and Cleveland State Maxine Goodman Levin College of Urban Affairs
announced on June 6 that they have formed a strategic alliance that will create a powerhouse for attracting and retaining businesses to Northeast Ohio. The idea is to enhance the research capabilities of both organizations, which is key in promoting the region to new businesses.
“Team NEO, ever since it was created, has had top flight research,” explains Team NEO CEO Tom Waltermire. “It has been one of the secrets to our success. One of the ways we compete is to be able to give in-depth answers to companies’ questions. When we go out and sell the region, we have to have the facts for marketing.”
Daila Shimek of the Next Generation Economy Center of the Levin College will act as managing director of Team NEO’s research department. The partnership will allow the organizations to provide more comprehensive information to companies looking at Cleveland.
“We can provide a lot of information, like what the customer market might be or who the suppliers might be,” says Shimek. “Or mapping the drive time for potential employees or area colleges educating the workforce they need. That stuff is critical.”
Team NEO typically attracts about 12 companies to the region each year, translating into about 1,000 new jobs. With its new role as a local franchise of the JobsOhio program, Team NEO’s role has expanded even more.
“We’re now finding we’re assisting with the expansion of existing companies in the region,” says Waltermire. “They’re holding us responsible. The first priority in economic development is you grow the businesses that you have.”
Sources: Tom Waltermire, Daila Shimek
Writer: Karin Connelly