Stay Informed on News and Policy

Every Monday -- News from GCP

Opportunity Corridor project gets green light
with Turnpike bond funding

Governor Kasich held a press conference at Orlando Baking Company in Cleveland today to announce the acceleration of timelines for several transportation projects including Opportunity Corridor.

In the “Jobs and Transportation Plan,” the Governor is recommending Turnpike bond funding for Opportunity Corridor with a construction date beginning in 2014, shaving 13+ years from the original funding date of 2027. The GCP supported the Governor’s plans to better leverage the Turnpike to fund transportation projects and lobbied for enabling legislation.

Speaking at the press conference, GCP President and CEO Joe Roman thanked the Governor and and Mayor Frank Jackson for their continued commitment to Opportunity Corridor. Roman also thanked GCP Board members Terrance Egger and James Ireland, co-chairs of the Opportunity Corridor Steering Committee, for shepherding the project thus far.

"I just love it when a plan comes together,” said Roman. "This investment will be the catalyst for follow-on private investment in the 300 acres in nearby communities, which are currently underdeveloped or underutilized. Today is a great day for us, knowing we will get a critical project done earlier than expected, and it will be an even better day if the Transportation Review Advisory Council approves the governor’s recommendation."

The Governor’s recommendation will now go to the Advisory Council, which is scheduled led to meet on Thursday. 

Click here to read more in the press release. 

Public-private partnership advocates for development funding

As the Tall Ships were pulling out of North Coast Harbor, leaders from Cleveland’s public and private sectors shipped off to Washington, D.C. to advocate for funding to continue the momentum of lakefront development and the Group Plan.

The trip, coordinated by the Greater Cleveland Partnership’s advocacy department in conjunction with the City of Cleveland, was in support of the joint application for a Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) Grant submitted by the city, the Port of Cleveland and Cuyahoga County.

Continuing the long-held tradition of Cleveland public private partnerships, GCP representatives joined representatives from the city, county and port to meet with members of Ohio’s federal delegation to brief them on Cleveland’s redevelopment and the plan to connect our downtown assets. GCP was represented by two members of the GCP Executive Committee—Plain Dealer President and Publisher Terrance Egger, GCP’s Group Plan representative, and GCP Government Affairs Council Co-Chair Daniel Walsh, president, Cleveland region, Huntington National Bank, a member of the Group Plan Committee—and GCP President and CEO Joe Roman.

The pedestrian bridge project, which would be funded, in part, by the TIGER grant, would provide access and connectivity to catalytic projects recently completed, under construction, or in the RFP process, including Public Square, the Convention Center and hotel, and North Coast Harbor attractions.

The trip included meetings with Senators Brown and Portman, as well as staff and Members of Congress, including Fudge, Gibbs, Joyce, Kaptur, Renacci and Ryan, which resulted in commitments to support the project through correspondence and personal conversations with members of the Administration.

The delegation’s demonstration of support and collaboration, along with that of the delegation members, is important to the grant application’s success. However, the course forward remains challenging, with the number of requests far exceeding available dollars.

Grant awards are expected to be announced prior to the end of the federal fiscal year.

60 seconds with...Megan O’Bryan, executive director, Cleveland Transformation Alliance

Megan O'Bryan, the new executive director of the Cleveland Transformation Alliance, the advocacy group charged with ensuring the growth of high-performing district and charter schools in Cleveland, starts her new job today. In this Q&A, she discusses goals and next steps for the Alliance.

Every Monday: What are the major goals of the Transformation Alliance?

Megan O'Bryan: The Transformation Alliance is an independent advocacy organization created by community leaders and stakeholders, including the Greater Cleveland Partnership, with the goal to ensure that every child in every neighborhood of Cleveland can attend an excellent school.

It is governed by a diverse board of 31 members, including GCP President and CEO Joe Roman, and chaired by Mayor Frank G. Jackson. Our goal is to reinvent public education in Cleveland. The Transformation Alliance will work toward this goal by promoting, measuring, and communicating our school district’s progress on The Cleveland Plan for Transforming Schools.

The Plan is a promising roadmap to success and includes strategies to increase the number of excellent and innovative schools (both district and charter) and to hold schools to the highest performance standards measured by student achievement. The Transformation Alliance will be the catalyst to ensure that the many goals within The Cleveland Plan are achieved by district and charter schools and their collaborative partners to create a vibrant educational system for Cleveland’s children and their families.

EM: What are the next steps for the Transformation Alliance?

O'Bryan: Since the Transformation Alliance is a “start-up” organization much work needs to be done! Some immediate tasks include: Identity and branding work; Board development including structure, policies, visioning and consensus-building; increasing student enrollment for high-performing schools for the upcoming school year; developing a framework for annual reporting on school efficacy; and operational and infrastructure tasks required by a start-up nonprofit entity.

EM: How will the Alliance communicate with Cleveland Metropolitan School District and charter school stakeholders, especially parents and families of students?

O'Bryan: Research is underway that will hopefully guide our communications strategies, in particular for parents and families. This will likely be a multi-faceted approach that will include grassroots organizing, community engagement, various media outlets and social media. Our goal through our branding and communications work will be to create a dynamic, buzzing and broad-based “movement” around school reform with effective connections to all stakeholders.

EM: How can members of the business community be involved in the Alliance’s work?

O'Bryan: GCP has provided amazing leadership on the issue of school reform in our community. It has been a critical vehicle to help the business community understand why education reform is so important to the economic success and vitality of our region.

The Transformation Alliance will work with GCP to develop strategies to actively engage the business community in our efforts. The opportunities are endless and can include linking a company to “wrap around” an investment school, employees getting involved in mentoring or tutoring programs, hosting internships for students, or providing in-kind or financial support to efforts underway to transform our schools.

Again, GCP is stepping up as a leadership example of how to support transforming education by donating space, infrastructure resources and much-appreciated moral support to the Transformation Alliance as we get off the ground. Thank you GCP!

Breaking ground: The new Max Hayes High School

The Cleveland Metropolitan School District (CMSD) held a ceremony on July 18 to mark the groundbreaking for the new Max Hayes Career & Technical High School building, which will be located at West 65th Street and Clark Avenue.

Representatives from the state legislature, Cuyahoga County Council, Cleveland City Council, CMSD, the business community, and Max Hayes students were present to kick off the start of what has been a long-awaited construction project.

The building will be a state-of-the-art facility that can support the current curriculum redesign as imagined by “Take It to the Max!,” a blueprint to the new Max Hayes created collaboratively by CMSD and business community stakeholders. The new building is scheduled to open in the fall of 2015.

View more photos from the groundbreaking on the “Race to the Max!” Facebook page.

How to move the needle on your innovation meter

Middle-market companies are invited and encouraged to participate in Plante Moran’s 2013 Innovation Survey and receive a customized report benchmarking your innovation efforts against other middle market companies and a preview copy of the full innovation report. The report will have case studies and actionable items to help you better move the needle on your innovation meter.

Click here to get started.

Showcasing our region’s assets

NAIOP Northern Ohio’s Developers Showcase on Thursday, August 1, at the new Aloft Hotel, part of Flats East Bank Phase One, is designed to help Northern Ohio’s private and public development officials understand our region’s strengths, challenges and opportunities. The program will be held from 3 to 7 p.m.

At the invitation of Team NEO, several noted national site selectors and capital markets professionals will be visiting Northern Ohio to learn more about the many assets and opportunities within our region. These professionals will be center stage at a panel discussion to provide their perspectives on the strengths and challenges of the region relative to business growth and attraction. The event also will include networking, an exhibit marketplace, tours, and a reception.

Who should attend: Elected officials, business investors, economic development directors, commercial real estate developers, owners, brokers or other related professionals. 

Click here for more information about the event.

United explores use of alternative fuels

United Airlines is advancing the use of environmentally responsible and cost-efficient alternative aviation fuels. Recognized as a U.S. industry leader

in this area, in 2009, United became the first North American carrier to perform a two-engine aircraft flight demonstration using sustainable biofuels, and the first to use algae as a fuel source for commercial carriers.

In 2010, the airline demonstrated a reduction in emission in 2010 with the operation of the first commercial synthetic fuel flight using natural gas, maintaining levels of operational and safety performance that are comparable to conventional fuel.

In November 2011, United operated the first U.S. commercial flight powered by advanced biofuels. The Boeing 737-800 aircraft flew from the United Houston hub to the United Chicago hub using a blend of algae-derived biofuel and traditional petroleum jet fuel to power the aircraft.

Click here to read more.

Added perks for frequent travelers

United MileagePlus® has joined forces with Marriott Rewards® to provide reciprocal benefits to their most loyal members. Through “RewardsPlus,” United Global Services, Premier 1K, Premier Platinum and Premier Gold members can register for Marriott Rewards Gold Elite status, while Marriott Rewards Platinum Elite members can register for MileagePlus Premier Silver status featuring popular Premier perks.

In addition, starting next month, members of both programs will receive a discount when transferring Marriott Rewards points into MileagePlus award miles and will receive additional miles for travel packages. MileagePlus Premier members also will be able to convert miles into Marriott Rewards points. 

Click here to read more.