Team NEO Performance & Impact Report Highlights Progress

CLEVELAND, Ohio – Team NEO released its 2023 Performance & Impact Annual Report Monday, sharing that the organization, in partnership with JobsOhio and the Northeast Ohio Economic Development Network, completed 96 business investments that will generate more than 2,100 jobs, $123 million in annual payroll and $570 million in capital investment for the region.

The organization, the report shows, will also advance collaborative efforts to create a more vibrant regional economy. 

While northeastern Ohio, like markets across the country, experienced economic headwinds due to uncertain market conditions in 2023, there were significant accomplishments as a result of strategic integration and alignment among the region’s economic development network that address barriers to economic vibrancy, according to the report.

“Our 2023 new project activity was very robust, but the incremental job, payroll and capital contribution was much lower than our 5-year trend,” said Bill Koehler, Team NEO chief executive officer. “We remain encouraged as we see opportunities with onshoring/reshoring, technology adoption trends relating to Industry 4.0 technologies and improving overall competitiveness through major strategic initiatives relating to proactive site development.” 

Team NEO’s annual report features 2023 highlights and case studies illustrating the organization’s progress in addressing its four key strategies:

Grow a Diverse Industry Base

  • The Smart Manufacturing Cluster of Northeast Ohio, guided by the Make It Better Blueprint for Manufacturing in Northeast Ohio, and powered by Team NEO and partners like Magnet and CESMI, helped amplify the opportunities coming from cluster partners in industry 4.0, polymers, water and energy innovation. In 2023, the Smart Manufacturing Cluster, along with partners, presented the Semiconductor Summit. The event drew a crowd of more than 200 companies throughout the region.
  • Team NEO and partners proactively engaged with business leaders to drive job creation and new capital investment through business retention and expansion efforts. In 2023, Team NEO and local economic development organizations completed 645 business retention and expansion calls that resulted in 38 project wins as a direct result of such calls.

Grow a Pipeline of Competitive Sites  

  • Team NEO launched Developing Opportunities, an initiative to increase the number of readily available manufacturing sites with in-demand attributes. The initiative will help improve northeastern Ohio’s chances of winning more of the most attractive manufacturing business projects.
  • Team NEO leveraged JobsOhio programs to build a pipeline of competitive sites, including the Ohio Site Inventory Program for grants and low-interest loans for speculative site and building development projects to fill the gaps in Ohio’s real estate inventory.

Address the Talent Supply/Demand Gap 

  • In 2023, Team NEO published its seventh annual Aligning Opportunities report, a data-rich research report to equip the region’s education, talent and workforce ecosystems with insights into the state of current and emerging needs of the region’s employers. 
  • To advance regional talent strategies, Team NEO worked with other nonprofit, public and private entities to develop strategies to identify, attract, navigate, engage, welcome and retain the best talent in Cleveland with the ultimate plan to help it become one of the fastest-growing and most diverse metro areas in the Midwest by 2030.

Promote and Engage the Region

  • Team NEO created digital campaigns on various social media platforms targeting business expansion and/or relocation decision makers, featuring the polymer and materials and semiconductors industries. These campaigns yielded four closed projects in 2023 that created 30 new jobs and $2.5 million in annual payroll.
  • Team NEO secured a grant from the Center for Economic Inclusion to establish a partnership among northeastern Ohio partners focused on closing the racial wealth gap and creating a more inclusive, equitable and vibrant economy in the region. 

Published by The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.