Anchor Institutions are key community assets such as hospitals, universities, and non-profits that are established in a community and tend not to move location. As a result, they are an essential part of the base of a local economy and have the ability to drive employment, entrepreneurship, and innovation in a community through the deployment of the financial, intellectual, and social capital. Anchor institutions draw jobs and investment to a community by producing world-class research and development and attracting entrepreneurs, innovators, and investors who gain by co-locating and partnering with the anchor institution. Cleveland’s anchor institutions are focused on channeling their investment to improve their local neighborhoods and increase opportunities for local procurement, employment, and development.
The investment of anchor institutions has been a key element of Cleveland’s recent growth. The successes of the Health-Tech Corridor and Greater University Circle Initiative have been due, in part, to the targeting of investment, procurement, and development by the anchor institutions. The innovative developments at the Cleveland Heart Lab, located on the Health-Tech Corridor, are supported in part by the research and demand of Cleveland’s health institutions. Evergreen Energy Solutions has been busy installing solar panels on the roofs of several of these institutional buildings. These are just two examples of the value of anchor institutions in generating economic development in Cleveland.
Cleveland has many major anchor institutions who have embraced their role as community leaders. University Hospitals of Cleveland is one of the 15 largest biomedical research centers in the country and employs thousands at its main campus in University Circle. Its Rainbow Babies & Children’s Hospital is ranked in the top two for neonatal care. The Cleveland Clinic is the largest private employer in Ohio and is consistently ranked in the top 5 of the U.S. News & World Report best hospital rankings. The Clinic’s cardiac care practice is considered the best in the country. Metro Health Medical Center provides community health services throughout the region, including the area’s only Level One Trauma Center. The Louis Stokes VA Medical Center is the fifth-largest VA center in the country and provides full-service patient care, engages in cutting-edge research, and teaches the next generation of doctors and nurses to serve our veterans.
Cleveland also has first-rate educational and technology anchors. Case Western Reserve University is one of the nation’s leading universities, especially in medical, dental, and biomedical research. CWRU has one of the most diverse student populations and is a magnet for talent throughout the world. Cleveland State University brings 15,000 students into the heart of Cleveland’s downtown and, through its recent investments in student housing, a new medical school facility, and new student center, is changing the face of the Cleveland Campus District. Cuyahoga Community College provides a gateway educational experience for local residents and is an essential part of the region’s workforce development efforts, with state-of-the-art laboratories and programs in health careers, recording arts, hospitality management, and electronics. The Cleveland Institute of Art is a leader in arts & design and is a leader in visual arts education. NASA Glenn Research Center is engaged in cutting edge aeronautical research. Through its participation in the Adopt-A-City Initiative, NASA Glenn’s researchers and scientists engage directly with entrepreneurs and innovators to provide engineering expertise to solve problems and bring products to market.
Historically non-profits have always had a presence in Cleveland. Originally, local Community Development Corporations or CDCs served as extensions of City Hall to serve Cleveland businesses and residents in non-downtown neighborhoods. Today, the same CDC's are still mediating between the public and private sectors. Cleveland operates with over 30 of these community based organzations; to view a listing of Cleveland CDCs, head over to Live Cleveland for a current list. The City of Cleveland also owes much to the worlds first community foundation, the Cleveland Foundation. As the second largest community foundation in the nation, "the foundation proactively directs two-thirds of its flexible grant dollars to the community's greatest needs: economic transformation, public-school improvement, youth development, neighborhoods, and arts advancement." In 2012, 3,097 grants were authorized totaling $91 million.