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Coalition Selling Region on Jobs Task Force

By Jay Miller, Crain's Cleveland Business

A civic coalition is hoping to get what its members call "job access" on the region's radar screen.

They want public officials and other community leaders to focus on creating a strong, diverse pool of job candidates to areas they call job hubs that are attractive to businesses looking at Northeast Ohio as an expansion candidate.

Groups in the coalition — the Fund for Our Economic Future, the Northeast Ohio Areawide Coordinating Agency (NOACA) and Team Northeast Ohio — are making the rounds of governments and business groups like chambers of commerce, hoping to sell them on joining what's being called a jobs hub task force. They believe making Greater Cleveland more attractive to the kinds of businesses that bring new dollars and jobs into the region requires a vigorous effort to build up the existing employment centers that have the best opportunity to attracting jobs in what are called the "traded sectors" of the regional economy.

By that, they mean businesses that produce goods and services meant to be sold outside the region, such as manufacturers and professional service firms like engineering or software design businesses or call centers. In Northeast Ohio, the groups say, that also includes health care services.

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