In August, the board of directors of Global Cleveland
, a new civic economic development initiative, named Larry Miller as its president. Miller has an extensive background in human resources on both a local and international scale. As the new leader of Global Cleveland, he is charged with attracting and retaining talent to the region while serving as the area’s head cheerleader for growth and success.
One of Global Cleveland’s primary focuses will be to grow the population in Greater Cleveland and the Northeast Ohio region. Miller brings more than 25 years of talent attraction and international human resources experience to Global Cleveland. Most recently, he served as VP of Human Resources for Lubrizol Corporation.
In addition to his 13 years with Lubrizol, Miller held senior leadership positions with Tremco, Diebold and Ferro Corporation. He lived and worked in France for two years and is president of the French-American Chamber of Commerce, Northern Ohio. Miller serves on the board of Cleveland's Center for Families and Children and is a member of the Human Resource Planning Society. He also is fluent in three languages and has studied several others.
How were you chosen as the president of Global Cleveland?
I was chosen first because of my dedication to seeing human potential. I have a commitment to growth in Northeast Ohio and building international bridges. This is what this whole job is all about. I have 25 years of experience as a human resources professional, and part of that is growing my partnerships with human resources agencies.
What do you hope to accomplish in this new role?
My primary objective is to bring 100,000 newcomers to Northeast Ohio. I want to give the message that clearly communicates we are committed to job growth. There are four components to that: attraction, retention, connections and communications.
What programs do you plan to implement to attract and retain qualified workers to the region?
We want to focus on retaining employers and international students. We will open our Welcome Hub for meeting with and working with people interested in coming to Northeast Ohio. And we will start a program to attract "boomerangers." We will try to go to cities like New York and Boston to identify people who have moved to these cities and talk about what’s going on in Northeast Ohio, both as a tourist destination and the place of great employment.
Where is the Welcome Hub and who will it serve?
It’s opening soon at 200 Public Square. It will help people find jobs and settle in the region. It will be the first point of connection for newcomers.
What do you mean by the connections and communications components?
We will use the internet and social media to stay in contact with the boomerangers to find out what it would take to get them back to Northeast Ohio. We will provide them with connections to jobs.
What industries do you plan to target?
Our initial efforts will be in the medical industry and the IT sector. According to jobs data from the state of Ohio, these are the areas that are most in demand in the region. But we certainly intend to open it up to other areas.
What assets to you plan to highlight to attract people to the area?
We will promote the cost of living, quality of life and access to medical care. Northeast Ohio scores just about as high in these areas as other cities we compete with like New York, Boston, Minneapolis and Detroit. The weather is about the same. No one has that much of an advantage over us. People are ready to live in places that are easy to get around, cost less and are fun places to live.
What kind of feedback have you gotten so far?
We get all sorts of responses. A lot of them say they never thought about it. For the most part we find people are very open to the possibilities of moving back. They’ve heard about what’s going on in our neighborhoods and that people are actually living
in Cleveland. They hear about the growth potential here and it gets them excited.
What does your background with Lubrizol add to your goals?
As vice president of human resources at Lubrizol, I learned it’s important to show that Lubrizol is not the only chemical company in the region. This is a chemical company region, and there are opportunities for development.
What are you doing to promote small business in the area?
Clearly, one of the things attracting people is not only working for [existing] companies in Northeast Ohio, but the opportunities to start small businesses. We are trying to attract people to Northeast Ohio who will create jobs either by working for other companies or creating companies.
What are you doing with existing companies?
We’re working with employers who are hiring international students. And we have a resource group to find out what kind of talents they need to grow their businesses.
What else would you like to add?
I’m very excited about this job. I feel very strongly about this opportunity to ask "What can we do the help people achieve their personal goals?" And we have found tremendous support from the city, the county and the business community.
Photos Bob Perkoski
Rendering courtesy of Global Cleveland