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Riverwalk Project is Deal of Year

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Provided by Akron Beacon Journal

The regional economic development organization Team NEO honored several businesses, communities and partnerships with its 2007 Economic Development Impact Awards.

The Goodyear Riverwalk Project was recognized as ''Deal of the Year,'' and its partners — the city of Akron, Summit County, Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co., Greater Akron Chamber, Industrial Realty Group, State of Ohio and Summit County Port Authority — were honored for collaborating on the project.

The Goodyear Riverwalk is being planned to have a new Goodyear headquarters, retail, light industry and an office park. The project's goal is to retain about 3,000 jobs and add up to 2,000 new jobs.

''These seven organizations' collaborative effort exemplifies excellence in economic development and serves as a model for us all,'' Team NEO Chief Executive Officer Tom Waltermire said.

In the category of ''Foreign Investment,'' the Wayne Economic Development Council took the top honor for doing ''everything in its power to motivate Montreal-based Speed France, now known as Speed North America, to choose Ohio over other U.S. locations to headquarter its corporate offices.''

The Akron-Canton and Cleveland Hopkins airports shared the ''Marketing Cleveland Plus'' award. Competitors, the airports came together last year to support the Cleveland Plus initiative, which is marketing Northeast Ohio to businesses and tourists nationwide.

Here are the winners in the other categories:

• New Job Creation: Lorain County Growth Partnership's R.E.A.L. Team, which helped entice TeleTech Holdings Inc. to move to the area, along with 500 new jobs.

• Job Retention: Lake County Development Council, for conducting a study and working on programs to preserve the county's grape-growing industry.

• Public-Private Partnership: Cleveland Cavaliers, city of Cleveland and the City of Independence for an agreement
to split income tax revenue from players and coaches to help pay for a new training facility in Independence.

• Minority Job Creation/Retention: Applied Technology Systems Inc., an operations management firm specializing in work force development.

• Asset Creation: City of Painesville, a municipal electric community that used lower utility rates to lure PCC Airfoils into building its new $3.2 million facility within the city limits.

• Community Improvement: Civic Innovation Lab, an organization that fuels creative innovation by providing mentoring and funding for ideas that can improve the region.

Fostering Entrepreneurship: JumpStart, for developing its ''IdeaCrossing'' Web site to match entrepreneurs with investors and other business-service providers; and the Youngstown Business Incubator and Youngstown/Warren Regional Chamber, for attracting grants to clean up a brown-feld site and build the Taft Technology Center.

• Richard W. Pogue, former managing partner of Jones Day, was honored with the annual H. Peter Burg Regional Vision Award for bringing Northeast Ohioans together as the former co-founder and vice chairman of the Regional Business Council, the predecessor of Team NEO.

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