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Every Monday -- News from GCP

Unemployment tax relief on the horizon for employers

Several years ago, Ohio’s unemployment rate increased and the state’s unemployment fund was ill-prepared to cover the costs. The federal government subsequently provided Ohio with a loan to continue paying jobless benefits.

With the exception of interest, employers were, and still are, solely responsible for paying the balance of the debt incurred. If no action is taken, employers’ unemployment tax bills will continue to incrementally rise through 2017 until the debt is paid.

The Greater Cleveland Partnership/COSE has been working methodically with its members, policymakers, and partners towards a solution to this important issue. And, an encouraging proposal is expected to be introduced and passed in the state legislature this week that would pay Ohio’s debt to the federal government.

State funds, which would be repaid, would be used to pay the debt, triggering the federal unemployment tax rate to go back to the regular level. Here’s how it could impact your company:

This year, employers are paying a total of $147 per employee in unemployment taxes due to the debt Ohio owes the federal government. By comparison, the regular unemployment tax rate would be $42 per employee, if Ohio did not owe money to the federal government.

Employers are expected to pay $168 per employee in 2017—if no action is taken—due to the debt.

If the debt were to be paid by November 10, 2016—as the legislature and Governor intend to allow for through legislation that could pass as early as Wednesday—it’s estimated that Ohio employers would save almost half a billion dollars next year.

GCP/COSE supports efforts to pay Ohio’s debt and applauds the Administration and leadership in the General Assembly for their commitment to resolving this issue. The sooner the debt is paid, the sooner relief can be afforded to Ohio’s employers, saving them an estimated $405M that can be reinvested in the state’s economy.

In addition, GCP/COSE will continue to advocate vigorously for long-term reforms to ensure the unemployment fund achieves solvency in the years ahead.

Contact your state legislator today and urge them to act on this important issue.

Resources to inform your diversity and inclusion strategies

The Commission on Economic Inclusion’s (COEI) Best Practices Repository provides a central location for resources and research on workplace diversity and inclusion. The information can be accessed by any employee of a Greater Cleveland Partnership or COEI member organization.

You’ll find valuable information regardless of where your organization is on its D&I journey—whether it is the early stages, considered best-in-class or somewhere in between.

This month’s featured article is from the Harvard Business Review, “If There's Only One woman in Your Candidate Pool, There's Statistically No Chance She'll Be Hired.”

Click to access the featured article from and other content from the Repository.

Cut your residential energy bill through this special GCP offer

OnDemand Energy, the managing consultant of the GCP/COSE Natural Gas and Electric Choice Programs, is offering exclusive savings with Public Power LLC® to employees of Greater Cleveland Partnership member companies.

By signing up now, you can lock in a fixed monthly rate of 6.29kWh/12 months for your home.

But be sure to act now! This discount is only available until May 31, 2016!

If you have questions, please contact Nicole Stika, the GCP/COSE senior director of energy services, at 216.592.2338 or

Founded in 2008, Public Power LLC is a leader in the retail energy industry, offering electricity services to over 200,000 customers in Connecticut, Illinois, Maryland, New York, New Jersey, Washington D.C., Pennsylvania and now Ohio. GCP members are among the first in Ohio to be offered this special rate.

NOTE: Public Power LLC is not to be confused with Cleveland Public Power, the municipal electric company, operating only in the City of Cleveland.

Summit to focus on medical research and economic growth

Ohio is one of the top 10 states for biomedical research with nearly $1 billion in medical research funding, What’s there to talk about?

“Medical Research: The Right Prescription for Economic Growth” will be discussed at a summit for industry-academia partners in research on Monday, June 6 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the NEOMED Education and Wellness Center, 4209 State Route 44 in Rootstown.

Moderated by: Susan Dentzer, president and CEO of The Network for Excellence in Health Innovation. Panelists include:
  • Michael Drake, president, The Ohio State University;
  • Joe Kanfer, chairman and CEO, GOJO Industries;
  • Walter Koroshetz, director, National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke;
  • Lucinda Maine, executive vice president and CEO of American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy;
  • Sudip Parikh, vice president and general manager, Health & Analytics, Battelle; and
  • Thomas F. Zenty III, CEO, University Hospitals
There also will be comments by 11 university presidents and Andrew Doehrel, president and CEO, Ohio Chamber of Commerce.

Click for more information about the summit.

The event is free with lunch included, but seating is limited. Please RSVP by Friday, May 27.

Port of Cleveland secures $2.5M from Ohio capital budget
to stabilize Irishtown Bend

The Port of Cleveland moved closer to stabilizing Irishtown Bend last week when Ohio Governor John Kasich signed the 2016-18 capital budget into law—securing $2.5 million for the project. Irishtown Bend is a critical bank along the Cuyahoga River that threatens to collapse into the navigation channel if not stabilized.

“The Port of Cleveland thanks the Ohio General Assembly and Governor Kasich for investing in this critical infrastructure project, and our local partners, including the Greater Cleveland Partnership, for their support as we pursued these dollars,” said Port President and CEO Will Friedman. “This is a wise investment of public funds that helps protect over 18,000 jobs and $1.8 billion in economic activity generated via maritime for both our local community and Ohio.”

Click for information about other projects
included in the state capital budget that were recommended by the GCP.

The capital budget funds are the first major piece of funding put in place for the cost effective solution identified by a recent Port-commissioned study. Stabilizing the hillside also will promote future public use, including the planned Cleveland Foundation Centennial Trail, which will connect Wendy Park to the 110-mile Towpath Trail National Park System along the Cuyahoga.

“The state capital dollars will provide a major boost to the Port of Cleveland’s public-private funding effort to stabilize Irishtown Bend,” said Jade Davis, vice president of external affairs for the Port.

“The Port will continue to work with its partners to identify and secure the dollars needed for this crucial project that will protect the Cuyahoga River, its upriver businesses, and its water quality.”

Those additional partners include the City of Cleveland, Cleveland Metroparks, Cuyahoga Metropolitan Housing Authority, LAND studio, Northeast Ohio Regional Sewer District, Ohio City Inc., and ArcelorMittal steel mill.

This group will continue to meet regularly to collaborate on advancing the solution and lock in the rest of the funds needed to secure the hillside.