January Economic Development System Update

From the Desk of Bill Koehler

By nearly any measure, 2016 was a tremendous year for our region. We enter 2017 with great momentum and a stronger foundation upon which to build our region’s economy. Our pipeline of potential projects is stronger than last year at this time, so we have reason for optimism that our 2016 results – project wins, jobs created, incremental payroll and new capital investment – will continue to grow.

Together, we have had our best year in years. Here are the unaudited results for 2016 for projects Team NEO or JobsOhio have participated alongside all of you. We tallied 75 wins, generating 4,853 new jobs (108% of our annual goal), $262M in new payroll (130% of our annual goal) and $1.5B in capital investment (198% of our annual goal). Attraction wins represented 21 projects (105% of our annual goal) generating a total of 1,274 new jobs (98% of our annual goal), $76M in new payroll (152% of our annual goal) and $1.1B in capex (498% of our annual goal).

Thank you for all your efforts. As you may have heard, we are planning a celebration event the afternoon of February 22 at the Embassy Suites in Independence., For additional details about the event and to register, please click here.

Here are few other updates that may be of interest:

Digital Marketing

You may recall that last year we began to develop a new lead generations tool to enhance our collective attraction and retention efforts.  We are pleased with its progress.  More than 121 sales qualified prospects (SQP) were identified through our digital marketing program in 2016, with 12 of our 18 counties receiving SQPs. Importantly, we learned a number of ways we can use this tool more effectively in 2017 for our collective benefit.  Our first campaign of 2017 will focus on the biomedical sector.  We are working closely with BioEnterprise in developing content for the campaign, which will launch in late January or early February.

Cleveland Plus Relocation Guide

Team NEO has partnered with City Visitor, a Cleveland-based publisher of tourism guides and related publications, to create Northeast Ohio’s first regional talent recruitment and relocation guide. To be titled the Cleveland Plus Relocation Guide, the work will take the form of a website and a printed guide. Cleveland Plus brought together HR executives and recruiters from companies such as Progressive, Rockwell, Lubrizol, Westfield and Key to get their perspectives on how the entire region is important in their recruitment efforts and what are the most compelling selling points.  We believe this work will be complementary to the more localized guides offered in some parts of our region. We expect the website will be launched in the next several weeks followed by the print guide.

As a product of Northeast Ohio, I am proud of our region and the work we do together to encourage others to invest, work and live here.  Our efforts showed improved results and economic impact.  As we move into 2017, I do not what to finish 2016 without expressing my appreciation for all you do on behalf of our region and with our team.  May we all have a great 2017.

All the best,