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Cleveland Economy
 
 
 

Cleveland's location on the Cuyahoga River and Lake Erie has been key to its growth. The Ohio and Erie Canal coupled with rail links helped establish the city as a major American manufacturing centre. Steel and many other manufactured goods emerged as its industries.

The city has sought to diversify its economy to become less dependent on its struggling manufacturing sector. Cleveland is the corporate headquarters of many large companies such as Eaton Corporation, National City Corporation, Forest City Enterprises, Sherwin-Williams Company and KeyCorp. NASA maintains a facility in Cleveland, the Glenn Research Center. Jones Day, one of the largest law firms in the world, traces its origins to Cleveland, and its Cleveland office remains the firm's largest.

However, in recent years, the Cleveland area has lost nearly a dozen corporate headquarters, including TRW, OfficeMax, BP and Oglebay Norton, mostly through acquisitions or mergers. The city is expected to lose the headquarters of longtime institution National City Bank, having recently been acquired by PNC Financial Services, based in Pittsburgh. In 2005, Duke Realty Corp., one of the area's largest landlords, announced it was selling all of its property in the Cleveland area because of the stagnation of the market; however, the company continues to maintain a large office building portfolio in the southern suburbs. The commercial real estate market rebounded in 2007 as office properties were purchased at a record pace. From the beginning of July to the end of September, 2007, there was one residential foreclosure for every 57 homes in the metropolitan area, and 10% of the city's homes are now vacant, due in part to the rise in foreclosure filings. Many of the foreclosed homes are vacant and have been vandalised.

Cleveland's largest employer, the Cleveland Clinic, ranks among America's best hospitals as tabulated by US News & World Report. Cleveland's healthcare industry includes University Hospitals of Cleveland, a noted competitor which ranked 25fth in cancer care, and MetroHealth Medical Center.

Cleveland is an emerging area for biotechnology and fuel cell research, led by Case Western Reserve University, the Cleveland Clinic, and University Hospitals of Cleveland. Cleveland is among the top recipients of investment for biotech start-ups and research. Case Western Reserve, the Clinic, and University Hospitals have recently announced plans to build a large biotechnology research centre and incubator on the site of the former Mt. Sinai Medical Center, creating a research campus to stimulate biotech startup companies that can be spun off from research conducted in the city.

City leaders stepped up efforts to cultivate a technology sector in its economy in the early 2000s. Former Mayor Jane L. Campbell appointed a "tech czar" whose job is to actively recruit tech companies to the downtown office market, offering connections to the high-speed fibre networks that run underneath downtown streets in several "high-tech offices" focused on the Euclid Avenue area. Cleveland State University hired a Technology Transfer Officer to work full time on cultivating technology transfers from CSU research to marketable ideas and companies in the Cleveland area, and appointed a Vice President for Economic Development to leverage the university's assets in expanding the city's economy. Case Western Reserve University participates in technology initiatives such as the OneCommunity project a high-speed fibre optic network linking the area's major research centres intended to stimulate growth.

OneCommunity's work attracted the attention of Intel and in mid-2005, Cleveland was named an Intel "Worldwide Digital Community" along with Corpus Christi, Texas, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and Taipei, Taiwan. This distinction added about $12 million for marketing to expand regional technology partnerships, create a city-wide WiFi network, and develop a tech economy. In addition to this Intel initiative, in January 2006 a New York-based think tank, the Intelligent Community Forum, selected Cleveland as the sole American city among its seven finalists for the "Intelligent Community of the Year" award. The group announced that it nominated the city for its OneCommunity network with potential broadband applications. The OneCommunity Network is collaborating with Cisco Systems to deploy a cutting-edge wireless network that could provide widespread access to the region. Cisco is testing new technologies in wireless "mesh" networking. OneCommunity and Cisco officially launched the first phase in September 2006, blanketing several square miles of University Circle with wireless connectivity. Additionally, Cisco Systems acquired the former Aironet Wireless Networks, which was based in the Greater Cleveland area, to form its wireless networking product lineup and maintain a facility in the region.

 

 
 

 



 


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