Issue: June 2009
Team NEO Economic Development Impact Awards 2009 - A Message from Tom Waltermire
CEO of Team Northeast Ohio
Every year, hundreds of companies in the U.S. and throughout the world make decisions about where to invest next for growth. These investments are made in good times and bad, because even in a weak economy, businesses with innovative products or services continue to grow by penetrating their markets.
In total, the many communities, counties and economic development organizations in Northeast Ohio helped attract and/or retain more than 6,000 jobs and $1.2 billion in capital investment in 2008. Team NEO is delighted to honor the “unsung heroes” who made this investment possible: local and regional elected officials, chambers of commerce and economic developers.
The following pages detail the best local economic development efforts that helped retain companies, create jobs, develop new attractions and bring foreign investment to Northeast Ohio during the calendar year 2008. These finalists were chosen from more than 60 nominations we received for the third annual
Economic Development Impact Awards celebration held June 2. As such, these projects and partnerships demonstrate best practices in economic development work, from which we can all learn new, creative ways to advance our local, regional and state economies.
Team NEO began focusing solely on business attraction in January 2007. Since then, in conjunction with partners throughout the region, we’ve collectively secured nearly 200 new qualified business opportunities for the region, attracted more than 20 new companies and created more than 2,200 new jobs worth $75 million in new annual payroll for Northeast Ohio. This team accomplishment proves our ability to succeed when we work together.
In addition to celebrating the best economic development projects of 2008, we also recognized former Rep. Ralph Regula as the 2009 H. Peter Burg Regional Vision Award recipient. The award commemorates the late Chairman and CEO of FirstEnergy Corp., an inspirational regional leader who served as the founding chairman of Team NEO. Ralph Regula, who recently retired after 36 years in the House of Representatives for Ohio’s 16th Congressional District, receives this honor for his work on behalf of the entire region, as well as his home district. In his position as chairman of the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Education, he was able to bring resources back to Northeast Ohio for health care research, nursing retention, job retraining for displaced manufacturing workers and the expansion of Northeast Ohio’s public and private universities. Congressman Regula believes passionately in the future of our region, and for his efforts, we are truly grateful.
We applaud the corporate support of economic development in Northeast Ohio and thank our presenting sponsor, the Sherwin-Williams Co., as well as our additional sponsors: the University of Akron, First Place Bank and the Fedeli Group.
We are one region, with one goal — advancing the economy — and together, we can accomplish great success!
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