Posted in Talent

Hanging onto College Talent

Northeast Ohio is a global destination for young adults seeking a college education. Oberlin, Case, U of Akron, Kent State and dozens of other colleges and universities attract thousands of young people to our region every year. A key to achieving the goals of Advance Northeast Ohio is hanging onto those young, educated adults once they graduate and attracting more of their friends here, too.

One way to hang onto the college students is to show them the great assets of Northeast Ohio and engage them in the life and vibrancy of our region. That is the idea behind the latest piece of the Cleveland Plus marketing campaign. The Plus College web site connects college students with arts, recreational, job and other opportunities in the region. Check out the possibilities at

Posted in Uncategorized

Minority Companies Finding More Opportunities

Creating more economic opportunities for minority-owned companies is one of the strategies of Advance Northeast Ohio, and one of the regional initiatives pursuing that strategy is the Minority Business Accelerator 2.5+. It recently provided a review of its year of performance.

The MBA 2.5+ completed nine deals in 2008 that totaled more than $6 million with an average deal value of $650,000. The companies helped added more than 30 employees. The deals were from multiple industries: telecommunications and data cabling; electrical; construction; heating, ventilation and air conditioning; printing; and professional services.

Congratulations to the inaugural class of MBEs served by the MBA 2.5+:

• Coleman Spohn Co.
• The Coniglio Co.
• FX Digital Media Inc. (
• Global Point Technologies, Inc.
• Key General Contractors
• Mac Installations
• Ralph Tyler Companies
• Start to Finish Construction
• Triple A Builders

Also, thanks to these companies that provided business opportunities to the MBA 2.5+ companies in 2008:

• Case Western Reserve University
• Cleveland Clinic
• Cleveland Metropolitan School District (STEM High School project)
• Cleveland Museum of Art
• Cuyahoga County
• KeyCorp
• The MetroHealth Medical System
• The Sherwin-Williams Company

In January the MBA 2.5+ also added a new client, Clark Mechanical, which was recently awarded a $4 million subcontract from Coleman Spohn for work on the University Hospital construction project.

Posted in Business Growth

Region’s Portfolio of Growing Companies Expands

Add iGuiders to our region’s ever-expanding portfolio of exciting companies that are creating the future.

iGuiders develops solutions to improve online search and lead generation for complex products and services. It recently secured an investment commitment of $275,000 from JumpStart, one of the Advance Northeast Ohio initiatives that is focused on helping high-growth, young companies succeed.

Learn more about iGuiders and JumpStart.

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Posted in Uncategorized

Attraction Efforts Generating Results

The constant headlines regarding job cuts across our region and the country can make it easy to forget that some companies are continuing to grow and Northeast Ohio needs to continue to work at attracting those companies here.

Today Carin Rockind of Team NEO will be joining a few other partners in Advance Northeast Ohio in a conversation with Leadership Mahoning Valley to discuss our region’s action plan. As was reported last month, Team NEO helped recruit 10 companies to the region last year with 700 jobs. Team NEO knows we need to increase those results and one way to do that is to generate more leads regarding company expansion opportunities.

Do you know of a company from another region or overseas that might be looking to expand and would benefit from locating in the Cleveland Plus region? If so, please reach out to Team NEO and pass along the lead.

Posted in Uncategorized

What Can We Do Together?

Last week I had the opportunity to present at the first of a 3-part series on regionalism hosted by the League of Women Voters (many different leagues across NEO from Shaker Heights to Trumbull County).  The next two events are at the Hudson Library the evenings of 2/12 and 2/26 and feature discussions on revenue sharing and the Regional Prosperity Initiative.

Something I said during my presentation struck people.  I know this because I have now received multiple notes from those in the audience about the same comment:  Regionalism isn’t about consolidation, its about collaboration and sharing.

Regionalism doesn’t require you to give up what you have, or to take from your neighbor, but instead encourages you to ask and answer the question, “What can we do together?” 

Folks, the time has come where we can no longer stick our heads in the sand and pretend that what happens “over there” isn’t our problem.  I know you know know what I’m taking about.  No more using “regionalism = consolidation” as an easy way out.  We are all in this together, so we might as well get over whatever issues prevent us from asking and answering the question, “What can we do together?” 

Posted in Government

Will Talk Lead to Gov’t Merger

Merging government units is never easy, but it can happen when the right people are in positions of power and when the incentives for change are greater than the desire for the status quo. It’s too early to tell if the time is right, but officials with three health departments in Summit County are talking about a merger again.

ABJ reporter Cheryll Powell details the conversation today:

Summit County’s three health departments are talking about whether to consider merging the public agencies to improve services and save money.

The Akron Health Department, the Summit County Health District and the Barberton Health District have had informal, ”exploratory” discussions about investigating a merger, Summit County Health Commissioner Gene Nixon said.

”There isn’t anything like a decision to form a committee or hire a consultant,” Nixon said this week. ”We’re moving toward the point where we should talk about that.”

The idea of merging the county’s health departments has been floated several times during the past 15 years, Nixon said.


Akron recently merged its building department with the county’s building department. And the city’s police department and the county sheriff are working more closely together. Perhaps Summit County will become the leader in the region when it comes to government consolidation.

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