CLEVELAND--December 14, 2016--The members of the Fund for Our Economic Future (the Fund), a philanthropic collaboration, have approved $850,000 of grants to advance job creation in Northeast Ohio, with the end goal of growing the regional economy so that all people -- not just some -- benefit.
The recipients of funding included:
- Team NEO, with a one-year operating grant of up to $650,000 to support the continued advancement of a shared, regional economic competitiveness strategy and improved business development. The Fund is a co-creator of Team NEO, along with the organized business community and JobsOhio.
- JumpStart, with a one-year grant of up to $150,000 to support the Northeast Ohio Entrepreneurial Signature Program (NEO ESP) Network.
The grants squarely align with the Fund's Growth & Opportunity framework of advancing economic growth and increased access to opportunity through improved job creation, job preparation and job access.
"We're pleased to offer ongoing support of our grantees Team NEO and JumpStart, both of which advance key job creation strategies of improving business development and promoting entrepreneurship," said Deborah D. Hoover, president and CEO of Burton D. Morgan Foundation and a Fund representative to the Team NEO board. "We're heartened by Team NEO's progress and by JumpStart's track record of supporting job growth in our region, and are confident that our Fund can help bridge this growth to more opportunities for all people."
Fund members also approved a one-year grant of up to $50,000 to Burten, Bell, Carr Development Inc. (BBC) to provide capacity for BBC to work on job creation in the neighborhoods surrounding the Opportunity Corridor. For more than a year, the Fund has been working closely with BBC and other community development organizations, the city of Cleveland, the Greater Cleveland Partnership, and others, to design and advance 21st Century job hubs that bring direct benefit to surrounding neighborhoods and residents. This work also aligns with the Fund's focus on strengthening our region's local assets and ensuring economically distressed neighborhoods, the number of which have increased, are connected to the Northeast Ohio economy.
"The importance of activating the economic potential of the neighborhoods served by Burten, Bell, Carr is significant," said Brad Whitehead, president of the Fund. "As we aim to strengthen local community assets and increase opportunities in distressed neighborhoods -- which will ultimately improve our economy overall -- connecting local leadership with regional capacities is critical."
The latest round of grants was approved at a quarterly board meeting on December 8, hosted by Fund member the Council of Smaller Enterprises (COSE), the small business arm of the Greater Cleveland Partnership. Fund members were joined by guests The Distinguished Gentlemen of the Spoken Word, a group of local young males who study the art of performance poetry, and Kris Putnam-Walkerly, president of Putnam Consulting Group Inc., who spoke about the road to achieving equity in philanthropic work.
Click here for more on the Fund's Growth & Opportunity framework and to access the research that underpins it.