partnering with high-quality charter schools.

Levy funds will provide four more years of financial support for The Cleveland Plan, Mayor Frank Jackson's blueprint for positively transforming the delivery and impact of education for Cleveland’s K-12 students.

Here are some of the other measurable improvements from the past four years:
  • More than half of all graduating seniors are now going on to college.
  • The schools made improvements in elementary math and reading scores last year, outperforming other large urban school districts on the Nation’s Report Card.
  • 86 percent of third-graders passed the Third Grade Reading Guarantee.
  • With PRE4CLE, the city has added more than 1,200 high-quality preschool seats in its first year, helping more young learners prepare for kindergarten and elementary education.
Click to read more.

A city on the move needs voter support to continue
its renaissance

Voter support also is needed to improve services for those living and working in Cleveland and to create a safer and more attractive city for frequent visitors through Issue 32—a ballot initiative that will raise the income tax by 0.50 percent.

City leaders have a strong track record managing the City budget, especially through the challenges of the late 2000s. The proposed increase would be Cleveland’s first since 1981.

A "YES" vote on Issue 32 would provide funds—estimated at about $80 million annually—to help grow and develop Cleveland neighborhoods by giving the city the ability to increase services on multiple levels. This includes:
  • Improving security and programming at recreation centers for Cleveland’s youth.
  • Supporting Cleveland’s seniors by increasing safety programming they can utilize at home.
  • Allowing the mowing of vacant lots and clean-up illegal dumping of trash.
  • Better coordinating initiatives that will curb and deter crime. 
Funding also would be available so that the Cleveland Police Department could hire the officers it needs.

To learn more about the importance of Issue 32, click to read our blog post.

Get a free energy assessment worth up to $7,000

Greater Cleveland Partnership member companies with buildings up to 75,000 square feet (or per electric meter) are invited to participate in a comprehensive assessment of how your facility uses power, gas, electric, solar, wind, or steam.

The cost of this assessment is paid for by FirstEnergy, so there’s no-out-of-pocket expense for you.

The goal is to provide insights and be a guide to energy-saving opportunities that will be cash-flow positive and help your bottom line. This assessment can be a valuable first step toward saving on your energy bill if you are:
  • Using outdated lighting technology (lighting systems installed more than five years ago). 
  • Concerned about your HVAC or other mechanical systems effectiveness or age before they fail.
  • Needing to improve cash flow within the next 6-12 months while investing in your business and facility.
  • Needing to reduce operating expenses to meet budget goals.

Act now, because only 25 spots are still available this year.

You’ll also have access to the GCP/COSE in-house energy team for energy procurement and resources to support energy efficiency projects, rebate assistance, and project financing.

To learn more, please contact Nicole Stika, GCP/COSE vice president, energy services, at 216.592.2338 or

Chamber execs wager on World Series outcome

Greater Cleveland Partnership President and CEO Joe Roman and Theresa Mintle, his peer at the Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce, have a wager going for this year’s World Series.

One team—probably the Indians, Joe thinks—will end one of baseball’s two longest championship droughts. (Cleveland is looking for its first World Series title in 68 years; the Cubs haven’t won since 1908.)

Joe and Theresa are each wagering $100 of locally produced merchandise (mostly food products) from their respective cities based on the final outcome.

Cleveland’s package includes Great Lakes and Platform beer, Galluci’s pasta and sauces, Orlando’s bread and Nestle’s pizza among other things.

Joe and Theresa serve together on the Executive Committee of the Association of Chamber of Commerce Executives, which helps support and develop chamber professionals to lead businesses and their communities.

Above image:
"Rally Together" mural on display at Public Square.

Port’s Lakefront Nature Preserve attracts 100,000 visitors

The Cleveland Lakefront Nature Preserve (CLNP) – 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.

This year, the 88-acre site hit another milestone - over 100,000 visitors have been welcomed to the CLNP since opening in 2012.

“The Cleveland Lakefront Nature Preserve continues to be a significant piece of the Port’s commitment to being green and sustainable,” said Port President and CEO Will Friedman.

“We’re also excited to play a role in connecting residents and visitors to wildlife and the water. Crossing 100,000 visits shows that the site has truly captured the public’s imagination.”

The CLNP 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 186 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 also will find 2.5 miles of walking trails and a scenic overlook plaza on the eastern edge with benches and public art.

Linda Sternheimer, the Port’s director of urban planning and engagement, noted that visits are up 20 percent in 2016.

“People are captivated by the chance to experience a more natural wildlife setting and the beautiful vistas of the lake unlike anywhere in Cleveland,” said Sternheimer. “The Cleveland Lakefront Nature Preserve is a 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. To plan your visit, click here.