The Kiplinger Letter, a weekly publication for executives and investors, has listed Cleveland among 11 United States cities they forecast to power ahead, outpacing the US average for job creation as employers look for places with skilled workers and lower living costs.
Cleveland Mayor Tom Rowland said the Washington, DC publication placed the city among the fastest growing cities in the US this year ,placing it number three in a list of eleven cities.
It cited Cleveland as home to a wide range of manufacturing operations. Mayor Rowland said “once again, I’m not surprised with this good news. We get so many reports that indicate our business climate and economy is good. It confirms even more that Cleveland is not only a great place to live, but a tremendous place to do business and to invest.”
The Kiplinger Letter focuses its reports weekly on economy, finance, real estate, health and budget issues, giving an overview from a national prospective.
Cleveland was cited for its industrial diversity. Mayor Rowland said as the sixth largest in manufacturing employment in the state, we are home to 14 Fortune 500 companies and four Fortune 1000 companies. Not only do we have new industries looking at our area for investment, we can be proud of the fact that since 2009, existing and new industry has invested over $3.3 billion in our city and county. “I have found that potential businesses and visitors are often amazed when I relay the many national brand items manufactured right here in this community.”
He noted that in 2015 Cleveland/Bradley County added more jobs than any other city in the United States.
The Mayor had praise for the Cleveland/Bradley Chamber of Commerce that “focuses daily on promoting our area for business and industry investors, but also works hand in hand with our existing industries to assure our city and county meet their needs for growth and expansions. We have a great Chamber team on board and that’s one of the reasons we are being recognized by organizations and publications across the country.”
Mayor Rowland pointed to the Chamber’s new initiative for workforce development called “Your Skills, Your Future,” as a great example of how the organization helps us prepare for the future. "Through this new program, the entire region will be assured to have an educated, qualified, skilled workforce in place to meet the current and future industry demands,” he said.
Other cities spotlighted in The Kiplinger Letter and the reasons for selection included the following: St. George, Ut., citing its tourism and climate; Redmond, Or., noting its attraction for retirees and tourism; Prescott, Az., cooler climate compared to Phoenix; Savannah, Ga., fourth busiest ocean port in the U.S.; Reno and Sparks, Nv., tourism; Athens, Ga., with University of Georgia and its business development hub; College Station and Bryan Tx., with rising enrollment at Texas A&M University; Salem, Or., its industrial base; Boise, Id., citing its low real estate costs, healthcare, construction, and manufacturing surge; and Spokane, Wa., with its rise in hiring in transportation and healthcare industries.
The Mayor said in the Kiplinger list he noticed that tourism was a major factor in some of the cities’ recognition. He noted Cleveland and Bradley County have a booming tourism industry as well, and its economic impact and generation of dollars into our economy also contributes to our growth and notoriety.
He said the state recorded that guests spent a total of $137.23 million in Bradley County in one year (2015). This was an increase of 3.4 percent over 2014. "The year recorded a total of 900 workers employed in tourism-related fields in our community. Our general area in Cleveland, Charleston, and Bradley County, alongside our neighbors in the Ocoee Region, offers a variety of outdoor activities, special public events, and historic sites. This, coupled with our diverse industrial base, makes us a well-rounded city and makes me proud to see recognition come to us from publications such as this most recent report,” he said.