Implementation of the SC2 pilot initiative in Cleveland began in September 2011, after an initial planning and assessment period earlier in the year. The team began with a focus on three priorities that emerged in the assessment and planning phase: greater coordination of the human capital development system, support and technical expertise to maintain a viable commercial harbor, and assistance in addressing perceived federal obstacles to neighborhood development, housing, and land reuse goals.
This profile summarizes the first 18 months of the SC2 pilot in Cleveland, from September 2011 through March 2013. It describes the local context, membership of the SC2 team, the local stakeholders the team worked with, how the team worked, and the activities and accomplishments to which the team
Like many cities in the Rust Belt, Cleveland has spent several decades responding to dramatic economic and demographic changes. Suburbanization of the population and job opportunities began in the 1950s, followed by migration of manufacturing to the suburbs as well as to the southern United States. These trends accelerated between 1980 and 2005, when Cleveland lost more than 110,000 manufacturing jobs, about 42.5 percent of its manufacturing employment, drastically changing the landscape and workforce outlook in the city.
Today, Cleveland shows many signs that an urban revitalization is underway: residential vacancy rates in the downtown are at historic lows as a new generation is drawn to the amenities of urban life; the city has experienced growth in the bioscience sector, capitalizing on the research capacity of the city’s health care institutions; and the city’s and region’s remaining industrial base is beginning to embrace advanced manufacturing techniques.
The SC2 pilot in Cleveland demonstrated several of the intended goals of the SC2 initiative, including partnering for economic growth, enhancing local capacity, and encouraging regional collaboration. In the first 18 months of the pilot, the SC2 team established itself as a valued resource for individuals and organizations working in the city by providing expedited responses to questions about federal issues. Team members, the city, and other stakeholders regarded SWAG and Adopt a City as major achievements attributable to SC2. By developing strong partnerships and new opportunities for business growth and sustainability, these achievements appear to be sustainable beyond the pilot and capable of having a long-term impact on the community.