December Economic Development System Update

From the Desk of Bill Koehler

As 2016 is winding down, our collective performance continues to be strong across virtually all categories.  We continue to hear positive stories about how our region’s economic development community is working together to support growth.  Thank you for all your efforts.

With regard to wins in which Team NEO or JobsOhio have participated alongside all of you, through the end of November, Northeast Ohio has tallied 67 wins, generating 4,143 new jobs (92% of our annual goal), $227M in new payroll (112% of our annual goal) and $1.2B in capital investment (160% of our annual goal). Attraction wins represented 16 projects (80% of our annual goal) generating a total of 1,012 new jobs (84% of our annual goal), $54M in new payroll (108% of our annual goal) and $954M in capex (477% of our annual goal).

Our economic development network could not achieve these results without your hard work and dedication to growing and strengthening our region. With this success comes an opportunity to further refine our processes and try to achieve even better results next year.  To that end, we are currently working on Team NEO’s 2017 strategic plan that continues to focus on four strategic objectives:

1. Creating a driver industry strategy/calling focus
2. Building a high-performance network
3. Highlighting strategic value through marketing and research insights
4. Defining success and measuring performance

To fully achieve these objectives, we are trying to find more and better ways to engage the network. I believe our opportunities include:

  • Collectively identifying companies in the region that have the highest probability for growth or innovation potential and prioritize them for outreach in 2017.  We possess industry perspectives and research that may be helpful to you.
  • Broaden the calling network to connect more economic development partners to the outreach, aligning resources available throughout the regional network to increase our collective calling capacity, leverage relationships and thereby increase reach to those companies targeted.  We would be pleased to share ideas about ways to accomplish this task.
  • Assessing process, industry, company, market tools and resources, and identifying how we increase their utilization in the business development calling preparation, execution and follow-up. Our discussions with companies in the region tell us that proper call planning, including sharing relevant insights, can enhance the quality of the interaction and identify solutions to issues companies face.

We will include our thinking on how to accomplish these objectives in our plan. Once it is complete, we will share it with you and will welcome your feedback.

Here are few other updates that may be of interest:

Workforce Research Agenda:
This work will focus on the mismatch between the supply and demand of workers and opportunities in Northeast Ohio. Thanks to a generous grant from The Cleveland Foundation, Team NEO will provide an update of the analysis originally conducted for The Cleveland Foundation in 2014 by FutureWorks, which highlighted the need for more coordinated efforts in aligning the business community’s workforce needs with the types of programs and degrees being awarded through our trades, colleges, and universities. The report will be expanded beyond the original footprint of Greater Cleveland to cover the entire 18 county region in Northeast Ohio.

Advance NEO
This cross-section partnership was established in 2013 to execute a regionally-driven economic development strategy focused on strengthening regional manufacturing assets and expanding job creation. Key objectives emerging from the strategy included: Supporting growth in manufacturing, fostering FDI, and re-shoring manufacturing jobs, if possible. Partners included: Magnet, Medina Office of Workforce Development, Stark State College, Tri-C, Wire-Net, and others.

Training & Recruitment Accelerated Innovation Network
Lorain County Community College (LCCC) recently received funding from NextFlex, America’s Flexible Hybrid Electronics (FHE) Manufacturing Institute, to expand a workforce initiative called the Training & Recruitment Accelerated Innovation Network, or TRAIN. Team NEO is one of many regional partners in this program launched this past fall to meet the talent needs for our region’s advanced manufacturing industries with a special focus on small to medium innovation companies who are part of the front line of adoption of Flexible Hybrid Electronics (FHE) technology and processes in our region.

For additional updates, please click here.

Thank you, as always, for your good work. I wish you a safe and happy holiday season.

All the best,