“The rising tide must lift all boats.” Mayor Frank G. Jackson
The City of Cleveland is undergoing an economic resurgence. Members of the community are working together in a public/private/philanthropic partnership like never before seen in our history. But can the city and region stay the course? One obstacle to true success is a lack of economic inclusion. A lack of economic inclusion causes an economic inefficiency, as not all members of our community are truly participating in our economy. The number one question asked by businesses seeking a new location is workforce related. Does the community have the skilled workforce that the business needs? As more members of our community fully participate in the economy, our economy becomes stronger and our growth becomes more sustainable.
This “economic inclusion” is a longer term perspective that focuses on increasing incomes for traditionally excluded groups. Broad economic inclusion is essential because it bolsters consumption and savings, which drives macroeconomic growth. In order to promote efficient economic growth and stability, all citizens must have affordable access to the tools necessary to function in the modern economy. The issue of income inequality is not just a Cleveland problem, the recession of 2008 saw a deepening gap in income and asset inequality across the nation. This inequality is associated with increases in crime, profound strains on households, lower savings rates, poorer health outcomes, strained access to quality education and diminished levels of trust in people and institutions.
The City of Cleveland has created an Economic Inclusion Plan. The plan includes the following initiatives:
Business Retention – Our growth relies on retaining our existing companies and creating an environment where they can grow and create new jobs
Creation of New Businesses- The City needs to have a positive business climate for the creation and/or attraction of new businesses
Attraction of Investment- The City needs to be able to attract investment by developers, venture capital and individual businesses
Procurement- With so much investment happening currently, the City has implemented strategies so our entire community can participate in our growth
Workforce- Our existing companies and new businesses need a skilled workforce- we need to train for the jobs of tomorrow