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Greater Cleveland Partnership Joins Coalition Committed to Non-Discrimination

The Greater Cleveland Partnership’s board leadership has voted for the organization to become a member of Ohio Business Competes, a non-partisan coalition of businesses committed to achieving non-discrimination policies to add protections in housing and employment for the LGBTQ community statewide. More than 200 businesses and organizations are a part of the coalition, including many GCP member companies. The driving factor for participating is the economic case – Ohio cannot truly be competitive in attracting the best and brightest talent if basic civil rights are not available for all current and future employees.

“GCP cannot truly drive successful business and economic development goals for the region without the development and implementation of clear diversity and inclusion strategies that advance productivity, innovation and economic growth,” says GCP’s President & CEO, Joe Roman. “We have heard our member companies loud and clear on this issue and are proud to be a member of Ohio Business Competes.”

JobsOhio Talks Successes, Core Strategies with GCP Member Companies

GCP hosted John Minor, President and Chief Investment Officer of JobsOhio for a morning conversation with GCP members and a briefing with the Northeast Ohio state delegation. Minor, along with JobsOhio’s senior director of strategy, sales and research Andrew Deye, discussed the organization’s niche focus on business development and growing efforts to address talent attraction for companies through tailored solutions. Minor highlighted the organizations efforts to continuously boost Ohio’s brand and the competitive advantage the state – and its unique regions – have for companies that are looking to locate and grow here. 

JobsOhio was created in 2011 as the private economic development entity to drive business growth in Ohio. According to statistics from the organization, more than 459,000 new private sector jobs have been created since 2011. GCP was a vocal supporter of JobOhio’s creation and is a key player in the regional network of partners that work with the organization to drive business attraction, retention and expansion efforts in Northeast Ohio. 

Court Rulings Impact Initiatives

The Eighth District of the Ohio Court of Appeals recently ruled on two matters where GCP played a lead role in advocacy efforts.

The first was a decision in support of upholding the ability of municipalities to institute local hiring laws. The court unanimously agreed with the decision of a lower court declaring a 2016 state law that sought to ban local hiring practices unconstitutional. The decision is a legal victory for the City of Cleveland and the Fannie E. Lewis Law – a city ordinance that requires 20% local hiring on city projects of $100,000 or more. The Fannie Lewis law is a foundational piece of the Community Benefits Agreement signed by the City of Cleveland, GCP, and other core partners in 2013 to boost local workforce as well as diversity and inclusion efforts in the construction field. GCP organized member companies to oppose the 2016 state law when it was first introduced. 

Another ruling stated legislation that passed last year – outlawing unique local minimum wage rates outside of the state wage rate – could be invalid because the appeals court believed the bill violated a single-subject requirement. GCP and its partners opposed a misguided local minimum wage and advocated for state intervention because it would place the City of Cleveland at a disadvantage, hinder job creation, business growth, and the overall momentum the city is now experiencing. Petitioners subsequently suspended ballot efforts to raise the minimum wage in Cleveland. 

CDA Provides Financing for New Dave’s Supermarket in Midtown

Financing closed for the new Dave’s Supermarket being constructed as part of the Link59 project at E. 59th and Euclid in the Midtown neighborhood.  Cleveland Development Advisors, an affiliate of GCP, provided a $10 million New Markets Tax Credit (NMTC) allocation and $1 million in direct financing.
This full-service grocery store will bring healthy food and educational programming to a federally designated food desert.  

Dave’s will provide cooking classes and seminars to promote healthy food choices. In addition, Dave’s is working with the UH Rainbow Center for Women and Children, under construction next door, to provide its patients with access to healthy food.
The project would not be feasible without the use of NMTC. In addition to the allocation provided by CDA, the Northeast Ohio Development Fund and Capital One provided $7 million of allocation.

Senate Passes Bill Supporting Computer Science in Schools

The Ohio Senate recently passed HB 170, legislation that would create academic content standards and model curriculum for computer science in Ohio schools. The bill now goes to the Governor for his signature. GCP testified in support of HB 170 as the legislation compliments the organization’s education and workforce efforts to expose students early on to career pathways and develop a talent pipeline for in-demand jobs. 

“HB 170 will play an important role in helping students develop core skills in computer science that will be relevant to careers in the STEM field,” says Shana Marbury, GCP’s General Counsel and Senior Vice President of Education and Workforce. “We look forward to the Governor signing this legislation.”