Amazon brings 1,000 jobs to Northeast Ohio

Euclid Chamber of Commerce Amazon luncheon

Euclid Chamber of Commerce Amazon luncheon

On Jan. 31, a full house was gathered at Tizzano’s Party Center to hear the Euclid Chamber of Commerce’s presentation of “The Amazon Story” that included Amazon’s plan to tear down the former Euclid Square Mall and build a 655,000-square-foot, $175-million fulfillment center, which will add 1,000 new jobs to the region.

Mayor Kirsten Holzheimer Gail at Euclid Chamber of Commerce Amazon luncheonEuclid Mayor Kirsten Holzheimer Gail mentioned that the initial meeting in March 2017 at Cuyahoga Community College to discuss the project was the most memorable day during her time as mayor. After that initial meeting, there were ongoing efforts to rezone the property and to secure $1.2 million from the Ohio Department of Transportation toward roadway improvements.

The next speaker, Matt Deptola of JobsOhio, a nonprofit corporation that promotes job creation and economic development for Ohio, shared his organization’s enthusiasm about Deptola of JobsOhio at Euclid Chamber of Commerce Amazon luncheonthe reputation of Ohio as a great place to live, according to Forbes and other magazines. He also shared some interesting statistics about Amazon. It currently transfers items from its regional fulfillment centers to a nearby sortation facility to a shipping facility within seven hours. Currently, Amazon has a sortation facility in Twinsburg and a shipping facility in Euclid; so, the fulfillment center in Euclid makes perfect sense. Amazon currently employs 6,000 people in Ohio. Additionally, Amazon offers $12,000 of tuition reimbursement for training in high-demand fields after one year of employment, benefits on Day 1, and an average hourly rate of $13.

DiSalvo Euclid Chamber of Commerce Amazon luncheonPete DiSalvo with DiSalvo Development Advisors was the final speaker before the mayor returned to the mic to share that Amazon already has made a commitment to the community by giving $10,000 to the HELP Foundation, a Euclid business that empowers individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities through residential, day support, vocational, and summer education programs.

A lot can change in 10 years

changing technology and how we do business

 

(Courtesy of Guest Blogger Alec Pendleton, Big Ideas for Small Companies, powered by The MPI Group)

The iPhone was introduced 10 years ago, in 2007—or MMVII, as the Romans would have said. In celebration of that anniversary, Apple has just introduced its latest model, the X—or 10, as we would write it. While pondering this milestone, I realized that 10 years ago, I had no clue that the iPhone was coming, and once it did, I didn’t even begin to understand its implications. And not just the iPhone — but the hundreds of other changes that have transformed both the way we operate our businesses and how we live.

In 2007, Amazon was mostly in the book business and had just introduced the Kindle. Twitter was in its infancy. Airbnb didn’t exist. Tesla made a quirky little sports car. Facebook had about 100,000 business pages. Newspapers were profitable (well, sort of). I had a camera! If I wanted to deposit a check, I had to take or mail it to the bank; to pay a bill, I had to write a check. Buying a used car was a risky business.

Ten years later: Recent purchases from Amazon by my family include dental floss, office supplies, textbooks, a security system, and a hammock. We have a president who got where he is by tweeting. Millions of people pay to sleep in strangers’ guest rooms every night. Tesla can’t build its fancy electric sedans fast enough. Facebook now has more than 65 million business pages, and Internet advertising has taken (almost) all the profit out of the newspaper business. My camera is now in my phone, and I can deposit a check by taking a picture of it; I haven’t written a paper check in months. Even at the outdoor farmers’ market in our neighborhood, I can buy groceries with a credit card, which the Amish farmer scans with a tiny device on his phone. And a few months ago, I almost bought a used car until my daughter discovered – on her phone – that it had been in an accident a couple of years prior.

This is all amazing stuff. It and much more have made us happier and more productive, by allowing us to escape a lot of drudgery. It’s wonderful! But if you’re a retailer, or in the newspaper business, or in countless other fields impacted by these technologies, there’s also been a significant downside. Massive change means massive disruption, made all the worse because it was unforeseen by most of those who were damaged by it. Retailers and newspapers, for example, were caught unawares, and thousands of jobs were lost. It seems unlikely that former journalists and store managers are making ends meet by renting out their guest rooms.

So we must ask, what about the NEXT 10 years? What crazy, unimaginable new technologies will disrupt your business or your life? More importantly, what can you do about it?

I have a manufacturing company. If 10 years from now everyone has a 3-D printer, can I just transmit an e-file to my customer, allowing him to print my product for himself?

The possibilities are endless.

So how do we prepare? I’m not convinced that becoming an early adopter is the answer. All of these amazing success stories rest atop a much greater number of failures. Instead, I think the better course will be to focus on fully leveraging new technologies after they’re reasonably well established. The opportunities from last decade’s progress are still far from fully exploited; for example, there are many ways to deploy Apple or Amazon or Google technologies — or even our phones — to improve our businesses and lives that most of us still don’t use.

I also don’t think that guessing what comes next is a good strategy, because it encourages trying to time your investments — and few of us are smart or lucky enough to get it right. Get in too early and you’re often distracted, discouraged, or just plain wrong. Get in too late and you’ve missed the chance to seize opportunities or avoid threats. Perhaps the best approach is watchful waiting, with test investments of time and cash to embrace new technologies without being smothered by them.

That’s my plan for amazing change, anyway. What’s yours?

Alec Pendleton took control of a small, struggling family business in Akron, Ohio, at an early age. Upon taking the helm, he sold off the unprofitable divisions and rebuilt the factory, which helped to quadruple sales of the remaining division within seven years. These decisions — and the thousands of others he made over his time as president and CEO — ensured that his small manufacturing business thrived and stayed profitable for the generation to come. The culmination of a lifetime of experience, accumulated wisdom, and a no-nonsense approach to looking at the books allows him to provide a unique perspective on Big Ideas for Small Companies.

Euclid mayor and school superintendent share initiatives with the community

Euclid Mayor Kirsten Holzheimer Gail at Euclid Chamber of Commerce Community Leaders Breakfast 2017On Oct. 17, a full house of Euclid-area residents and businesspeople gathered in the meeting room of the Euclid Public Library for the Euclid Chamber of Commerce’s Community Leaders Breakfast. First, Kacie Armstrong, library director, said a few words about the purpose of the library in the community. Next, Sheila Gibbons, Euclid Chamber of Commerce executive director, announced upcoming chamber events and introduced a representative from the breakfast’s sponsor, Allstate Insurance Agent Bill Mason.

The first guest speaker was Euclid Mayor Kirsten Holzheimer Gail. She addressed three areas of focus for the city: economic development, safety and building a vibrant community. Some recent and future projects in the city that bring in new investment and tax dollars for the city include 1,000 new jobs being created with the demolition of Euclid Square Mall and new construction of an Amazon distribution center, the creation of a technology center at Lincoln Electric and surrounding streetscape at E. 222nd St. and St. Clair Ave., a 25,000-square-foot expansion at Keene Building Products, a 40,000-square-foot expansion at American Punch Co., an expansion of Rick Case Honda, a groundbreaking for an O’Reilly auto parts store, and planned expansions to Irie Jamaican Kitchen and Mama Catena.

The second initiative, safety, includes promotions, new hires, training and community-education opportunities for the fire and police departments. Finally, building a vibrant community encompasses community cleanup, recycling, beautification and improvement grants. On Nov. 2, the city will unveil its master plan draft to the Planning & Zoning Department.

The second community leader to speak was Euclid City Schools’ Superintendent Charlie Smialek. He introduced a number of school employees in attendance as well as three Euclid High School Euclid City Schools Superintendent Charlie Smialek at Euclid Chamber of Commerce Community Leaders Breakfast 2017students. Then, he went through a presentation on the district’s vision that included a new Fab Lab to be built as part of the Early Learning Center to introduce science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) instruction in grade school. It will be one of only two early learning Fab Labs in the nation. He also discussed technology programming at the high school and an update on the campus construction project that is underway for scheduled completion in 2020.

Both speakers fielded questions from the audience and gave a plug to support Cuyahoga Community College’s November 2017 bond, Issue 61 to update aging buildings.