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Increase jobs, income and ownership opportunities for the residents of the Greater University Circle neighborhoods of Cleveland and beyond – Hough, Glenville, Fairfax, Central, Buckeye-Shaker, Little Italy and East Cleveland.

About the Program
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The Greater University Circle (GUC) Economic Inclusion program is the implementation arm of the Greater University Circle initiative. The Center is part of the Center for Community Planning & Development. In 2005, the Cleveland Foundation convened the leaders of key anchor institutions, the Cleveland Clinic, University Hospitals, Case Western Reserve University, the City of Cleveland and other partners to undertake the difficult task of creating “jobs, income and ownership opportunities” for all Greater University Circle residents (see map). The leaders set four goals:

  • Buy Local – increase the capacity and use of local businesses
  • Hire Local – connect residents to jobs and income opportunities
  • Live Local – attract new residents and support existing residents in quality housing
  • Connect – connecting people, neighborhoods and institutions in a vital network

In 2011, the (GUC) leadership group joined forces with the Health Tech Corridor and created the Economic Inclusion program to develop strategies and programs to implement these goals. A program director and coordinator were hired and the Economic Inclusion Management Committee was formed to guide the implementation and Cleveland State University was selected to be the key data and assessment partner. In 2015, the program staff moved from the Cleveland Foundation to CSU to better coordinate with the Levin College’s Centers for Economic Development and Community Planning and Development, and the Center for Population Dynamics.

With 60,000 residents in Greater University Circle, unemployment remains stubbornly high – 24% of the working age adults who are actively seeking employment. It is closer to 40% when the “discouraged workers,” no longer seeking employment, are included. Annual household median incomes are less than $18,000 per year.

We collaborate with our partners to develop and implement strategies to improve the neighborhoods through “Live Local, Buy Local, Hire Local, and Connect.” Recently, we’ve begun to expand this approach to include “Thrive Local,” a collaboration among community development corporations and other community partners, and “Serve Local,” a collaboration on anchor institution community benefit and engagement strategies.

The Cleveland Foundation and Greater University Circle

View the Greater University Circle – Economic Inclusion Dashboard Metrics

Live Local:

Buy Local:

Hire Local: