Global Cleveland: Roadshows, Web Portal Aim to Double Talent In-Migration by 2020

May 30, 2014

Cleveland and Northeast Ohio are opening their virtual front door to talent throughout the world after stakeholders in the region created an organization dedicated entirely to talent attraction and retention.

Global Cleveland, a regional economic development agency formed to attract and retain the world’s best talent in Northeast Ohio, aims to help fill more than 50,000 open jobs in the area by doubling in-migration to the Cleveland MSA in the coming decade. The campaign is a result of civic leaders joining and brainstorming ideas to attract newcomers after 2010 Census figures showed that Greater Cleveland’s population had dipped below 400,000 for the first time since the 1950s.

Leaders created a web portal that shares Global Cleveland’s story, and they’re also taking the region’s story on the road, with the first stop on June 26, 2014, in Washington, D.C.

DCI spoke with Joy Roller, Global Cleveland President, to learn more about the campaign’s unique elements and initiatives.

Launch Date: May, 1 2014

Budget: $1.2 million

What DCI loves about the campaign:

1. Global Cleveland’s Web PortalGlobal Cleveland Website is much more than just a website. It’s essentially a tool that includes text, video, photographs, statistics and data to tell skilled professionals everything there is to know about moving to Cleveland. Tabs include Jobs, Education, Entrepreneurs, Living Here, Having Fun, International Resource Center, Newsstand, Directory and Events.

Here’s just a sampling of what the portal offers:

  • The ability to connect users to more than 500 local organizations
  • A drop-down tab that enables website functionality in more than 50 languages
  • Access to jobs, recruiting, internships and virtual career fairs
  • “How-to Tutorials” on hiring international talent
  • International newcomer/student support
  • An A-Z directory that gives users quick, easy access to everything they want to find and need to know

2. Funky, Festival-Style Launch Event Showing That Cleveland Truly Does Rockglobal cleveland launch

More than 2,000 people attended Global Cleveland’s launch, which included Indian and African cultural dancers, Serbian folk musicians and other performers who displayed the many cultures of Cleveland. Global Cleveland leaders teamed with the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum to create a “Cleveland Playlist” soundtrack for the event, featuring songs that relate to Northeast Ohio, were written by or performed by artists from Northeast Ohio, or were inspired by something in Northeast Ohio.

3. Roadshow Toursnational press club

Global Cleveland is hitting the road, taking the region’s story to multiple cities that share back-and-forth migration with Cleveland. The first stop was June 26 at Washington D.C.’s National Press Club, where more than 200 people attended a party hosted by Global Cleveland and business leaders in an effort to get people excited about the region, introduce them to the new web portal, and encourage people to register for a virtual job fair.

Most attendees were young professionals with Cleveland connections, and of 137 surveyed, 118 answered “Yes,” when asked, “Are you open to moving to Cleveland.” The job fair included 26 companies, and attracted 150 people per company.

The idea is to show others – some with Cleveland ties – how much the city has changed in just the past decade and share opportunities the region offers. Leaders say Cleveland is where New York meets Chicago, and provides the amenities of a large city, with a small town feel – including affordable home prices and an expansive arts and culture scene.

4. “Live Chat” Functionality

What may be the most unique feature of the portal is the “live chat” function that allows Global Cleveland employees to reach out to users that enter the portal to let them know that there’s someone right there in Cleveland available to answer any questions about moving to the region in real time. What’s more – that same employee has the ability to determine who’s mentioning Cleveland on social media sites, and start conversations that way as well.

5. Focus on In-Migration, Domestic and Foreign Talentglobal cleveland translation

Global Cleveland’s research-based campaign intends to double in-migration through the next decade, with the goal of attracting 60,000 people by 2020. Leaders will use the 2020 Census information to measure success, as well as the portal, website traffic, social media and companies engaged in the campaign.

6. Creating Mass Appeal Through Storytelling

Multimedia, videos and storytelling are a major piece of the campaign. The launch event and roadshows will include a video featuring 15 Cleveland newcomers who talk about everything they’re doing in Cleveland – ranging from starting businesses to buying homes to raising families – and share anecdotes for why Greater Cleveland is such a great place to live and work.

Sarah Reinecke

Written by Sarah Reinecke

Sarah Reinecke is a Senior Account Executive at DCI. Since joining the staff in 2013, she’s worked to tell the economic development stories of places that span from Salinas, Calif., to Wake County, N.C., and Calgary, Alberta, Canada, to the state of Indiana.

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