The Growth Partnership has set the right future business and job development priorities; that is work mostly with existing companies, including Stage 2 companies. While some job growth comes from new business recruitment, it is very small in comparison to the jobs produced by companies already here and in place. And yes, we will work with outside companies that can be successful in the county, but the lion’s share of our work effort is and will continue to be with existing companies. We also need to incubate some new startups with the right entrepreneurs and investment groups.
A recent Crain’s Cleveland Business article says that research into the sources of job growth estimates that only about 2% of any region’s jobs come from business attraction. That number may be slightly less or more depending on the region and the year, but the message is clear: A region can’t bet its future on a strategy of luring and poaching outside businesses. And that other 98% of job growth? That comes from startups and existing business expansion. These are the new ventures, the tech entrepreneurs, the mom and pops, the region’s businesses that add a new salesperson, or a new product line or a new office.
This is why Team NEO and Jobs Ohio has shifted its direction in the past year. Growth Partnership is aimed in the right direction. Now we need to work hard and work smart in line with our future action plan.