Euclid’s goal: Make the city a first-choice suburban location

(Courtesy of Guest Blogger Paula Maggio, PR specialist with HGR Industrial Surplus)

The goal of Mayor Kirsten Holzheimer Gail is to make Euclid a first-choice suburban location, a goal that she shared at Tizzano’s Party Center on Feb. 22 during the State of the City Address hosted by the Euclid Chamber of Commerce.

Euclid Mayor Kirsten Holzheimer Gail gives the 2017 State of the City Address during the Euclid Chamber of Commerce luncheon at Tizzano’s Party Center on Feb. 22.

Key items required to turn that goal into a reality include: growing the business base by building strong relationships with the business community and continuing city-business partnerships, making safety a priority, and improving services to residents — all things that are in progress now, according to the mayor.

Planning with public input

To this end, Mayor Holzheimer Gail said the city began updating its community master plan last year and is creating a steering committee that will include public input. The city will complete the planning process in 2017 by outlining goals and objectives and identifying the resources needed to realize them.

The next meeting regarding the process is April 4 at 6:30 p.m. at Central Middle School, and the public is invited.

Improving housing

“The City of Euclid is committed to improving its existing housing stock,” she said. A housing operations plan has been developed to strengthen rental compliance. In addition, the city is conducting a housing inventory.

Potential home buyers are receiving help, too. Down payment assistance is available to eligible homeowners, as well as a Heritage Home Loan Program.

All of this helped median single family home prices increase by 20 percent in 2016, the fifth year in a row they have increased, according to the mayor.

Full house

Tizzano’s was full for the mayor’s address, with guests meeting, mingling, and networking before and after her speech.

Kacie Armstrong, director of the Euclid Public Library, shared information about the library’s new acquisitions with the guests at her table during the Euclid Chamber of Commerce luncheon on Feb. 22.
Euclid Chamber of Commerce events are about networking — and Kristina Swann of Quality Ribbons and Supplies made the rounds before lunch was served.
Ann Miller and Sheila Gibbons, executive director of the Euclid Chamber of Commerce, checked in guests at the Feb. 22 luncheon.

 

Cuyahoga County Executive discusses what county government is doing for business at Euclid Chamber of Commerce luncheon

Armond Budish speaks before Euclid Chamber of Commerce luncheon crowd

On Jan. 26 at the Irish American Club, 22770 Lakeshore Blvd., Euclid, Ohio, The Euclid Chamber of Commerce and COSE hosted a special event with Keynote Speaker Armond Budish. Euclid Mayor Kirsten Holzheimer Gail made the introduction. She thanked the chamber and local business for their commitment to economic growth.

About Budish, she says, “He has been an advocate for business, economic development and seniors, and is committed to regional initiatives. But, specific to Euclid, he has been responsive to the city’s needs, especially with the Lincoln Electric expansion, St. Clair expansion, lakefront development, and demolition and senior programs.”

Budish took the floor to discuss the county’s investment in small-business growth and community development, including road and bridge work, removing blight, city master planning, and public safety efforts.

He mentioned that the county is working to create a master data center for law enforcement in order to integrate separate systems when an officer is pulling over a motorist. In addition, the county is installing license-reading cameras on thoroughfares that, in real time, will alert law enforcement in the community so that they can apprehend an individual in the event of a warrant or search effort.

With regard to jobs and training, he says are two initiatives underway:

  1. The creation of a one-stop shop for public benefits that will integrate offices with a career planning coach who will stay with the applicant through his or her career path.
  2. An “Earn & Learn” program to help businesses upskill employees with the potential to advance within the company from an entry-level position by providing financial and training support, which, according to Budish, “will open up more entry-level jobs and, in turn, help people get started.”

In closing, he says, “The county is on the move. Euclid is on the move. It’s only as cities move forward that the county can move forward. The cities are us, and we are the cities.” His colleague, Ed Kraus, Cuyahoga County’s director of regional collaboration, summarizes, “It’s all about leadership.”

Interested in driving one of these?

Semi truck on the highway

Do you know someone 18 years of age or older who is looking for a career that offers him or her independence away from an office environment? There’s a gem right here in Euclid that might help – Cuyahoga Community College’s Truck Driving Academy.

On Jan. 24, The Euclid Chamber of Commerce hosted its monthly Coffee Conversation, open to chamber members and the community, at the Truck Driving Academy, currently rebranding as the Transportation Center. Attendees met Director Ian Wilson, were given a short presentation about the program, and were given the opportunity to experience a commercial-driving training simulator. Two attendees braved the virtual roads and encounters with rain, fog, snow, ice, cyclists, motorists and other hazards.

truck driving simulator at Cuyahoga Community College

Wilson explained that the college is moving away from simply being a truck driving academy and starting to offer programs in supply chain and logistics, as well as a diesel tech program in order to become a full-service transportation center. Currently, students can earn a Class A or B commercial driver’s license that allows them to drive a full truck, a car hauler, a gas truck and others, as well as a school bus or forklift.

To assist with making learning accessible, the college recently bought and modified a 53-foot semi-truck and trailer into a mobile trailer for manufacturing training. Half of the trailer is a classroom. The other half is a lab. This way, the college can take the classroom to students who may be working onsite at a manufacturing facility and are not able to get away for the day. It also can go to schools to conduct outreach demos for high-school students who may be interested in a transportation or manufacturing career.

He says, “At any given time, 200,000 trucking jobs are available, nationwide, and the industry always is looking for drivers. Trucking is integral to everything this nation does. Everything in your house was on a truck at some point.”

As Wilson explains, Cuyahoga Community College located the academy in Euclid, Ohio, as part of a manufacturing region with easy access to transportation junctures as well as local manufacturers. The academy has even trucked equipment from the college’s own maintenance department own the road to HGR Industrial Surplus for consignment.

 

Old things not wanted by one person become another’s treasure

Inside of antique mall

It’s funny how blogs come about. Like much business that takes place, it’s often word of mouth. Someone who knows someone who knows someone. So, this story starts when I attending a Euclid Chamber of Commerce committee meeting to organize its Amazing-Race-style scavenger hunt taking place on Sept. 9 (read this blog about how to register). Sheila Gibbons, chamber president, mentions an antique mall, Antiques & Uniques, Wickliffe, Ohio, that she likes to browse through because I had mentioned an item that I was looking for and had asked if there were any resale or thrift stores in the area (I live in Medina County and drive to Euclid for work; so, I don’t know the area well.).

This mention bubbles around in my mind for a couple of weeks. Then, one day, I think how much like an antique store HGR is. Both take items that an owner no longer wants, needs or finds useful and tries to resell them so they can be recycled or upcycled and stay out of landfills. We both try to match the right product to the right customer. We have rows and rows of items. And, our customers come in to spend hours just looking. Sometimes they take something home, and sometimes they don’t. But we get new items all the time; so, people are repeat visitors.

I decided to take a trip to Antiques & Uniques and chat with Tom Berges, who co-owns the store with his wife, Barb. Berges says, “I was the part owner and managed an antique store in Painesville with other business partners. Eventually, I moved on to start my own business.” Antiques & Uniques opened April 2015 with full inventory. Berges says that he didn’t even need to advertise to find vendors. Many of his contacts and people that he had worked with in the past opened stalls in his store. He currently has 100 vendors, and about 200 people are waiting to get in. Business has been good.

But, the connection to HGR gets even weirder. Six degrees-of-separation weird. Berges happens to be an HGR customer. He walked me through the store and pointed out the carts, desks, tables, whiteboards, shelves and lockers that he has purchased to outfit the store. He also told me that many of his vendors shop at HGR. I was introduced to Rodney who has pallets in his stall. He also has a vintage metal locker that he purchased from HGR and cleaned up to resell. Then, I met Robin, the store manager, who used to own a warehouse and bought pallet racking and pallet jacks from HGR.

After all, business is cyclical. What have you purchased from HGR to reuse? How have you put it to use?

HGR Industrial Surplus - Antiques & Uniques relationship map

HGR had two teams in Euclid’s Amazing Race and was one of the stops

amazing-raceThe Euclid Chamber of Commerce brought The Amazing Race to Euclid, Ohio, and HELP Foundation hosted team registration and the post-race celebration at its Adult Day Support Program.

I was a member of the planning committee, and HGR sent two teams to compete as well as being one of the stops on the route. Here are photos of some of HGR’s participants:

HGR Amazing Race teams
One of HGR’s teams at the front table comprised of Beth, Kim, Tina and April with Smitty on the far left
HGR's Amazing Race Team
Joe and Smitty
HGR's Amazing Race team launching marshmallows
Beth launching marshmallows to April

Tina Dick, HGR’s human resources manager, recaps some of the stops in the race: “At soccer golf at Briardale Golf Course, April Quintiliano made a new friend named Rosie while Beth Hietanen and I kicked the ball down the green. Kim Todd did an amazing job climbing the rock wall. “Ain’t no mountain high enough” for KT. It also was interesting to hear that the Cleveland Rock Gym has been part of Euclid for more than 20 years. I lived in Euclid for close to 15 years and never knew it existed; my kids would have loved it! Our Lady of Lourdes National Shrine is as beautiful as ever and was probably the nicest surprise. I had been there but my teammates never had. The NEO Sports Plant looks amazing, and chair volleyball is a blast! It would be a great event for HGR staff. HGR’s amazing showroom was new for many participants. The gift baskets, pizza and subs were a great end at HELP Foundation. Euclid Chamber did an “amazing” job putting this together. Count me in next year. We had some challenges but our team finished!”

Joe Powell, HGR’s graphic designer, who was teamed with Steve “Smitty” Smith, says, “Smitty came up limping while sprinting to the first task at Atlas Cinemas. For the rest of the race he played navigator, and I took care of the events. I couldn’t hit a free throw to save my life, but instead moved back to the three-point line and made six in a row. We were neck and neck with another team for the last task, and I had to slide a la baseball style in front of them for a second-place finish. Overall, it was a fun experience, and I saw parts of Euclid that I will revisit in future because of this.