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Cleveland Neighborhood Progress awards $4.2M in grants with three-year initiative

Beginning in July, Cleveland Neighborhood Progress (CNP) will invest a total of $4.2 million in twelve community development corporations (CDCs) over the next three years. The Strategic Investment Initiative (SII) includes nine awards, three of which are collaborative efforts. The funding will have a direct impact on 16 Cleveland neighborhoods.

“These critical investments will help improve neighborhoods across the city," said Joel Ratner, CNP president and CEO in a statement. "We look forward to working with our grantees as they develop work plans and implement the strategies they presented to the committee."

The following grants will be administered annually through 2020:
 
Detroit Shoreway Community Development Organization and Metro West Community Development Corporation, $220,000
 
Ohio City, Inc. and Tremont West Development Corporation, $215,000
 
Famicos Foundation, $200,000
 
Burten Bell Carr Development, $200,000
 
Northeast Shores Development Corporation, $140,000
 
Slavic Village Development, $125,000
 
St. Clair Superior Development Corporation and Collinwood Nottingham Villages Development Corporation, $100,000
 
Old Brooklyn Community Development Corporation, $100,000
 
– Lee-Harvard Community Collaborative, $100,000
 
“We are also excited to invest in neighborhoods on the southeast side of Cleveland through our new capacity investment in the Lee-Harvard Community Partnership,” added Colleen Gilson, vice president of CDC Advancement for CNP. "This partnership is the result of a visioning and planning process supported by City of Cleveland Councilman Terrell Pruitt that will bring a dedicated community development entity into the neighborhood.”
 
CNP received a total of 14 proposals from a 23 CDCs for this competitive funding program. Senior staff reviewed proposals and recommended finalists to the organization’s SII Advisory Committee. Last month, that committee hosted two days of presentations during which the finalists highlighted the comprehensive community development goals and strategies they will employ during the 2017-2020 program cycle. CNP's board of directors’ final decision on funding was informed by the scoring process performed by the SII Advisory Committee.
 
“These selected CDCs will be taking on important work city-wide and we look forward to working with them as they implement community development strategies in their neighborhoods,” added Gilson of the SII recipients.
 
Over the past 10 years, CNP has committed more than $15 million to Cleveland CDCs via the SII program, funding for which is provided by the Cleveland Foundation, the George Gund Foundation, the Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel Foundation, and Enterprise Community Partners.
 
 
Cleveland Neighborhood Progress is part of Fresh Water's underwriting support network.
 

Forward Cities gathering will focus on area entrepreneurs, social innovation

More than 200 community, business, policy, and foundation leaders from four of the nation’s comeback cities are joining forces in Cleveland this month to foster entrepreneurship and social innovation in minority communities. This effort is part of Forward Cities, a national learning collaborative project in which leaders and donors from cities undergoing profound transformation can identify and share best practices. Participating cities include Cleveland, Detroit, New Orleans and Durham.
 
“As the global economy becomes increasingly competitive and the war for talent spans worldwide boundaries, we can no longer leave behind huge swaths of our potential innovation talent pool – namely traditionally disenfranchised women and minority populations,” said Christopher Gergen, CEO of Forward Impact and co-founder of Forward Cities. “Cities that fail to heed this call and don’t take intentional action to create a new economy that is purposefully equitable will do so at their own peril. Inclusive innovation isn’t just the right thing to do – it is the smart thing to do.”
 
Forward Cities leaders will meet in Cleveland June 14-17 to explore how to drive inclusive innovation. Out of town participants will meet with Cleveland entrepreneurs, business incubators, social innovators, and neighborhood and government leaders. They will also tour target communities including the Opportunity Corridor, the West 25th Street Corridor, the East 55th Street Food Corridor, and the East 105th Street Corridor. The Cleveland Forward Cities Council, which acts as the project's local advisory board, selected those locations. The council includes entities such as Cleveland Neighborhood Progress, Towards Employment, the City of Cleveland, RPM International the Burton D. Morgan Foundation, The Cleveland Foundation, J.P. Morgan Chase & Co., The Business of Good Foundation, the George Gund Foundation and several other civic-minded organizations. National and local donors are funding the effort.
 
In addition, panels of experts from across the participating cities will explore topics ranging from the use of globalization and immigration as a strategy for urban renewal, to the role of anchor institutions in economic development, and how individual entrepreneurs affect a city’s comeback. The Cleveland convening is the final gathering for Forward Cities, which met in New Orleans in December 2014, Detroit in June 2015 and Durham in December 2015.
 
While the Cleveland event is still days away, the area has already felt the impact of being included in the Forward Cities endeavor. The collaboration has led to stronger coordination of local programs to support entrepreneurs, enabled council members to adopt and apply successful programs from the partner cities and has generated new, honest discussions regarding issues that affect inclusive innovation, such as race. Three examples of Forward Cities achievements in Cleveland include:
 
- Compiling a comprehensive list of more than 1,200 minority businesses in the city that connects business owners to public and private projects, conventions and events that are seeking minority business partners
 
- Securing a $16,000 planning grant from the Business of Good Foundation for the Hispanic Marketplace, La Placita, in the West 25th Street neighborhood.
 
- Developing a small business seminar and tour for businesses in the Opportunity Corridor tour that helped the 25 business owners build familiarity and overcome hurdles they may have felt in approaching local technical assistance providers.
 
“Horizons are expanded, problems are viewed from unusual angles, ideas are blended, friendships are forged and challenges unstuck,” said Deborah Hoover, Cleveland Forward Cities Co-Chair and president and CEO of Burton D. Morgan Foundation of the previous gatherings and collective Forward Cities efforts.
 
“This magic occurs because so many people from different cities, backgrounds and types of organizations come together to listen, share, and most of all, understand and work together," said Hoover.
 
Follow the Forward Cities project on Facebook, or stay up to date on Twitter at @forwardcities. Use the hashtags #forwardcities and #roadtogrowth.

Fresh Water's parent company, Issue Media Group, is a national partner in the Forward Cities initiative.


Source: Forward Cities

Text compiled by Erin O'Brien

Two artists pair up to make web-based millennial drama, comedy

Jasmine Golphin began writing screenplays when she was 13 years old, although she’s not so proud of her early work. “They’re teenage angst scripts that will never see the light of day,” the Cleveland Heights resident promises, “but it’s been a long-term passion for me, almost embarrassingly so.”

Now Golphin, 29, is a little more confident in her work. While working as program director for MyMedia, a program for teens interested in journalism and video production, she founded the production company Welcome to Midnight in 2010. The company has put out more than eight works since.
 
At the same time, Nordonia Hills area resident Erin Johnson, 26, was pursuing her own writing interests while working as a quality assurance and marketing associate at Ardleigh Minerals, an industrial recycling company in Beachwood.
 
Both women were working on their own projects when, in October 2014, a mutual filmmaker friend introduced them. The two hit it off and eventually they collaborated on the web series To New Beginnings, which follows six young adults’ lives and covers topics such as class, family issues and mental health. The six-episode series launched on Facebook in December.
 
“'To New Beginnings' is a product of its time,” says Golphin, the series’ writer and director. “The story is about real people, not idealized versions of ourselves.”  The entire show is based in Cleveland and features local musicians and artists.
 
“It very much takes place in Cleveland with plenty of Cleveland references,” Golphin says. “And it’s very much purposeful. It’s a running gag that everything takes place in Cleveland and centers around Batman.”
 
Johnson works on the marketing team. “It’s been great working with Welcome to Midnight,” she says. “There’s an emphasis on telling stories that aren’t normally told and in a novel way.”
 
Golphin and Johnson plan to make two more seasons of “To New Beginnings,” with shooting to begin in May and a release date for season two late this summer.
 
In the meantime, the pair is working together again on the comedic web series “The Adventures of Fab Jenkins,” premiering in March.
 
“'Fab Jenkins' is a Blaxploitation-inspired web comedy following the journey of Cleveland-based stylist, Fabio ‘Fab’ Jenkins,” explains Johnson. “Fab, with the help of his Fab Squad, must save the city from an onslaught of bad fashion caused by the expansion of fast fashion retailer, Eternally 16.”
 
But there is a local purpose as well. "The show also aims to showcase the independent fashion and beauty community in Greater Cleveland and beyond,” Johnson says.
 
“Fab Jenkins” was written by Johnson and her mother, Cynthia K. Johnson, after a random, casual conversation. “We were talking one day, and my mother was holding a blow dryer as if she were a secret agent,” she recalls. “It then led us into a back and forth conversation where we imagined a character who was a stylist with agent/superhero-like tendencies.”
 
After fully developing the script, getting advice from some local pros, “Fab Jenkins” began production via Welcome to Midnight, with Golphin directing. Johnson is co-creator and producer of the show that includes local award winning actors and plenty of Cleveland sightings throughout.

In search of Lake Erie: Tracing streams' paths and histories

When Jim Miller retired as a Cleveland Heights probation officer nine years ago, he developed a rather unusual hobby: he began tracing the brooks and streams flowing through Cleveland’s east side, seeking out where they exist and where they flow underground all the way to Lake Erie.
 
“I began just looking at local waterways, trying to detect them and their link to the lake,” Miller recalls, adding that some streambeds are exposed and others have been erased over the decades. "When you look at it, it’s often a strong economic reason.”

Miller explains the economic correlation: he often found waterways that were buried on smaller properties, while the streams ran open on larger plots of land. “On a 1912 plot map, on the bigger lot sizes the stream is in the open,” he says. “By Coventry School on Lancashire Road, it goes under. By the Rockefeller estate and Forest Hills Park, it’s open.”
 
Miller’s interest in the waterways was piqued 15 years ago after reading his friend and Green City Blue Lake director David Beach's account of a bike ride along the Dugway Brook watershed, which runs through the Heights, into East Cleveland, Cleveland and Bratenahl before emptying into Lake Erie.
 
“You have to get some pretty good rubber boots to do this," he says. "It’s often not so clear what land you’re on. It’s often city land or hasn’t been lived on for 100 years. You have to do a lot of research to find out, because it’s kind of no-man’s land.”
 
Miller explains that “Dugway Brook is one of the bluestone creeks that were of great economic benefit to the early European settlers in the 19th century,” he says of the long-gone quarries, "but which then were deemed of no value in the 20th century." Much of Dugway was buried in culverts.
 
Miller has also traveled portions of Green CreekDoan Brook and Nine Mile Creek, much of which is under Belvoir Boulevard, but there are sections still flowing in the open. “It’s in a steep ravine, so it couldn’t be built on,” says Miller. “If it had been a park, it would have been covered over.”
 
In fact, Miller cites a section of Dugway Brook between Lee Road and Euclid Heights Boulevard, near Cain Park, that was filled in during the 1980s to make way for a parking lot. Residents resisted the parking lot idea so the land remains vacant, although no water can be seen.
 
A reclamation success story, however, exists along a portion of Nine Mile Creek in South Euclid across from Notre Dame College. The city created a wetland area and planted native plants such as milkweed to attract birds and monarch butterflies. “It really looks nice and that branch of Nine Mike Creek has taken on life,” Miller says. “It isn’t the way it looked 100 years ago, but it’s nice.”
 
Further down, on Euclid Avenue, the creek now runs buried beside Luster Tannery, a circa 1848 building on the Cleveland-East Cleveland border. The tannery diverted essential water from the creek for its work in the 19th century. “When you get to Euclid Avenue, there is a building there that is probably the oldest industrial structure in the city,” explains Miller. It’s made of solid stone and the creek runs through the building.”
 
But Miller’s true love of the east side watersheds lies in Dugway Brook. He’s had marker signs erected, mostly along Lee Road in Cleveland Heights. “You probably didn’t even know this little stream had a name,” he says. “We can have wetlands there, so you can have water soaking in to prevent runoff and attract birds.”
 
Miller encourages people to keep an eye out for natural dips in the road – often indicating the presence of Dugway or other area watersheds.  
 
His treks have sometimes been perilous, but it’s worth the journey. “It’s very hard to walk and see these things,” he warns. “In many cases, it’s quite difficult. You go down and it’s a steep slope. You have to do it slowly.”
 
But Miller frequently co-leads tamer walks around these creeks and watersheds. In 2014 he helped lead a tour of Dugway Brook east branch from Cain Park down to Forest Hills Park.
 
Another walk, led by Roy Larick, along with Miller and Korbi Roberts, is tentatively scheduled for May. "Cleveland Heights Rocks & Waters 2016: Nine Mile Creek" is part of the annual Preservation Month, co-sponsored by the Cleveland Heights Historical Society, Cleveland Heights Landmark Commission, Noble Neighbors and Heights Library.
 
On sidewalks and forest paths, the hike follows Quilliams Creek on its course to join Nine Mile Creek. Participants will learn the local geology, ecology and history as well as discuss how best to conserve this unique bluestone landscape. 
 
Miller has documented his explorations through a photo journal on Facebook. He’s also logged his trips along Dugway on YouTube.

Team Promotions is prepared for business boom with the upcoming Republican National Convention

Team Promotions in Beachwood has been helping businesses promote their names and ideas for 28 years.

“I would consider ourselves to be a dimensional advertising agency,” says company owner and president Hank Frisch. “We’re helping people promote their companies through products.”
 
From coffee mugs to adult coloring books, Team Promotions has thousands of products to promote a company or event. “We’ve sold steaks and delivered them to people’s addresses,” says Frisch of one of the more outrageous promotions he has done. Other times, Frisch has shaped T-shirts into a realistic replica of a product his client is promoting.
 
“There are just a million different things – crazy, crazy things – you can do. It’s a matter of creativity.”
 
With the Republican National Convention coming to town in July, Frisch has already gotten inquiries from convention officials. “We’ve done some business as it relates to the Republican National Convention,” he says. “[They’re] interested in the variety of things, some tech products.”
 
As the convention nears, Frisch says he is prepared for the increased business. “We hope to do more,” he says. “We’ve shown our ideas to them and we hope as things get closer we’ll be able to do more for them.”
 
Frisch expects the pace to be hectic, but he’s ready. “There’s a lot going on and it’s interesting to wrap your arms around who’s doing what,” he says. “There’s a lot of opportunity for local businesses. It’s a fast-paced business. We just have to be prepared. We’re ready to be there when they need us.”

Beloved restauranteur Sammy Catania remembered by local chefs

News spread quickly of the passing of iconic restaurateur and Tremont West Development Corporation director Sammy Catania, who passed away on Tuesday, Dec. 1st and made many contributions to the city, including the 1980 introduction of Sammy’s in the Flats, the first fine-dining destination in the district.

"Sammy was one of the biggest believers of the Importance of food in downtown Cleveland," says Loretta Paganini, founder of the Loretta Paganini School of Cooking in Chesterland. "He was not only a pioneer but stuck around when others fled the urban landscape. His parties were top notch and set the standard back in the day."
  
Eric Williams, owner of four popular Cleveland restaurants including Momocho and Happy Dog, recognizes Catania as a Cleveland legacy among restauranteurs. “Cleveland’s food scene began in the Flats and Sam was a pioneer in the industry,” he says. “We shouldn’t forget where we started.”

Fresh Water reached out to other members of the local food industry for their reactions on a highly respected and beloved colleague.
 
Tremont residents were proud to claim Catania as their own. “Sammy was a huge part of the party scene in Tremont back in the day when Tremont was starting to turn into a dining destination,” recalls Ricardo Sandoval owner of Fat Cats and Lava Lounge. “He went from story-telling giant to concerned citizen and community activist. He was a big part of Tremont. He always made time to stop and talk to everyone. I’m going to miss seeing and talking to him about the business and Tremont.”

“Sammy Catania was the man behind the scenes that made Tremont what it really is,” says Dante Boccuzzi, chef/owner of four Tremont eateries.
 
Paulius Nasvytis, owner of the Velvet Tango Room and Citizen Pie, saw Catania as an innovator. Catania was one of Nasvytis’ first customers at the Velvet Tango Room 19 years ago. “His restaurant, Sammy’s, was the first place in our city that broke the mold – that’s what he always did,” he says. “He offered me sound advice and I always had his support. He also gave me his solid friendship. Sammy was a straight shooter. He made Cleveland a better place.”
 
Flour restaurant owner Paul Minnillo saw Catania as a role model. “Sammy Catania was one of the pioneers of changing the dining scene in Cleveland,” he says. “He brought many talented chefs into the field. I thank him for helping to put Cleveland’s food scene on the map.”
 
Brad Friedlander, owner of Moxie and Red The Steakhouse, agrees that Catania set the stage for future restauranteurs. “Sammy will be missed; I have such memories of him opening in the Flats,” he says.
 
Catania made an impact on Doug Katz early in his restaurant career. “I worked with Sammy and Roberta when I was at Oakwood Country Club as a teen,” recalls Katz, who owns Fire Food and Drink, the Katz Club Diner and Provenance. “He was always a class act and sweet man. I will miss him and am so sad for [wife] Roberta and her family.”

Even those who didn’t personally know Catania felt a connection with the man. SOHO Kitchen & Bar owner Nolan Konkoski never met Catania, but recognized his influence.   “He was obviously a long-time pillar of the restaurant community in this town,” he says. “I always heard wonderful things about him; he was respected by the people I respect most.”  Tim Bando, owner of Grove Hill, didn’t know Catania well but remembers him as supportive and highly respected.

Catania is survived by his wife, Roberta Rocco. She is asking for cards with your “Sammy stories,” which may be dropped off at Tremont West Development Corporation, 2406 Professor Avenue.
 
The cause of death has not been released. A memorial service is scheduled at Trinity Cathedral, 2230 Euclid Ave. on Saturday, December 12th at 9:30 a.m.

Mod Meals offers fresh, locally-sourced meals delivered right to your door

Eating delicious, healthy food on a busy schedule is about to get a lot easier. Beginning next week, some of Cleveland’s most prized chefs will cook locally-sourced, health-conscious meals that will be delivered directly to customers' doors through a company called Mod Meals.

With a few clicks, customers can choose from a daily rotating menu of entrees, side dishes and kids' meals on both the Mod Meals website and app. “We take the headache out of making dinner,” says Mod Meals marketing director Scott Churchill. “It’s tough to keep business going, it’s tough to go out. We bring it right to your door.”

Started by entrepreneur and CEO Bruce Teicher, Mod Meals' participating chefs include Ben Bebenroth, chef owner of Spice Kitchen and Bar; Karen Small, owner of The Flying Fig; Eric Williams, chef owner of Momocho and El Carnicero; and Brian Okin, chef owner of Cork and Cleaver Social Kitchen and Graffiti. Additional chefs are expected to be announced soon.
 
Mod Meals will feature four to five entrée choices each day, four to five side dishes and a selection of kid-friendly fare. “We’re really focusing on kids’ meals,” says Churchill, who cites Bebenroth’s meatloaf – jam-packed with vegetables and shows smiley faces and frown faces when the loaf is cut – as one fun option for kids.

Some of the planned menu items include wood-grilled chicken,; arugula pesto and potatoes; chili garlic salmon with steamed broccoli; smoked brisket with Memphis barbeque sauce and crunchy slaw; seasonal crudite with hummus and dukkah; Asian noodle salad with cashew dressing, carrot and bok choy; kale, dried cherries, mustard caper vinaigrette, egg; and a squash and coconut bisque.

Meals will cost between $10 and $14, with a $2.95 delivery fee. “Our overhead is lower because we don’t have a restaurant,” Churchill explains. “But we’re piggy backing off the growing foodie scene here.” Menus will be posted a couple of days in advance so users can make their selections and choose their delivery times. Deliveries will be between 4 pm and 10 pm.
 
Additionally, with every order placed Mod Meals will make an equivalent monetary donation to the Greater Cleveland Food Bank.  
 
Mod Meals plans to start delivery on Monday, November 9 to downtown and the east side suburbs. The company plans to expand delivery to the west side within the month. Go to the Mod Meals website to get the app or place orders.

New app to help users find waterfront access points, appreciate Lake Erie

The West Creek Conservancy, a group focused on preserving natural habitats and expanding opportunities to experience nature, is developing a new mobile app that will allow users to locate a watershed, map water-related public access points and learn more about that river or stream.
 
Developers hope the app will help people get out and explore Ohio’s Lake Erie basin. The app will serve as a mobile version of ODNR’s Coastal and River Access guide. It will use the phone’s GPS to direct users to the nearest water access points.
 
“The real idea here is we have such a great asset at our back door and people don’t know how to get to it,” says Derek Schafer, West Creek’s executive director. “When you get access to it, you care about it. If you’re recreating on it, you love it and want to keep it healthy.”
 
Schafer is hesitant to use the term “watershed” when talking about the yet-to-be-named app. “It sounds like a regulatory term,” he explains. “This is to hook, line and sinker get people to the water – whether it’s a boat launch, a canoe put-in, marina, whatever it is. Get them to know where to get to the water – all of the rivers and all lake access points in all of Lake Erie.”
 
But the app isn’t just about waterfront fun. It’s also designed to get users involved in conservation and advocacy groups. “It’s about getting people engaged in advocacy, to action,” Schafer says. “It’s how to get people to the Lake Erie coastline, watersheds and all the rivers. It’s about how to get people to them, enjoy then and then once you get there, you get them to respect them and enjoy them.”
 
The app, which is scheduled to be completed in beta version for IOS by the end of the year and Android sometime next year, will feature Lake Erie and watershed protection tips, a photo gallery, Lake Erie and watershed FAQs, newsletter and links to advocacy groups.
 
West Creek Conservancy is still trying to decide on a catchy name for the app. Anyone with a good name idea can email Schafer with it. 

EmployStream makes the hiring process a paper-free snap

After working in software development for 20 years, Rob Sable decided that there must be a way to streamline the hiring process. He was right, and in 2014 he started EmployStream, which uses Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) to digitize and customize employers’ hiring processes.

Sable had worked for a large software company before he became CIO of staffing and recruitment company Alliance Solutions Group in 2012. Alliance was hiring about 15,000 people a year at the time and Sable was in charge of overhauling and upgrading the company’s technology platforms. “The cost of hiring a single person really takes a lot of work,” explains Sable. “With 15,000 [employees] a year you have to go through a process of paperwork and other onboarding.”

Sable approached Alliance owner Aaron Grossman about developing a new hiring system. “Combined with the owner’s background and my background in software applications development we came up with a prototype to streamline the process of getting someone hired and plugged in to payroll,” he recalls. “You can do it on tablets, phones, wherever you are. What we ended up with was a system on its own.”

In October 2014, Sable founded EmployStream, a paperless system that helps high-volume employers avoid mistakes, expenses and delays in the onboarding process and integrate their Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS) and payroll. “People make mistakes and fail, even if they get it right 99 percent of the time,” Sable says, adding that EmployStream takes the risk of human error out of the mix.
 
Alliance, which was Sable’s first customer with the pilot in 2013, was able to save $150,000 in labor costs during the first year it used EmployStream. The software officially launched earlier this year.
 
Sable says the EmployStream system helps virtually any type of employer – from small companies without HR departments to staffing companies. The system eliminates redundancies and paperwork. “It’s for anyone who hires 100-plus people a month,” he says. “The way we built the system is that anyone can load any of their documents in it – tax forms, customer specific documents, employment agreements.”
 
The EmployStream system can also be tailored to incorporate a company’s color scheme and logo. “Within a few hours you have a system online with a job board, application page,” says Sable. “I think it has applicability to any organization that has to engage with people or has paperwork.”
 
Sable began actively selling EmployStream this summer and has a handful of customers. “No one has told me ‘you’re on the wrong track, we’re going back to pen and paper,’” he says. “We’re just focused on getting the word out to more and more companies.”
 
In addition to staffing companies, Sable is now targeting non-profits and small local chains. “If I can help non-profits streamline costs, I like serving spaces that are under-served,” he says. “It’s hard to say no to the something that’s better and more reliable.”

Teen Tech Tank invites high school entrepreneurs to pitch ideas for chance at CSU scholarship

The Young Entrepreneur Institute, a group that encourages Northeast Ohio students to get involved in entrepreneurial experiences and organizations, is hosting Teen Tech Tank – a technology business idea pitch competition for high school students.
 
The entrepreneurs will compete for a chance to win $30,000 in prizes, including a scholarship to Cleveland State’s Monte Ahuja School of Business. Students with an idea for a tech business must submit a 60-second video by midnight today, Monday, October 5th.
 
"The hopes are that they will formulate a great idea that has real world feasibility with a technology component,” says Wendy Wercion, director of underwriting and sponsorship with the Young Entrepreneur Institute, who adds that organizers are hoping to receive 200 videos.
 
“Hopefully they’ll practice, practice, practice and then make the 60-second video. The pool of contestants will have such a wonderful opportunity to win if they deliver a great pitch.”

From the submissions, 20 semifinalists will be chosen. The semifinalist videos will be posted online through October 28th, where the public is invited to view and vote on their favorites. All 20 semifinalists receive $100 and a Teen Tech Tank T-shirt.

Five finalists will then be chosen by a combination of public voting and a panel of six community judges. The videos will be judged based on originality, real world application and presentation.

The five finalists will then pitch their ideas to “Shark Tank” star and entrepreneur Daymond John and an audience of approximately 450 educators at Enspire 2015, an event for entrepreneur educators, on Saturday, November 7.

“It will be such a confidence builder to get up in front of that many people and present an idea,” Wercion says.
 
All five finalists will receive an additional $150, a year’s supply of Coca-Cola products, a Best Buy Chromebook laptop, and a CSU Ahuja College of Business scholarship. The students must apply and be accepted to CSU to receive the scholarship.
 
Wercion stresses that the applicants don’t have to write a business plan, they only have to formulate an idea. But the idea much be technology-centered. “It could be specifically tech – hardware, software, music or games – or it could be an efficiency component for a medical company,” she explains.
 
Videos explaining how to apply, eight tips for making a great pitch video and sample videos are available on the Teen Tech Tank Site.

Who's Hiring in CLE: IBM UrbanCode, NewBridge and more

Welcome to the latest installment of Fresh Water’s “who’s hiring” series, where we feature growing companies with open positions, what they’re looking for and how to apply.
 
IBM UrbanCode
Companies around the world in the gaming, retail, banking and technology fields have turned to IBM UrbanCode for help in supporting their DevOps needs. A leader in its field with headquarters in Cleveland, IBM UrbanCode continues to save its customers money with automation tools that enable organizations to deliver software to production faster while reducing errors.

“Organizations are finding that they can save money and increase customer satisfaction by simplifying and speeding up their entire software development and delivery process by using IBM UrbanCode software,” says Tracy Gavlak, IBM UrbanCode’s business operations specialist.
 
UrbanCode was acquired by IBM in 2013 but they still have a start-up vibe. “The Cleveland office is great because we have retained a startup feel,” explains Gavlak. “It's a professional yet relaxed atmosphere in a bright and fresh office space just a block from Playhouse Square.”

To keep up with demand for its software, IBM UrbanCode is looking to fill 23 positions on its software development team. The developers will code new features, do bug fixes and perform integrations with software development lifecycle tools. Qualified candidates may even help develop new products as they design, test, research and review existing code.
 
Open positions include senior Java software developer; software development manager, software tester and a business development representative. Qualified candidates should have a computer science degree or equivalent, Java coding experience, be a self-motivated strategic thinker with an analytic and problem solving skills and a passion for writing code. Register and apply online on IBM UrbanCode’s careers page.
 
C.TRAC
C.TRAC, marketing solutions provider specializing in interactive marketing, database management and related support services, is looking for a development lead to develop and deliver solutions that answer client needs using salesforce marketing cloud and related interactive capabilities. Experience managing projects from whiteboard to delivery is critical. This person will lead the development team and collaborate with account service and technical solutions teams. To apply, please send resumes to the hiring manager.
 
NewBridge
NewBridge, an arts and technology vocational training center for youth and adults, has four open positions, including a chief program officer/director of student experience, a student employment specialist, a student recruitment specialist and an administrative assistant. Email resume, cover letter and NewBridge application form to the hiring manager.
 
NLDP
The Neighborhood Leadership Development Program (NLDP), which is dedicated to enhancing the leadership abilities of engaged Clevelanders who are committed to creating a city and region which works for everyone, is looking for a graduate support manager to provide support and resources to NLDP graduates to enhance the development of their leadership skills and expand networking opportunities to create positive change in Cleveland. The manager will develop and maintain a broad based multi-faceted graduate support program using a variety of strategies. For questions or to apply, send resume and cover letter to Yuolanda Murray by Friday, September 25.
 
Terves
Terves, Inc., a materials science company producing engineered composites used in the oil and natural gas well completions and defense industries, has a variety of open positions, including an executive assistant to provide support to the COO and a project manager to manage all aspects of product development projects from feasibility to pilot scale production. To apply, email resume to the hiring manager.
 
OnShift
OnShift, a provider of staffing solutions software for long-term care and senior living facilities, currently has 15 open positions, including front end and back end software developers and a marketing communications manager.   Click here to create a profile and submit an application.
 
Complion
Complion, an early stage software company whose cloud-based software stores critical clinical trial documentation for hospitals and medical centers, needs a director of marketing, a software product manager, an inside sales executive and a software developer. Email resumes to Rick Arlow  
 
SplashLink
SplashLink, an online resource for the water industry focused on connecting water challenges all over the world with expertise, solutions and the tools to manage projects from conception to deployment, needs collaborative and internet-savvy associates to provide research, data-entry and related support to assess water industry information and input applicable content; and identify and capture pertinent contact information to aid SplashLink’s sales team. Send cover letter and resume to Michele Kilroy by Thursday, October 8.  
 
Software Answers
Software Answers, which helps improve the learning of K-12 students through its software suite, ProgressBook, needs a technical support analyst to provide technical support to customers. Candidate must have knowledge of SQL and Microsoft Office applications and have one year of customer service experience. Email resume to the hiring manager.
 
Jakprints
Jakprints, a custom printer, needs a designer and two production operators. Email resumes to the hiring manager.

Cleveland Clinic is looking for 500 nurses

The demand for nurses is on the rise across the country, and Cleveland Clinic is no exception. “The landscape of healthcare is continuing to change, says Kelly Hancock, the Cleveland Clinic’s executive chief nursing officer. "With more patients getting access to care, our hospitals are busier and our outpatient facilities are busier.”

So the Clinic decided to take a preemptive step in making sure its Northeast Ohio hospitals are adequately staffed. In a three-event hiring campaign that covers the east and west sides and the main campus, the Clinic is looking to fill 500 open RN nursing positions at its main campus, eight regional hospitals, 18 family health centers, medical and surgical and home health care.
 
The open positions are in all disciplines, but Hancock says there is a particular need in critical care and emergency care. “We see this as a way of being proactive in areas where we need help,” says Hancock. “This is a fabulous opportunity and there are a lot of talented people out there, so we’re excited.”
 
Recruiters will be at Lacentre in Westlake on Thursday, Sept. 3 and will highlight jobs at the Clinic’s west side hospitals – Fairview, Lakewood and Lutheran. The recruiters will be at Executive Caterers in Mayfield Heights on Friday, Sept. 18 and feature jobs at the main campus and Children’s Hospital. Both events run from 8 am to 6 pm. The east side event was held on August 21 and featured the Clinic’s east side hospitals.

 
“We thought this was a really good way to segment off the different geographic regions instead of having one big one,” says Hancock of the three events, adding that RNs interested in any position can come to either of the two remaining locations.
 
Those interested should apply for the position they are interested in ahead of time. A nurse recruiter will then conduct a phone interview before the event. However, Hancock says quite a few applicants showed up without registering at the east side event. “We welcome walk-ins,” she says. “A recruitment manager will match them based on their skills set.”

Interviews and assessments should take about two hours. Applicants should bring copies of their resumes. Contingent job offers may be made. 
 
Hancock says the Clinic is always recruiting for its nursing staff of 12,000, but these events will help the healthcare system fill a large need. 

Cleveland Cord Blood Center saves lives through donated umbilical cords

One simple, altruistic act after childbirth can potentially save the life of another person. The umbilical cords cut from babies shortly after birth contain lifesaving stem cells in their blood, which in turn can be used for research into cures for many common diseases. Donated cord blood can also be used for treatment of hematologic ailments such as leukemia, lymphoma and sickle cell anemia.

The Cleveland Cord Blood Center (CCBC) is one of just 14 nonprofit organizations that collect cord blood for research and treatment. “We take the cord blood donated by families after they have their babies and use it to treat leukemia,” explains Marcie Finney, associate director of the CCBC. “One of our donors calls it the ‘ultimate recycling program.’”
 
After childbirth, most mothers choose to either dispose of the umbilical cord or pay to store it in a bank in case of future ailments in their child. But some choose to donate the cords – and the blood – to the CCBC. “That process is altruistic,” says Finney. “We have treated over 300 patients.”
 
The CCBC was founded in 2007 by Mary J. Laughlin, who in 1993 performed the world's first successful umbilical cord blood transplant in an adult leukemia patient. Today, the center has sent cord blood to 14 countries, while 70 to 75 percent of the blood stays in the United States.
 
Additionally, the CCBC researches how cord blood can be used in the development of topical wound treatments, and how they play a role in developing T-cell therapies for cancer patients and diabetes immunity.
 
Currently, the Cleveland Clinic main campus, Fairview Hospital and Hillcrest Hospital are the only area facilities that participate in the cord donation program at CCBC. “When the cord blood is collected, there is no harm to the mother or baby,” stresses Finney. “A lot of people doing a little bit of effort has a huge impact.”
 
The center now has 24 employees and is funded through grants from the Abraham J. and Phyllis Katz Foundation and the Dr. Donald J. and Ruth Weber Goodman Philanthropic Fund, as well as private and public donations. “The costs are astronomical,” says Finney of the center’s storage, research and operations expenses. “For every 100 [cords] we bank, only one will get picked for transplant.”
 
But Finney and her team press on in their quests to find cures and treatments through cord stem cells for so many blood diseases.

Who's Hiring in CLE: RageOn, LaunchHouse, the Cleveland Foundation and more

Welcome to the latest installment of Fresh Water’s “who’s hiring” series, where we feature growing companies with open positions, what they’re looking for and how to apply.
 
RageOn
Want a t-shirt covered with images of pizza? Or how about a tote bag with images of your own artwork? Since April 2014, RageOn has steadily grown as the one of the largest all-over print online stores. The e-commerce site specializes in custom print designs as well as apparel featuring the unique work of artists and designers.
 
Now RageOn is moving quickly into a new realm. “We’ve invented the world’s fastest and simplest custom printing with the simplest technology,” says founder Mike Krilivsky. “We’re expanding our technology base. It’s something we think will change of lot of aspects of the world as we know it right now.”
 
The new technology will allow RageOn to create custom products at an affordable price. “We can do custom creations without spending a lot of money,” he explains. “Anyone with access to a phone or a computer can create something and monetize it in seconds.”
 
Krilivsky continuously accepts resumes for any position, to keep a lookout for the best talent. “We always want to keep the door open to awesome talent,” he says. “The best way to do that is always make sure the new technology means he has some specific needs. “A lot of our positions require several different hats. That’s life at a startup.”
 
RageOn is currently hiring for 12 different positions. But with the new technology, Krilivsky has some specific needs – primarily a director of engineering, a senior designer and a director of marketing. “We’re making awesome products that people love and want to use,” he says. “Now we need some great people to do it.”
 
But Krilivsky warns that applicants have to have an entrepreneurial spirit to work at RageOn. “We don’t want to hire people who want a job – we want to hire people who want to change the world,” he says. Apply through RageOn’s website. For a complete list of open jobs and requirements, click here.
 
LaunchHouose
LaunchHouse, the entrepreneurial community in Shaker Heights, is looking for a front desk manager to work directly with the executive team on a variety of tasks. This is an opportunity for those who think outside the box and want to be part of a growing company that could lead to extended opportunities. Responsibilities include customer service, answering phones, event setup, writing a blog and other support tasks.  
 
Send resume and cover letter to the LaunchHouse team.
 
The Cleveland Foundation
The Cleveland Foundation needs a donor relations officer to cultivate relationships within an assigned portfolio of donors to inspire and engage their philanthropic interests and goals. Requirements include a bachelor’s degree and five to seven years of experience in a service environment where responsibilities included providing professional advice and personal service to a diverse group of high-profile donors/clients.
 
To apply, send cover letter, resume and salary requirements to the hiring manager by Friday, August 28. Candidates selected for an interview will be contacted the week of August 31.
 
BioEnterprise
BioEnterprise, an organization that creates and grows companies in bioscience and healthcare, needs a director of health IT talent development, a new position at BioEnterprise. Apply through JumpStart.
 
Ohio CAT
Ohio CAT, the exclusive authorized dealer of Caterpillar equipment and engines in Ohio, northern Kentucky and southeast Indiana, has five openings in its Broadview Heights facility. The jobs include equipment field service technician; project manager in the power systems division; emergency vehicle technician, oil and gas service and sales rep; compact power sales rep.  For complete job descriptions and to apply, visit the Ohio CAT careers page.
 
Empower Gas & Electric
Empower Gas & Electric, which has partnered with the City of Cleveland to deliver low cost, high impact energy efficiency services for enrolled aggregation customers through the Cleveland Energy$aver program, needs a Northeast Ohio community solutions director to implement on-the-ground energy efficiency programming. To apply, send resume and cover letter to the hiring manager.
 
The Vue
The Vue, Beachwood’s newest modern metropolitan apartments, is looking for an ambassador. The job is for six month and offers free rent at the Vue in exchange for Tweeting, Instagramming, blogging and serving as The Vue ambassador. Deadline to apply is Tuesday, August 25. To apply, submit resume and a 150-word essay explaining why you are the perfect ambassador. Also express your interest on your social media channels, tagging #HireMeVue in your posts.
 
Technical Assurance
Technical Assurance, a national building envelope consulting group that manages building enclosure consulting and design for assignments of any size or scope, is expanding its CAD production capabilities, including an AutoCAD operator in its Willoughby headquarters. The goal is to add depth to the department with a variety of experience levels.  Ideal candidates have experience with managing multiple projects, ability to operate in a fast-paced production environment, have a keen attention to details, and most importantly be a team player. To learn more about other open positions or to apply directly, please contact the hiring manager.
 
Software Answers
Software Answers needs a senior application developer with a solid understanding of web-based development on Microsoft technologies who also has a passion for developing quality software applications to work on its ProgressBook suite – applications to promote academic achievement in grades K-12. Apply through JumpStart.

MAGNET to share the secrets of attracting and retaining employees in the manufacturing industry

A frequent concern in the manufacturing industry is how to attract and keep talented people. “It’s the number one thing we hear from manufacturers,” says Matt Fieldman, vice president for external affairs for MAGNET. “It’s probably the number one thing plaguing Northeast Ohio employers in general.”

So next Thursday, August 6, MAGNET will host a free seminar to address workforce needs in the manufacturing industry – sharing the secrets of successful manufacturers in the region and telling some not-so-pleasant truths about hiring the right people.
 
“Develop Your Workforce for Growth” will feature three speakers from successful area manufacturers who will share their secrets to successful hiring and retention of top talent. Reggie Stover, vice president of people and talent for Fairmount Santrol will share Fairmount’s best practices and strategies for talent retention and Kenton Woodhead, material manager of Royal Plastics will discuss the challenges of addressing the incumbent workforce.
 
Bill Swan, training coordinator of Swagelok, will talk about Right Skills Now, a collaborative pilot program created between MAGNET, Tri-C and Swagelok that offers accelerated training for manufacturing jobs. After completing the program, graduates can choose to either stay at Swagelok or take a job elsewhere.

“It’s the chicken-or-the-egg problem: How do you get the job without experience,” explains Fieldman. “The idea is let’s create fast-track training programs where we develop the workforce.”

Fieldman says the program is designed to give workers a leg up in securing mid-level manufacturing jobs. “The average salary in the manufacturing world is $55,000 for a middle skills job that is 9-5 and 40 hours a week,” he says. “We can help scale up people for whom college is not an option or white collar isn’t the right path. This program makes these jobs inclusive and accessible to people.”
 
MAGNET plans to expand the Right Skills Now program across Northeast Ohio. “This is real talk, this is tough love for some manufacturers,” says Fieldman of Thursday’s seminar. "You can’t get experienced people and not pay. If you want entry-level people, you have to be prepared to train them. That’s where MAGNET comes in: we help small- and medium-size manufacturers attract, retain, and develop their people for the long term.”

The speakers will be followed by a brainstorming session. The seminar runs from 9 am to 11:30 am at Lakeland Community College Holden University Center. Registration is preferred, but walk-ins are welcome.
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