Research & Policy
Policy Matters Ohio

Cuyahoga County Community Benefit and Opportunity Initiative

December 16, 2014

Cuyahoga County Community Benefit and Opportunity Initiative

December 16, 2014

A policy designed to get the most out of county taxpayer dollars and strengthen the local economy

Contact: Amanda Woodrum, 216.361.9801Proposed county initiativeCounty ordinance Policy Matters testimony

Community benefit agreements, and policies, are a reaction to economic development practices that have left communities behind, workers impoverished, and the environment degraded. Too often public contracts have gone to employers paying low wages and doing poor quality work, with little thought to the environment and community impact. In the long run, we all pay for this low-road approach.

The Cuyahoga County Community Benefit & Opportunity Initiative, introduced by Cuyahoga County Council in December 2014, is a comprehensive policy designed to maximize value of the county’s taxpayer dollars. The initiative will strengthen the local economy by:

  • Creating more local jobs and ensuring workers in those jobs receive living wages.
  • Ensuring our workforce reflects the great diversity of our community
  • Creating opportunity for disadvantaged workers, targeting residents from the county’s poorest neighborhoods.
  • Building career pathways out of poverty through on-the-job training opportunities and support for pre-apprenticeship programs.
  • Ensuring high-quality, energy-efficient building, with cost-effective sustainable technology, which will reduce costs to taxpayers in the long run. It will also ensure the county considers health the impact of public projects over the long haul.

The upshot is:

  • More local jobs with higher wages.
  • Less poverty and stronger neighborhoods.
  • A more diverse and productive workforce
  • Long-term economic and environmental sustainability



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