The Center for Economic Development in the Levin College of Urban Affairs has been awarded EDA University Center Economic Development Technical Assistance Program's support as a grantee of the 2021 EDA University Center Competition
Thirteen colleges and universities in the US Economic Development Administration's Chicago Region will host eleven EDA University Center Economic Development Technical Assistance Programs as grantees of the 2021 EDA University Center Competition. Levin’s Center for Economic Development at Cleveland State University is one of them, and one of only two such Centers in Ohio. Read the full announcement here.
As an existing and continuing EDA grantee under the University Center program, the Center for Economic Development (the Center) aids regional organizations in applying for federal funding, particularly funding from the Economic Development Administration and its EDA American Rescue Plan Programs. The Center for Economic Development also actively promotes and enables the organizing EDA Economic Development District in the Cleveland metro area. As the first step of this process, it collaborates with regional constituencies and assists NOACA in developing an EDA-recognized Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy (CEDS).
While the attraction of federal funding to the region is one of the highest priorities, the Center is actively collaborating with local governments, economic development intermediaries, and philanthropic organizations to pave the path for Cleveland to build stronger communities, a better workforce, and an innovative economy. The Center sees the EDA funding as a next-five-years seed-funding opportunity to strengthen the capacity of the applied research arm of the Levin College. We want to leverage this funding with additional federal, state, and local grants and deepen our collaboration with regional governments, philanthropic and community organizations, and economic development intermediaries.
Under this EDA-funded program, the Center will focus on four programs over the next five years:
- cultivating innovation
- developing a high-skilled regional workforce
- advancing high-skilled and minority entrepreneurship
- providing service and technical assistance within these and other themes prioritized by the US EDA and regional needs
Innovation: The Center will assist by providing applied research, suggestions on public policies and programmatic activities, and collaboration organizing an annual statewide conference planned around raising innovation in Ohio through the development of three Ohio Innovation Districts, the growth of innovative industries, and the measurement and promotion of clusters.
Workforce: The Center will support the development of a regional high-skilled workforce by addressing the gaps of employment and occupations for innovative industries and clusters, and developing career paths to address those gaps.
Entrepreneurship & Inclusion: The Center will continue to develop entrepreneurial ecosystems by focusing on high-growth entrepreneurship and minority entrepreneurship through the iterative process of ecosystem assessment and measurement of annual gaps. Service organizations then can address such gaps by creating publicly available and readily accessible mapped resources.
Technical Assistance: The CSU EDA University Center will support its partners, EDA Economic Development Districts, Comprehensive Economic Development Strategies (CEDS), governments, and economic development organizations, on all products developed under these programs. It will respond to their additional needs, especially in data-driven requests aligned with their strategies, EDA investment priorities, and regional needs.
The Center for Economic Development's service region includes the 21-county area in Northeast Ohio (NEO), containing approximately 37% of Ohio's population, employment, and gross domestic product. This region covers NEO partners' targeted service areas and includes three metropolitan areas with central cities – Cleveland, Akron, and Youngstown. In addition to providing support to NEO, the Center will work on innovation projects covering all of Ohio and benefiting all its 88 counties.
Among the partners in these projects are JobsOhio, the Ohio Department of Higher Education and their Ohio Innovation Exchange initiative, TeamNEO, Greater Cleveland Partnership, JumpStart, Cuyahoga County, Eastgate, NEFCO, NOACA, the Cleveland Water Alliance, First Suburbs Development Council, and other counties and cities across Northeast Ohio and Ohio.