Our Accomplishments Here are some highlights from our work in 2016 and those of our economic development partners.To learn more, click to read or download our 2016 Annual Report. Advocacy: Speaking with "one voice" for our members and partners Our work helped defeat two measures that would have hindered job creation and business growth and negatively impacted the city’s economic momentum. We successfully opposed a Cleveland-only $15 minimum wage proposal and a separate Cleveland-only part-time workers’ initiative. Efforts by our Advocacy Team also helped provide relief for employers across the state. This includes securing unemployment compensation relief that saved employers millions of dollars. Business and Economic Development: Attracting investment, creating jobs Our Business Development Team delivered on the first year of its three-year strategic plan to support the growth and retention of those companies that call Northeast Ohio home. Our team had 850 engagements with individual companies resulting in 2,700 new jobs to the region and more 3,600 jobs retained and $686 million in investment. We also continued to support companies in our region through our focus on expanding air carriers and service at Cleveland Hopkins International Airport (CLE). Collaborative efforts by the GCP Air Service Demand Task Force, the City of Cleveland and CLE led to new or expanded nonstop routes to several markets of importance to the business community. Physical Development and Infrastructure: Transforming our city through catalytic projects For more than 25 years, Cleveland Development Advisors (CDA) has been committed to creating jobs and improving neighborhoods through catalytic investments throughout the city. This past year included $49 million in invested in projects that connect with GCP’s education and workforce development priority as well as advance projects in the downtown business district, Cleveland neighborhoods and the lakefront. The tradition of collaboration entered a new era in 2016 with the creation of the Greater Cleveland Civic Connection (GCCC), a GCP program that connects the business community with public infrastructure partners including the City of Cleveland, Cuyahoga County, Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority, Northeast Ohio Regional Sewer District, and the Cleveland-Cuyahoga County Port Authority. Meanwhile, two impactful projects that the GCP supported were completed in 2016: the $50 million makeover of Public Square and the full opening of the twin-span George V. Voinovich Bridge. The $566 million bridge project is the largest single investment in Ohio Department of Transportation history. Progress also was made on Opportunity Corridor, a catalytic project long-championed by the GCP that will provide enhanced access to thousands of residents on Cleveland’s east side while supporting the potential redevelopment of several hundred acres of vacant or underutilized land. Economic Inclusion: Connecting diversity to business goals The Commission on Economic Inclusion continued to focus on assisting its corporate members with meeting their diversity and inclusion goals by connecting them with measurement tools, best-practice resources, and providing thought-leading discussions on workplace diversity and inclusion. Supporting the growth and sustainability of minority business enterprises (MBEs) also remained a Commission priority. With funding from The Burton D. Morgan Foundation and The George Gund Foundation, the Commission launched a new collaborative, linking nine independent economic development organizations to create a coordinated and efficient process to accelerate the growth of MBEs. In addition, progress of the two-year-old Construction Diversity and Inclusion initiative continued. Education and Workforce Development: Leading business involvement in revitalizing public education and building the talent pipeline Finding and keeping top talent is a top challenge for our member companies of all sizes. Our work in this space accelerated in 2016 along several fronts. With the support of Cuyahoga County and other partners, we began working to create and implement a targeted employer-driven strategy that addresses immediate workforce needs and creates scale-up solutions for the future. Our Pathways Partners initiative was awarded a $100,000 grant by the Cleveland Foundation to continue focusing on college and career readiness for Cleveland Metropolitan School District (CMSD) students. Ongoing efforts helped engage the business community in True2U, a collaborative career exploration program for CMSD eighth-graders at 22 schools, and in the Academies of Cleveland initiative through which students from five CMSD high schools are exposed to career opportunities. In addition, the grant supported the launch of GCP Internship Central aimed at bringing the business and education communities together to increase and improve internship opportunities in Northeast Ohio. Membership: Delivering value, connecting business leaders In 2016, we launched a new business model to better connect the work of the Council of Smaller Enterprises (COSE), the Commission on Economic Inclusion, the Middle-Market Initiative and OHTec with the GCP’s core initiatives. This realignment enables us to more efficiently deliver value to our members of all sizes.