It Can Be Done: US Immigration Policy Today

Global Employer Summit: Realizing the Untapped Potential of Global Talent in NEO

Expert Strategies + Global Talent = A World-Class Cleveland

May 31, 2017

US Immigration Policy Today

Jon Baselice, Director of US Immigration Policy, US Chamber of Commerce

Immigration reform will be tough, “but it can be done,” said Jon Baselice, Director of US Immigration Policy for the US Chamber of Commerce, in his opening remarks to Global Cleveland’s “Global Employer Summit: Realizing the Untapped Potential of Global Talent in NEO.” “If we are to move forward with immigration reform, whether it is comprehensive or piecemeal, it cannot be understated that grassroots involvement is key, like the work Global Cleveland is doing putting things together, it will always be needed.”

Speaking candidly, Baselice said there is a rift in the current White House between those who want less immigration no matter what the skill level, and those who want reasonable immigration reform. He said the current Administration is on a learning curve and is beginning to understand that the rhetoric of the campaign trail needs to give way to the realities of governance.

The Chamber, he said, has been working on travel issues related to the Administration’s proposed travel ban and the impact of the language on businesses. “If there is the perception among people who don’t live here that they aren’t welcome here, then they’ll go elsewhere,” he said. Using a patient traveling to Cleveland for medical care as an example, he continued, “So not only will we lose the cost of the airfare, the meals, and all the incidentals of travel, but the Cleveland Clinic will lose the money it would have made…that’s an opportunity cost we would lose.”

He said the Chamber is working with other groups to make certain they meet the very short comment periods the current Administration is using for responding to notices in the Federal Register. “We all try to point out,” he said, “that they [the Administration] need to say, ‘we encourage legitimate travel to the US.’” While it hasn’t borne out yet, a study funded by the US Travel Association showed that year-over-year, there have been massive drop-offs in not only searches, but bookings for tourism in the US. When these hit, Baselice said, the loss of tourism dollars will ripple throughout the economy.

The Chamber is also working with Senator Orin Hatch on issues related to high-skill workers and H-1B visa challenges and the Immigration Innovation legislation that is stalled in Congress. Baselice said that “given the current President’s desire to protect American workers,” the new legislation will have a cap on the number of H-1B visas and will address issues of what foreign workers must be paid, and that US businesses will need to use or lose their H-1B visas. While he said Sen. Hatch’s legislation will not sail through, “it will at least provide something for others to react to and that in itself will be helpful to the overall process.”

In a wide-ranging question-and-answer period, Baselice was asked about the intention behind the proposed travel ban and he said there are three groups who do want to curtail the number of people coming to this country, but he noted that the second travel ban seemed to soften on several areas and tried to provide legal rationale, so he had seen some movement there.

As to whether another so-called “Gang of 8” (referring to the bi-partisan group of Senators who wrote the doomed 2013 comprehensive immigration reform bill) could step forward, Baselice said there are senators who have shown an interest in doing something about immigration, because there is a real need for workers to do such jobs as citrus picking, hotel housekeeping, and landscaping, to name a few. From his time in the Senate (as an aide to Senator Marco Rubio), he does believe there is a will…it’s just finding the right way that is proving problematic at the moment. “However, in the House,” he said, “it’s a whole different equation.”

The Chamber has also been working on H-2B visas for lesser skilled workers and has gotten an increase, but he noted that discretion is left to the Department to issue them, if at all.

Baselice encouraged the group to keep an active hand in crafting legislative proposals, noting that economic impact is always going to be front and center. “The real question is whether the analysis is legitimate? Is there economic analysis to support what you’re doing?” He pointed to the tech sector, and Silicon Valley in particular. “Silicon Valley is what it is because of immigrants,” he said, adding, “To Dany Bahar’s point, it’s definitely easier to move minds than knowledge.” Companies choose to bring people in because they like to see a face, they want to protect intellectual property and know who’s using it. And there’s the convenience, he said. “It’s convenient when people are there. If there’s a problem, it can be fixed. That trend will continue.” He emphasized, however, that “if rules are in place to make it more complicated to get work done, companies will move offshore.”

He noted that the Chamber wants the H-1B visas to go to the most skilled, highest paid workers, but the difficulties of setting a pay cap are problematic. “If you set a pay cap at say $120K, that will help places like New York and Silicon Valley, but everywhere else will get the short end…there is a political deal to be made, but how it will happen, I don’t know.”

Circling back to the travel ban, Baselice said that universities and tourist sites were “being pummeled” by the travel ban and that the Chamber was working very closely with the US Travel Association, the airlines, hotels, restaurants, and all the others who serve tourists to find a solution. “Once you start to see a decrease in bookings, lost economic activity in districts represented by Republicans, when colleges start to lose, particularly in smaller cities, you’ll see change in their behavior,” Baselice predicted. Between now and then, he said, the Chamber would continue advocating on businesses’ behalf.

--Reporting by Janice T. Radak for Global Cleveland

The Global Economy & Northeast Ohio Business

Global Employer Summit: Realizing the Untapped Potential of Global Talent in NEO

Expert Strategies + Global Talent = A World-Class Cleveland

May 31, 2017


Panel Discussion: The Global Economy & Northeast Ohio Business

Moderator: Elizabeth McIntyre, Editor and Publisher, Crain’s Cleveland Business

Jack Schron, President, Jergens, Inc., and member, Cuyahoga County Council

Dr. Nizar Zein, Chief of Hepatology and Chairman of Global Patient Services, Cleveland Clinic

Peter Clarke, General Manager and Director of Regional Operations, InterContinental Cleveland

Baiju Shah, Chief Executive Officer, BioMotiv

Michele Connell, Managing Partner of Cleveland office, Squire Patton Boggs


“There is no such thing as a local business. Every business operates in a global economy, every business has global ties,” said McIntyre in kicking off the discussion. She then asked that each discussant offer a brief description of why they were on the panel.

Peter Clarke, General Manager and Director of Regional Operations, InterContinental Cleveland for the past 7 months, said that his parent company has 5,000 hotels in 100 countries, but he noted that international flavor is something they maintain at each property as well. “Right here in Cleveland, there are 36 languages spoken here, and 40 countries are represented.” He said the hotel was a strong business supporter and viewed itself as an extension of the Cleveland Clinic. “We provide a culture of service to all of our guests,” he said.

Treating international patients dates back to the first year the Cleveland Clinic was opened, said Dr. Nizar Zein, Chief of Hepatology and Chairman of Global Patient Services for the world-renowned medical facility. Being an international player has always been a part of what makes the Clinic the most diversified healthcare provider in the world. “Each year, we see about about 5,000 patients and their families, so 20,000-25,000 people each year come to Cleveland for care,” he said. “We see the sickest population in the world.” And the Clinic exports its intellectual capital as well, with facilities in Abu Dhabi, and the largest hospital in downtown London set to open in 2020; large projects are also in the works in China and Toronto.

Michele Connell, Managing Partner of the Cleveland office of Squire Patton Boggs, said her law firm was one of the Global 100, with approximately 1600 attorneys across 22 countries, with over half of those outside the US. Squire Patton Boggs was founded in Cleveland 100 years ago but didn’t have its first overseas office until 1970, she said. Today, it handles clients of all sorts and sizes, both those coming in and leaving.

Baiju Shah is Chief Executive of BioMotiv, the mission-driven development company associated with The Harrington Project for Discovery & Development, a national initiative centered at University Hospitals in Cleveland. The company’s focus is accelerating breakthrough discoveries from research institutions into therapeutics for patients. Current projects include a partnership with New Zealand University in cancer. “As a patient,” he said, “you want the best medicine developed in the world, not just Cleveland.” BioMotiv has business partnerships around the world, so his Cleveland-based team has to be competent in all aspects of business cultures.

Jack Schron, born and raised in Northeast Ohio, explained that his manufacturing firm, Jergens Inc. (no relation to the hand cream), makes things for manufacturers all across the globe. And he uses international talent for their skills. “We brought a lot of Hungarian toolmakers here during the 1990s,” he said. Today, his firm has offices in China and India. He noted his company created a business condominium in Asia to help small businesses thrive. “Now is the time to get engaged,” he encouraged the audience.

To start the general discussion, McIntyre asked about workforce development and training, and whether there were barriers to finding and hiring the right talent:

“We are always looking to assemble the best-connected talent,” said BioMotiv’s Shah. However, visa-related issues pose significant challenges to hiring the best talent trained at US institutions. He said companies in general are trying to find ways to hire the right individuals. And while he has seen some changes in recent months, there has been more noise and fury than actual change.

Squire’s Connell said there has to be 100% alignment between workforce development and training and business development overall. “Getting technical skills is critical,” she said, “but we’re missing the connection on the technical side.” She did note that the region is growing talent here in the engineering schools.

The biggest challenge to talent development of the local population, according to Schron, is that they “are missing that excitement about making stuff.” He noted that the Cleveland Clinic runs its own machine shop to make prototypes and needed equipment. To address the region’s needs, he started Tooling University, a place to teach the needed hands-on skills and encourage the mid-level talent person to come to this country. “We can start the greatest company, but we need that next tier of support,” he said. As for sponsorships and the visa lottery, Schron said he believed they are a reasonable business investment for his company.

When asked why it was important to welcome diversity, Zein noted that its necessary for business. “We’re interested in having people come to us,” he said. “Last year, patients from 130 countries came to the Clinic. It affects our reputation.” The most important factors, he said, are diversity of community and how welcoming communities are to travelers.

“My role is to hire the attitude and train the skill,” said InterContinental’s Clarke. “Our skills can be trained, but I cannot train an attitude.” His hotel offers IHG Academy four times a year where they bring people who don’t have a job into the hotel for a 6-week program, and see if they can find a skill in the hotel that they can do. The program has been successful here in Cleveland, he said, and they plan on continuing. One thing they learned from a program in China—“travelers want us to recommend things not in tourist books so they can talk about their experience in Cleveland.” And it’s critical that his team be sensitive to each traveler’s culture, he said, “things like pointing with an open hand, not a finger, so you don’t unknowingly offend the traveler…it’s a skill you can train but it needs the right attitude.”

Because patients started coming to the Cleveland Clinic in 1921, it’s very first year, dealing with international travelers has been a part of the Clinic’s DNA, said Zein. His own staff represents 20-30 countries. Because of the sensitivities around the need for and receipt of medical care, the Clinic has a formalized cultural sensitivity training for staff, including senior management. “We talk about spirituality and healthcare and talk about how spirituality affects how people accept death and illness."

Our economy is growing, said McIntyre, but only modestly. What more could be done?

Schron said there are many great assets in the region and he noted that many are doing the same things. “We need to recognize what’s happening in hospitality, medical, and manufacturing as driving factors for the region.”

Zein pointed out the correlations between so-called “global cities” and “successful cities.” While noting the difficulty in defining a “global city,” he said there are studies that have looked at the links between diversity of a city’s population—who lives there and who visits—and its economic prosperity. He cited the example of Bath, England, which for centuries has drawn medical tourists from around the globe for its natural hot springs. “Bath was the first English city to get street lights and it got sewers before London,” he said, alluding back to Dany Bahar’s (an earlier speaker) comments on immigration and the spread of knowledge.

“Centers of strength within Cleveland include the number of nonprofits doing amazing work,” Zein continued. “What is lacking is a citywide strategy that would include all three (hospitality, medical, manufacturing). Why not provide medical packages for companies to come here, or provide hospitality packages for business travelers…?”

“Global cities are poly-ethnic in nature. We are global city,” Zein said, “but we have a long way to go to be recognized as such.” And many in the room shook their heads in agreement.

The InterContinental’s Clarke noted there are intangible aspects of a successful city or region, and he posed a series of questions: “How do I feel? Do I feel safe? Do I feel welcome? Do people push me aside? Do I offend when I try to speak? Is the public transportation good? What are the WOW factors?”

Using his own transfer to Cleveland, he noted that while “Cleveland has plenty [of WOW factors],” it took his wife 7 or 8 hours to find enough to say yes to the transfer. “It’s very segregated, but we can pull it together.

“Cleveland is a very big small city,” Clarke said, “it’s got everything you want in a city, it’s just not well organized or packaged so you know where it is.”

Cleveland’s WOW factors—those things that are Cleveland’s unique characteristics—are what Squire uses to attract new junior lawyers, according to Connell. But she added a third vote to the fact things are not well organized for newcomers. “Getting them to here is difficult,” she said, “but once here, we show very well. We are welcoming for sure.

“The lack of traffic, the accessibility to the lake—where you can even surf I’m told,” she laughed, “these are things people realize the value of. These are selling points, particularly as we focus on diversity.”

“One thing we undersell,” said BioMotiv’s Shah, “is the people factor in Cleveland. When we think about moving people in, people wonder if they’ll feel comfortable: Will I be around people I’m excited to be around…future colleagues, is there a career path for me in Cleveland? All of these things matter and they are all right here.” And he agreed the marketing of the city could use some help, particularly from employers. “We need employers to be involved. We need private sector advocates. We need help with the gaps,” he said, noting the gaps in services that immigrants or students would find easily available in big cities such as Boston.

Noting that Cleveland reportedly has 117 distinct ethnic groups, McIntyre asked the panel if the local firms reach out to local ethnic groups as a way to draw talent from abroad.

“Absolutely, yes, we do that,” said Clarke. He said the hotel had found that an effective way to find solid employees.

The Clinic’s Zein was a bit more reserved, noting that such outreach was done on a case-by-case basis.

When an audience member asked about corporate on-boarding processes for newcomers, Connell noted that the process is dependent on “what the new person is expecting. It requires a lot more personal discussion.” She used the example of bringing someone in who’s used to living in downtown London, England, and taking the Underground (London’s subway) to work every day: “That’s going to be very different if they end up in Solon and we don’t discuss options upfront; they could end up leaving in 1 year, rather than 2 or 3 or 5. It’s definitely a challenge with limited travel options.”

“It’s also what you do with your employees,” said Schron. “It’s what you communicate to employees. We want everyone to know who is coming in and what that person’s job will be. We remind them that 15% of our business is directly related to imports/exports…so this person is also a customer and contributes to your job.

“Even in the manufacturing sector, it’s the soft, touchy, feely stuff that matters,” said Schron. “We try to get that big little city conveyed—it’s people on both sides of this box.”

All members of the panel encouraged local employers to take advantage of the talent base already here, by hiring those already here who want to stay but need to be sponsored. Employers were also encouraged to offer more internships, externships, and sponsorships, as well as offering other international business options, such as sending someone from here abroad, or using third country locations to get people closer, if not in the US proper.

--Reporting by Janice T. Radak for Global Cleveland



International Talent as a Regional Economic Driver

Global Employer Summit: Realizing the Untapped Potential of Global Talent in NEO

Expert Strategies + Global Talent = A World-Class Cleveland

May 31, 2017


Panel Discussion: International Talent as a Regional Economic Driver

Moderator: Tracey Nichols, Director of Economic Development, City of Cleveland

Dr. Giovanni Piedimonte, Chairman, Cleveland Clinic Pediatric Institute; Physician-in-Chief, Cleveland Clinic’s Children’s Hospital; President, Cleveland Clinic Children’s Hospital for Rehabilitation

Jacob Duritsky, Vice President, Strategy & Research, Team NEO

Dany Bahar, Brookings Institution and Harvard University

Jeff Duerk, Dean of Engineering, Case Western Reserve University


To set the stage for understanding Northeast Ohio’s role in the State and the nation, Team NEO’s Jacob Duritsky explained that the 18-county region accounts for approximately 40% of Ohio’s overall economy with $212 billion annually (as of 2012); includes 4.32 million people with 1.94 million workers; covers 5 metropolitan areas (Cleveland, Akron, Canton, Lorain, and Youngstown); and represents the 15th largest market in the US.

Cleveland faces some significant challenges, which Team NEO is identifying as it updates a 2014 study for The Cleveland Foundation. The US overall labor force has grown more than 9 times faster than the labor force here in the region; there are 160,000 fewer people in the workforce today in NEO than in 2008. In addition, Cleveland’s BA attainment rate (the rate at which people attain Bachelor of Arts degrees from 4-year colleges) is 25%, compared to other growing cities where the rate is more than 30%. Moving forward into the future, 65% of all jobs will require post-secondary credentialing, meaning there is a misalignment of the degrees offered in the region and employers’ needs. In particular, 15 of 18 in-demand occupations are misaligned, meaning only 3 fields have the talent they need to move ahead.

Case’s Dean of Engineering, Jeff Duerk asked the crowd to think of the University 10 years ago: “International students were probably 2%. Today, they make up 14-15%,” he said. His predecessor never traveled outside Ohio, he told the room, “but in the past 5 years I’ve been in 15 countries—touching based with alumni, business partners, and entrepreneurs.

“It comes down to talent, and talent exists anywhere on the globe,” he said. The challenge, he explained, is whether NEO employers are willing to join the competition for international talent by participating in the H-1B visa lotteries. “Are the employers here willing to buy a ticket to participate (in the H-1B lottery)? The chances of winning over 3 years is 75%.”

“Data tell us we are facing significant shortage of physicians in this country—some states are missing every specialty—even primary care,” the Clinic’s Giovanni Piedimonte said. “There aren’t enough Americans willing to fill those positions in those locations.”

“What makes America unique is that it’s the creative engine that makes the US the leader of the world,” he said. “It’s the ability of a person to move his job from one city to another; it’s the opportunity—the concept that people who work hard can actually do well for their families. The US is a meritocracy, where people who work hard get higher and higher [on the socioeconomic ladder] and get what they deserve.

“The US has always been in global leadership,” Piedimonte said, “but there is no way we can do that if we have no internationals among us. If we lose the ability to bring the best and brightest to this country, we will not be America.”

When asked about Thinkbox, Case’s center for innovation and entrepreneurship or maker space as some call it, Duerk described the 49,000-square-foot design and innovation space as a place that allows students to take ideas in their heads and get them into their hands and work with law professors to create businesses. “It puts them on a level playing field with anyone else…. we provide resources that make this environment sticky enough to want to stay.”

“The facility encourages people to take ideas in their heads and see what the market thinks about them—will they sell? It’s open to everyone and definitely an asset to add to list of Cleveland’s WOW factors,” Duerk said.

The Brookings Institution’s Dany Bahar told the crowd there are 3 main issues with international talent as a regional economic driver.

First, he said, migrants have the ability to leave and go to other cities and expand markets—and we want them to come here to do that. Second, immigrants are entrepreneurs who create jobs. And third, their diversity of skills spreads and creates knowledge.

There is a relevance for public policy favorable to immigration, he said, because migrants are necessary to grow economically as a country and he pointed to the fact that risk capital tends to be invested locally. He told the crowd that Israel encourages this by investing $7 for $1 invested locally. “Why do they do it?” he asked, “because they get returns.”

But Israel’s public policy also plays another role: it sends a message. “Being allowed to fail,” Bahar said, “it’s part of the process…entrepreneurs need to know there is a safety net and they can start again. And they will start again and again in the same place when they know that safety net is there.”

Team NEO’s Duritsky said that what attracts internationals to an area is business fundamentals. “They want a place that’s inclusive, that has an element of openness and opportunity,” he said, “but we could do more.” He noted that it’s against the law in Ohio to put government dollars into a company, but other states have gotten around their own such laws and Ohio needs to figure out how, lest we lose out.

Duritsky also said there are regional issues in terms of locations, and that the coasts may doing better, but it may be that those entrepreneurs need to be closer to Asia or Europe. In response, other states are looking at their existing immigrant talent pools already and trying to better integrate them locally. He said the report referenced at the opening of the session is meant to identify the misalignment so solutions could be sought. “We want to explore how we can better connect people already here.”

The report is also looking for policy perspectives. “We don’t have a building inventory [of what’s available], we have aging infrastructure, we have talent we can’t get to jobs (center city to Solon),” he noted. So, they are beginning to look at existing bus routes, at how to upskill existing talent, and everything in between.

“The elephant in room, however,” interjected Bahar, “is the immensely broken immigration system in the US. There is a huge talent pool already here that could be exploited if we could fix the system.” He noted that employers are not willing to pay the price for the H-1B visa process and he lamented the fact that the system doesn’t break down skills, but rather uses a one-size-fits-all approach. “Canada and Australia make it easy for migrants to work there,” he said.

Duerk agreed the process was problematic and noted that Case had hired a person to help students navigate the US immigration system and to work with employers to get funding to do so.

--Reporting by Janice T. Radak for Global Cleveland


The Economics of Global Immigration

Global Employer Summit: Realizing the Untapped Potential of Global Talent in NEO

Expert Strategies + Global Talent = A World-Class Cleveland

May 31, 2017

Dany Bahar, PhD Brookings Institution, Harvard University Center for Development

After a brief introduction by Global Cleveland President Joe Cimperman, Dany Bahar, PhD, of the Brookings Institution and the Harvard University Center for Development, told the crowd he was there “to wake you up.” He told the group that, contrary to current rhetoric, immigration plays a critical role in the global economy. His research focuses on how immigrants diffuse knowledge around the globe and create jobs in their wake.

Migrants represent 15% of the US population, yet make up more than 27% of entrepreneurs in the United States. Bahar used the example of Siracha sauce, an Asian hot sauce that has become ubiquitous throughout the US. The US manufacturer, Huy Fong, was founded in 1980 by David Tran, who named the company after the freighter that carried him and 3,000 other refugees from Vietnam to California in 1978. Today, Huy Fong has nearly 200 employees and its annual sales exceed $60 million per year. Bahar went on to explain that new businesses (those less than 5 years old) have created ~1.5 million jobs per year for the past several decades.

What about the effect on local wages? That depends, he said, on whether the immigrants are complements or substitutes for the native or existing workforce. A 2011 study found that migrants tend to compete with migrants. And a study from 2015 showed that unskilled natives respond to increased immigration via upward skills mobility—focusing on work that makes better use of their command of English, or moving to other less manual jobs.

Bahar also noted that migrants consume just as natives, thus adding to aggregate demand and job creation on local economies. And while many illegal immigrants do pay taxes, they do not claim the benefits. He noted a recent report that shows the average fiscal burden of each migrant is about $1,600. But second and third generation migrants create a net positive fiscal contribution of $1,700 and $1,300, respectively.

Migrants bring diversity and diversity builds output, Bahar said. A 2016 study showed that increasing birthplace diversity of skilled immigrants by 1 percentage point raises long-run output by about 2%. For US firms struggling to export and invest in foreign countries, migrants can reduce the cost of doing business by providing a bridge between the 2 countries. For example, he said, a recent study showed that US states that randomly received more Vietnamese refugees in the late 1970s are larger exporters of goods and services to Vietnam today. More importantly, the study showed this is applicable to all countries and particularly for goods that are differentiated, and is applicable to investment.

Migration also plays a critical role in the international diffusion of knowledge, Bahar said, which is good, since knowledge is difficult not only to transfer, but also to acquire. “If I had a toothache, I could read all the information on the Internet and all the books and look in my mouth, but would I have the knowledge to fix it?” Bahar asked the crowd. There is knowledge in books, then there is knowledge that cannot be put on paper. “You want an airplane pilot with experience in the cockpit flying the plane,” he said, “not someone who got A’s in bookwork only.”

Crediting the works of Michael Polanyi and Kenneth Arrow, Bahar explained that productive knowledge has a large tacit component—nuances that can only be learned by doing, and that channels for transmission of tacit knowledge are limited to human interaction. So the spread of tacit knowledge relies on human minds, not written words, and migrants provide this increased level of human interaction. In turn, those interactions spur innovations on a local level and that expertise will spread as individuals move. In support, he cited examples from patent citations, which are predominantly local; the challenge multinationals have transferring knowledge with subsidiaries around the globe; the import-export growth of wine and rugby jerseys between South Africa and France; and the growth of exports from Germany after refugees from the Balkan war returned to their former Yugoslavian countries.

There is vast evidence on the positive role migrants play in the economy, Bahar said. “In the era of productivity slowdown, knowledge diffusion is the biggest challenge our economies face. It is far easier to move brains than knowledge.”

Regarding policy, Bahar noted that illegal migrants and refugees may have less to offer because of the uncertainty of their situation, which prevents them from investing. Conversely, he acknowledged the risk employers take when investing in migrants because working migrants have a better chance to go back and contribute to the development of their home countries and in turn make strong economic links with the US.

He concluded by asking, if temporary migration is good—the employer gets the benefit of the migrant’s work product while employed, then why don’t more firms do it? The answer, which would be echoed throughout the day, is uncertainty.

--Reporting by Janice T. Radak for Global Cleveland

Engaging Global Talent Locally

With support from local refugee resettlement agencies and experts with the Refugee Services Collaborative of Cleveland (RSC), local employers are discovering a new talent pool, finding the skilled employees they need, and experiencing increased productivity. The local economy is benefiting too, with about $50 million generated by refugee settlement and employment.

Join us on May 31st to hear what employers have seen and how you can tap into innovative strategies to create a welcoming and thriving workplace.

Janus Small, president of Janus Small Associates, lends her extensive non-profit leadership experience to the Refugee Services Collaborative as a leader and convener, and will moderate the discussion with:

Hilary Lucas, a job developer with Catholic Charities Refugee and Migration Services (MRS), who will share insights into how she works with employers to fill their talent needs and make connections to newcomers settling into the local community. Did you know? Refugee resettlement agencies can help your team with:

  • Refugee 101 education sessions
  • Filling open jobs
  • Handling government documentation
  • Language interpretation and cultural services
  • Vocational skills assessments and/or training
  • Transportation assistance

The session will also feature team members of Oatey Co., a case study in creating a welcoming and inclusive workplace. In addition to getting media attention for their sustained business growth, expanding offices and a growing team, Oatey is starting to attract notice for something they see as part of their corporate DNA: hiring a diverse workforce, including refugee employees.

Says Maureen Pansky, “By hiring refugees, we are increasing the odds of a successful job placement. We are all uplifted by the determination and perseverance that our new arrivals bring with them. Somewhere in our respective ancestral trees, we were all once newcomers too”

Hear from Oatey’s inspiring team including Human Resources Director Mary Antal and human resources team members Maureen Pansky and Miranda Hixon about the business success they have seen under a respectful and multi-cultural team.

Click Here to purchase your tickets to the Global Employer Summit

Global Employer Summit Breakout: Engaging Global Talent Locally

1:30 – 2:30 PM InterContinental Hotel & Conference Center


Managing and Developing Global Teams

Finding the right talent with the needed skills and competencies is every employer’s challenge, as is the need to find new markets for business growth. This typically means finding and/or moving global talent from one place to another—a feat many employers find daunting. But resources are available to help you not only develop a global team but manage offices and people across borders and cultures. This interactive panel discussion with local and international experts will address the current state of global workforce mobility and provide details on the types of resources available to support this critical component of workforce development.

Bob Rosing, President and CEO of Cleveland-based Dwellworks, will moderate the panel. Dwellworks supports the mobility of other companies’ talent while managing offices and people across borders and cultures itself. In doing so, Dwellworks not only walks the walk, they must talk the talk. Their secret sauce? A unified global culture that allows offices in the US, Canada, Mexico, Costa Rica, and now Hong Kong to all be on the same page.

Joining Bob on this panel are experts within the global mobility industry who will speak to a range of topics and perspectives on sourcing, managing, and moving talent on a global scale.

Robert Horsley, Executive Director of Fragomen and current Chairman of the Worldwide Employee Relocation Council (Worldwide ERC®), is well known for his openness to change and his innovative initiatives in mobile workforce programs. At Fragomen, he helps clients adapt and integrate their different cultures and work models that allow companies to thrive in today’s ever-evolving markets. Through his work with Worldwide ERC, he helps the global not-for-profit find new and innovative ways to connect mobility professionals across the globe and to serve as the voice, the marketplace, and the source for talent management and global mobility knowledge, worldwide. Robert will offer insights into current trends on today’s global mobility and where to expect the next wave of activity.

Dean Foster, Founder and Principal at Dean Foster Global and Strategic Advisor at Dwellworks Intercultural Solutions, has been providing intercultural training and consulting to the international mobility and training and development industry for more than 20 years. The author of several books, Dean writes the monthly “CultureWise” column for National Geographic Traveler Magazine. He is on the faculty of American University, Intercultural Management Institute, and also serves as guest lecturer and faculty for Harvard Business School, Columbia University School of Business, and Darden Business School. His work has taken him to nearly 100 countries. Dean will focus on the skills professionals need to be successful in the global marketplace and how companies can use cultural competency as a hedge against business risk.

As Senior Director of Global Mobility and Global Human Resources at the Cleveland Clinic, Scott Chmielowicz collaborates with key internal and external stakeholders to develop and maintain the Clinic’s expanding global mobility strategy, policies, and processes to maximize program effectiveness and minimize cost. He provides end-to-end support for the international assignee population including business travelers, long- and short-term assignees, local hires, and transfers. Scott will address how the Clinic manages its core culture to attract and retain high value talent—both in Cleveland and its growing number of global facilities. He will also address the objections he has to rebut or overcome in order to attract global talent to Cleveland…or Florida…or Dubai.

Shana Zollar, Vice President of Human Resources at Dwellworks, has overseen the company’s steady growth for nearly 10 years. Her specialty, according to Crain’s Cleveland Business, is the handling of the HR maze during international acquisitions. Indeed, she was recognized for acclimating three companies from outside the US into the Dwellworks family within a 5-month time period. Shana will address what’s involved in nurturing a global culture, as well as transition points for moving from a US-focused organization to a global business. She will also address best practices for blending lessons from acquisitions in new markets into the overall corporate culture to keep the whole enterprise in tune with latest trends.

The session will conclude with an audience Q&A.

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Global Employer Summit Breakout: Managing and Developing Global Teams

2:30 – 3:30 PM InterContinental Hotel & Conference Center

Creating a Globally Competitive [Tech] Team

Innovative startups, tech companies, and corporations are taking steps to mirror their global business strategy with a globally competitive workforce.

In the session with and JumpStart at this year’s Global Employer Summit, panelists will share innovative ways Northeast Ohio is competing and how employers can lead the charge in global talent inclusion., a national leader in advocating for business-driven immigration policy, is hosting this session. Speakers will share practical ways your organization can become a more globally competitive workplace right here in Northeast Ohio.

Angie Kilgore, JumpStart’s manager of recruiting and community engagement for entrepreneurial talent, will moderate a frank discussion with the following experts:
Xu Lang, Director of Global Investor Relations with FlashStarts, will discuss why and how global entrepreneurs are coming to Cleveland; she’ll also share ways employers can tap into international, entrepreneurial talents – and who might qualify for alternative immigration pathways from the traditional H1B visa.

David Wintrich, Co-founder and Chief Academic Officer of Tech Elevator knows what it takes to find the best tech talent; his experience with Fortune 500 companies and at Tech Elevator has given David the opportunity to interview, hire and mentor dozens of programmers. He’ll share how he recruits top talent around the world to drive our regional tech workforce forward – and how your organization can also find qualified talent.

Cortney McDevitt will share her insights from working in People Operations and Engagement with top companies including Lyft and Shutterfly. She’ll share what Northeast Ohio employers can learn from West Coast tech.

Finally, Daniel Dudley, Cofounder and Chief Operating Officer at Infinite Arthroscopy Inc. (IAI) will share thoughts on the criticality of global perspectives for a successful venture, especially at the pre-revenue “start-up” phase – Daniel will share some of best practices and starting points to fostering a culture and establishing a team that incorporates global talent and expertise.


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Does our organization have a plan for global talent inclusion? Interested in knowing the best practices to build an innovative tech team? Let us know here!

The Business Case for International Hires

When does an international hire make the most sense for your bottom line?

In the session with Thompson Hine at this year’s Global Employer Summit, Partner Sarah Flannery will break down scenarios she has seen with client companies to increase their business success and save money, by strategically bringing on the global talent they need.


Flannery shares, “We’ve seen several instances where bringing someone on directly made more financial sense. Organizations that overlook this possibility might be missing out on substantial savings and growth opportunities.”

Get ready to challenge common ideas about contracting services or directly bringing on new hires, recruitment strategies, or investing in employment-based sponsorship.

Sarah will be joined by Team NEO’s regional talent manager, Mike Stanton, who will also share his past experience as an HR leader making hiring decisions. As someone who has faced these challenges first-hand, he will offer candid insights into when it makes sense to invest in new hires.

International hires are not be the only source of talent for your organization; but if you are overlooking international hires because of fears about sponsorship costs, you might actually be wasting money in the long run and passing on the talent your company needs.


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Global Employer Summit Breakout: The Business Case for International Hires

2:30 – 3:30 PM InterContinental Hotel & Conference Center

Questions about ways that employers are finding a competitive edge through engaging with global talent? Let us know in the comment section below!

Immigration Trends for Globally Competitive Organizations

Are you ready to hire the best talent, no matter where they are in the world?


Joining the Global Employer Summit on May 31st will be Envoy, an innovative firm that makes it seamless for companies to hire and manage a global workforce.

Organizations across the U.S. are hiring and investing in international talent; Envoy will break down employer practices and highlight areas your organization should focus on to compete in a global marketplace.

Sarah Maxwell, Head of Global Immigration, Envoy, knows that “companies require for their global workforce flexible support and innovative solutions that evolve with technology and the market.” She will join Gretchen Keefner, Vice President of Sales, Envoy, to also answer practical questions for companies looking to gain an understanding of the various visas available to employers looking to hire global talent.

Join Global Cleveland, Envoy and select companies at the Global Employer Summit to learn the steps you can take today to create a globally competitive approach to talent.


Do you have specific questions about visas?

Wondering what other organizations are doing to bring on global talent?

Submit your questions below for us to answer, and join us for the full conversation on May 31st.


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Global Employer Summit Breakout: Immigration Trends for Globally Competitive Organizations

1:30 - 2:30 PM InterContinental Hotel & Conference Center

Cuyahoga County launches SkillUp program

SkillUp is an innovative service being offered by Cuyahoga County that assists employers with identifying skilled jobs and training pathways to help employees acquire the necessary skills for the business’s open positions. SkillUp ensures businesses have a steady stream of skilled workers and provides businesses the opportunities and resources necessary to train new employees, existing employees and workers provided by temporary staffing agencies.

SkillUp works with individual employers to help them identify the technical skills needed. SkillUp’s talent advisors then work with the employers to develop customized, structured training plans to help develop those identified skills. The employer pays wages and pays to train the worker, and the SkillUp program reimburses the employer for approved training-related expenses.

SkillUp helps ensure that businesses always have skilled workers and allows employers to offer their employees the training necessary for advancement. This allows the business to control the quality of skilled talent while also improving business performance and access to diverse talent pools and quality training programs.

By helping local employers, the SkillUp service also helps County residents. Many residents would like to move up at their company, but either can’t afford the training or cannot take the time away from their current job to receive training. By helping businesses provide training to their employees, SkillUp is helping residents reach the next level by providing them with the necessary skills, which allows them to obtain a better-paying job.

SkillUp creates more job opportunities for residents. Through SkillUp, more people will be trained and advance in their respective careers, which may open up more entry-level jobs at the same time. SkillUp also helps employers access new sources of talent, including traditionally underrepresented populations and residents who are enrolled in training and workforce programs.

SkillUp is a major step forward in how County Executive Armond Budish is supporting his primary workforce goals, which are: Providing a workforce pipeline that delivers a sufficient and steady supply of qualified candidates at all skill levels to keep jobs filled; helping residents with employment barriers become skilled workers pursuing career and wage pathways; and creating a more connected and aligned workforce and human services.

Employers who are interested in learning more can find additional information here and should contact the Cuyahoga County SkillUp team at (216) 443-6930.

For inquiries on how Global Cleveland partners with SkillUp and additional support for employers looking to hire or train immigrant workers, please contact [email protected] or 216 472 3282.