CED

Center for Economic Development


Economic Inclusion Roundtable Series

Economic Inclusion Roundtable

Levin's Economic Inclusion Roundtable (EIR) series, held through our Center for Economic Development and funded by the George Gund Foundation, is aimed at monitoring regional economic performance to advance inclusive growth throughout Northeast Ohio. The EIR seeks to establish a set of civic principles and policies that promote economic opportunity for marginalized communities based on ethnic origin, race, and limited access to assets. The EIR brings together diverse political and economic voices to use data and established research to derive a guiding set of principles and policies that promote economic inclusion in Cleveland and Cuyahoga County. This program was also supported by the US Economic Development Administration and is sponsored by the Levin College Dean's Diversity Council. A total of eight roundtable events were held as a part of this series.

Moving Cleveland Above the Trend: Benchmarking Regional Performance
September 25, 2020

A study by Levin’s Center for Economic Development, Moving Cleveland Above the Trend: Benchmarking Regional Performance, examines mid-sized regional economies that have done well in building an innovative and talent-driven economy, to provide a framework of how the Greater Cleveland region can incorporate similar policies to propel its communities forward. This Economic Inclusion Roundtable offers an exposition of the findings of the report, while examining questions related to public policy implementation, strategies for moving Northeast Ohio’s economic performance above the trend, and the role of inclusion as it contributes to successes in policy and growth. Learn More »

Is There Opportunity in Opportunity Zones?
September 8, 2020

Opportunity Zones are an economic development tool established by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 with the goal of creating long-term investments in impoverished areas. There are 320 designated Opportunity Zones in Ohio. Opportunity Zones provide tax incentives for investors to re-invest unrealized capital gains into funds that invest within the designated Opportunity Zone. US investors currently hold trillions of dollars in unrealized capital gains in stocks and mutual funds alone— a significant untapped resource for economic development. This new source of risk capital can seed new startups, accelerate business expansions, create jobs, increase and improve housing options, and revitalize distressed communities. But is there opportunity for all in Opportunity Zones? In our Economic Inclusion Roundtable recorded in September 2020, Levin researchers examine how Opportunity Zones can potentially spur economic development in distressed municipalities to advance inclusive economic growth. Learn More »

Voices from the Field
November 15, 2019

Growing inequality has emerged as one of the central issues of our time. In Northeast Ohio, individuals may be disconnected from the economy solely because of their race, socioeconomic standing, and other factors. Engaging with and employing all members of our communities fosters an inclusive economy, and attracts diverse types of talent that powers innovation and growth. Inclusive economic growth focuses on diversity as a core driver of that growth. As cities and regions around the nation transition to the next economy, they understand that inclusion is an economic imperative, and that developing new strategies, products, and enterprises for achieving growth through inclusion must be a component of everything they do. In our Economic Inclusion Roundtable, held on November 15, 2019, our panel of experts share their perspectives and their efforts in addressing economic inclusion in our communities. This engaging discussion explores how we can reactivate our core cities and neighborhoods, and transform them into vital areas capable of re-engaging their populations into the economy while creating a path for future prosperity. Learn More »

Oil and Gas as a Driver of the Regional Economy: Updates
October 10, 2019

The economic trends in Northeast Ohio (NEO) over the last 20 years are typical of the Midwest region, with a positive increase in output outpaced by the state of Ohio, and the United States. The double recessions of 2001 and 2007-2009 show a deeper output decline in NEO than in comparable Midwest regions and the United States. Traditionally, industries with high regional specialization that have a competitive advantage and drive regional economies are called economic base industries. Groups of Regional Industry Drivers (GRIDs) are part of the economic base of a region. The Oil & Gas GRID accounts for less than 1% of total NEO employment but 3% of overall output & 7% of GRIDs output ($6 billion). It is a fast-growing and emerging economic base, with double-digit growth in output, growing specialization, and one of the highest employment multipliers. However, the industry cluster needs to increase in size and scale to impact overall regional performance. Presentation »

The Future is Now: Akron’s Dynamic and Inclusive Economy
July 24, 2019

The economic trends in Northeast Ohio (NEO) over the last 20 years are typical of the Midwest region, with a positive increase in output outpaced by the state of Ohio, and the United States. The double recessions of 2001 and 2007-2009 show a deeper output decline in NEO than in comparable Midwest regions and the United States. Traditionally, industries with high regional specialization that have a competitive advantage and drive regional economies are called economic base industries. Groups of Regional Industry Drivers (GRIDs) are part of the economic base of a region. Employment trends for all four NEO MSAs show a picture of deep employment losses stemming from the last two recessions. These recessions brought structural changes to the manufacturing sector, which is a significant employer in all MSAs, by slashing jobs while keeping output high increased the sector’s productivity. The Akron MSA is the only metro area in NEO that recovered back to 2008 employment levels – even experiencing a 3% growth since 2013. Presentation »

Common Ground: Nurturing Talent for an Inclusive Cleveland
Jun 30, 2019

How can we as a community create success networks that prepare Clevelanders for workforce opportunities and upward mobility? What are the components of the network, the challenges to the civic community working in concert, and the solutions to overcoming those challenges? This Common Ground conversation was designed to address these questions while exploring themes such as: Understanding the Regional Economy: Present and Future Workforce Needs for Northeast Ohio; Building People and Places for an Inclusive Economy; Creating a Postsecondary Education Student Success Pipeline; and, the Special Role of Internships, Mentorship, and Apprenticeships in Workforce Preparation. Common Ground is a day of community conversation. Community members, neighbors, families, and organizers across the region had conversations about the future of our region. United by a common question, all Common Ground conversations have the same goal: to create spaces where meaningful connections are made and purposeful actions begin. Common Ground is a program by the Cleveland Foundation. Learn More »

Who’s in the Driver Seat? Inclusion and NEO Economic Drivers
April 4, 2019

This Economic Inclusion Roundtable presented the findings of the Center for Economic Development’s report, Northeast Ohio Front Runners: Groups of Regional Industry Drivers (GRIDs). This research provides relevant, data-driven insights on competitive industries in the Northeast Ohio economy over the 2013-2017 period. This roundtable provided information on industries that over the last five years outperformed their national counterparts in wealth creation; these industries employ a significant amount of regional workforce, create sizable output, and have a regional competitive advantage. Roundtable presentations and discussions addressed topics such as using GRIDs research to create prosperity; untapped skills and knowledge needed in the Greater Cleveland regional economy; inclusive manufacturing in the digital era; and entrepreneurship to drive growth and inclusion. Learn More »

Youngstown MSA: Growing Regional Industry (GRIDs)
March 4, 2019

The economic trends in Northeast Ohio (NEO) over the last 20 years are typical of the Midwest region, with a positive increase in output outpaced by the state of Ohio, and the United States. The double recessions of 2001 and 2007-2009 show a deeper output decline in NEO than in comparable Midwest regions and the United States. Traditionally, industries with high regional specialization that have a competitive advantage and drive regional economies are called economic base industries. Groups of Regional Industry Drivers (GRIDs) are part of the economic base of a region. Employment trends for all four NEO MSAs show a picture of deep employment losses stemming from the last two recessions. These recessions brought structural changes to the manufacturing sector, which is a significant employer in all MSAs, by slashing jobs while keeping output high increased the sector’s productivity. During the last two decades, the Youngstown MSA lost half of its employment in the manufacturing sector which can be seen in a steady decline of its overall employment. Presentation »

Related Research
The George Gund Foundation and US Economic Development Administration also produced funding in support of the following research studies.