Right Here – Right Now

– Written by Joe Cimperman

The last 24 hours for me have been a picture perfect snapshot of why the organization I lead was founded. Yesterday, along with Global Cleveland’s colleagues across the State of Ohio, I had the opportunity to speak with and listen to Governor Mike DeWine, and several members of our Northeast Ohio delegation in the House and Senate (thank you Representatives Upchurch, Skindell, and Crosmann for taking time to talk and listen!) To a person, the idea of Ohio’s prosperity being part and parcel of welcoming immigrants, refugees, international newcomers was top of mind. When my team travels to conferences and workshops across this great nation, people always remark on how lucky we are to live in Ohio (I agree) and how welcoming communities like Cleveland are (hear hear, we could always do more and we are, but it’s nice that this is recognized) From our Governor’s bold, moral, righteous, compassionate, strategic, economic development focused letter to Secretary Pompeo that Ohio is welcoming to refugees coming here to live and prosper, to the Department of Development continuing and growing the maps for the Office of New Ohioans, we live in a state that leads the nation in how we actively welcome, work to integrate, and support our international newcomers. It gives me such hope to see leadership on this issue that really leads. Driving home last night from Columbus through a snowstorm to the Greater Cleveland Partnership Conference on Internships in a snowstorm this morning was completely worth it. I led a panel with David Leopold, a great advocate/attorney for immigration in Cleveland on H1B’s. (Don’t know what that is? Text me or email me and I will buy you a cup of coffee and share its magnificence for filling our talent gaps and growing our communities in Northeast Ohio all at once, all while improving your companies Diversity and Inclusion values/bottom line and bringing new and inspiring talent into your business!)

GCP had a panel on Diversity and Inclusion in the Internship Workforce. I can tell you in all my professional experience it was the most knowledgeable and tactical in terms of how we can all open our eyes to the world, who is leading and how, and what paths we can all take to make our organizations and corporations the strongest they can be. Gina Chevrine (GCP, panel moderator), Dan Tompkins (Ernst&Young), Sanford Watson (Tucker Ellis), Eric Logan (KPMG) all spoke brilliantly about how companies can become a lot more successful and a lot more diverse (as these two values go hand in hand, ok?!) I asked about international student internships, internships that require no visa, just open minds in HR. To a person, Gina, Dan, Sanford and Eric discussed how important this is to retain talent in NEO, grow our region, and diversify within in ways we often don’t discuss. We need you to be part of this movement. Why am I writing about these last 24 hours? Global Cleveland works every single day, often in the same day, to support good policy, push for better legislation, and grow our State and County and City with sound immigrant friendly/newcomer welcoming actions while working to implement in real time the ideas and practices that can continue to welcome even more than the 3000 immigrants our region is growing by every year. I could use your help. Email me joe@globalcleveland.org or text me 2162156765 if you want a cup of coffee. God I love this community.