CLEVELAND — Editor's note: Video at the top of this story was originally published on Feb. 26, 2021.
More than 8,500 jobs, $449.1 million in annual payroll and $3.35 billion in capital investment are expected through 84 projects within Northeast Ohio, according to Team NEO’s annual performance and impact report as the result of a partnership with JobsOhio and the Northeast Ohio Economic Development Network.
“Together, we will make the Northeast Ohio Region more talented, equitable, competitive, innovative, resilient and prosperous,” Team NEO CEO Bill Koehler said.
Team NEO is described as a private, nonprofit economic development organization aimed at accelerating business growth and job creation throughout the 18 counties of the Northeast Ohio Region. Their annual report features 2020 highlights and case studies illustrating progress in addressing these five key strategies:
- Strengthening a Better Coordinated Regional Economic Development Network to drive investment and confidence in our economy.
- The pandemic amplified how a coordinated network is critical to connect companies with tools and other resources to succeed, such as introductions to supply chain partners and valuable workforce-related insights.
- Team NEO, one of only six JobsOhio network partners, worked with its partners to connect companies across the 18-county region to state resources for job creation and retention, regional investments, and business growth in 2020.
- Advancing Technology Adoption to make the Northeast Ohio Region’s economy more productive, resilient and globally competitive:
- Team NEO’s ongoing efforts to build regional innovation clusters and accelerate technology adoption paid off during the pandemic. Notably, companies of all sizes stepped up to design, manufacture and donate personal protective equipment as Team NEO connected key decision-makers and influencers to address this critical need.
“The network also focused on offsetting pandemic-related job losses by working with organizations that chose the Northeast Ohio Region for their expansion,” officials noted in a press release. “These efforts resulted in the retention of almost 11,500 jobs.”
You can read their full report below:
MORE DETAILS FROM TEAM NEO’S PRESS RELEASE:
Addressing the Talent Supply/Demand Gap by focusing on talent availability to attract new business investment:
In 2020, Team NEO released its fourth annual Aligning Opportunities report, which compares Northeast Ohio job openings with the type and number of credentials awarded. Baldwin Wallace University, the University of Akron, College Now Greater Cleveland, Cuyahoga Community College, Lorain County Community College and other institutions are applying the report’s data-driven insights to develop, enhance or modify offerings and plan for the future.
Team NEO also introduced Misaligned Opportunities, a report examining racial equity as it relates to labor force opportunities, to inform conversations and influence solutions that can be implemented regionally to effect positive change.
For strategic solutions that better align the emerging workforce with Northeast Ohio’s in-demand jobs, Team NEO formed the Talent Development Council, comprised of leaders in Higher Education, workforce development organizations and industry. This collaboration is bringing new programs — such as the Youngstown State University/IBM IT Workforce Accelerator apprentice training program and Ohio to Work— to life.
Growing a Pipeline of Competitive Sites to win more projects:
Team NEO and its new RightSites Council identified, reviewed and promoted 43 of the most competitive sites in the region last year, while capitalizing on 2020 JobsOhio programs to drive investment and job creation in distressed areas, fill real estate inventory gaps, and accelerate site redevelopment. As a result, 650,000 square feet of industrial space, 95 ready-to-develop acres, 2,922 jobs and $179 million in payroll have been added — with more results to come.
Promoting Regional and Network Performance to create more opportunity for the region:
Drawing on the Northeast Ohio Region’s collective might, Team NEO pivoted its marketing strategy at the onset of Covid-19 to focus on businesses’ changing needs and their ability to anticipate post-pandemic opportunities.