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Jobs : Cincinnati In The News

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First Batch highlighted as one of the country's hottest design incubators


Dwell magazine has published a guide to “a few of the country's hottest design incubators,” including Cincinnati's manufacturing-focused First Batch, that it says are helping independent designers learn the basics of how to scale up and boost the local economy.
 
“While starting a company seems the scariest, figuring out how to grow and stay sustainable offers the most challenging decisions,” Matt Anthony, program manager of First Batch, says in the article. The Over-the-Rhine-based company is described as “one of the many local organizations across the United States helping designers and manufacturers build the networks, relationships and infrastructure they need to thrive.”

The article also highlights design incubators in Detroit, San Francisco and Oakland.

Read the full article here.
 

Open data making a splash in Ohio, Cincinnati


Ohio is making a name nationally for its efforts to open government records to public scrutiny.

Government Technology magazine, which provides "solutions for state and local government," published a story yesterday about a new initiative coming to Ohio's budget transparency site OhioCheckbook.com, which already offers 3,900-plus local governments — townships, cities, counties, school districts and more — a chance to place revenues and expenditures online free of charge.

The new concept rolls out in June and will allow citizens to track local government revenues and expenditures via interactive graphs, which the story says will "illustrate not only a bird's eye view of a budget but also the granular details of check-by-check spending. Highlights include top earning government contractors, highest paid officials and revenue consumption by departments."

Last month Ohio was ranked #1 in the country for financial transparency by consumer advocacy group U.S. Public Interest Research Group (PIRG), thanks to the launch of OhioCheckbook.com in late 2014. Ohio received a grade of A+ one year after getting a D-, and PIRG Senior Policy Analyst Phineas Baxandall says the new online portal looks like something one would expect from a successful tech company, not a government agency.

Back in Cincinnati, yesterday also marked the launch of the city's high-profile effort at transparency, Open Data Cincinnati.

"Open Data Cincinnati is about more than just stats, numbers and bar charts," City Manager Harry Black said in a press release announcing the online portal's launch. "This is about the City opening itself up to the people we serve on a daily basis."

Black says he wants to establish Cincinnati as a national model for using data analytics to make city government more efficient and effective.

Read the full Government Technology story here.
 

Dreaming again of a downtown grocery store


Cleveland recently opened its first downtown supermarket in modern times courtesy of the regional Heinen's chain. The two most remarkable aspects of the new store are that 1) Heinen's is a suburban grocery operator with 21 other stores in northeastern Ohio and the Chicago area and 2) the company spent $10 million of its own money to renovate the 100-year-old Cleveland Trust Rotunda building.

Supporters of Cleveland's urban renaissance are still pinching themselves over the transformation.

"We have become so accustomed to stepping into unattractive and cheaply built big box stores that the idea of shopping as anything other than drudgery has all but vanished," Erin O'Brien writes in Freshwater, Soapbox's sister publication in Cleveland. "They want our money; we need their stuff. Transaction complete.

"Not so at the new Heinen's. This family is glad you're here. These people respect you before you've spent a single dime. They know you are worthy of this beautiful space and so is their grocery business. After all, they spent $10 million to deliver it unto Cleveland in all of its stunning glory."

Next City ran a national story last week about the gamble the family-owned Heinen's organization took to open a downtown store and, given the family's deep roots in Cleveland, why the company's leaders thought the risk was justified.

"The conventional wisdom is that a grocery store needs 20, 25,000 people to be feasible," co-owner Jeff Heinen says to Next City. "There are about 13,000 people in this core area of Cleveland right now. Because there are not enough residents living in that area (to meet that standard minimum), we needed to design a store that appeals to a variety of needs. ...

"We might actually get to 20,000 people, but that's a bet. And not one you can say, 'Oh, this should only take 12 more months. We're talking about four or five more years.' ... From our perspective, hoping to continue the momentum of both people and businesses wanting to be downtown is important to us as a Cleveland company who needs Cleveland to be a viable city going forward."

A hometown grocery chain known for suburban stores opening a signature downtown supermarket in a major Ohio city, investing its own money to help support and boost the urban core's redevelopment with an eye toward long-term success for the city? What a concept!

Cincinnati can continue to dream, of course.

Read the Freshwater Cleveland story here and the Next City story here.
 

Jobs getting farther from home in U.S. cities


Jobs are moving farther away from where employees live, according to the Brookings Institution, which looked at U.S. Census Bureau data from 2000 to 2012 for the country's largest 96 metropolitan areas. The number of jobs within a typical commuting distance dropped by 7 percent for suburban residents during those years and dropped by 3 percent for city residents.

"Closeness to workplaces affects people differently," says an article on the findings in Governing Magazine. "While higher earning workers can afford to drive long distances to work, not everyone can. Being close to jobs affects how long black, female and older workers are unemployed more than other groups. For poor residents, having jobs nearby also increases their chances of working and leaving welfare."

Brooking calculated the typical commuting distance in Greater Cincinnati to be 8.7 miles. The shortest typical work commute among the 96 metro areas was in Stockton-Lodi, Calif., at 4.7 miles, and the longest was in Atlanta at 12.8 miles.

Read the full story here.
 

Get an M.B.A. from Indiana University if you want to work at P&G


Media outlets love to do splashy high school and college graduation stories at this time of the year, and The New York Times is no exception. Today's Education Life section has a story about how to choose the right university for your M.B.A. degree, which The Times says "has clearly become a commodity."

"Conventional wisdom will tell you that Harvard is for Fortune 500 jobs, Wharton for Wall Street, Kellogg for marketing and Insead for multinational entities," the story continues. "There's truth to some of it, but times change, and so do employers' recruiting preferences."

If you want to work at Procter & Gamble, for instance, you should enroll at Indiana University's Kelley School of Business.

"P&G clearly has a thing for Kelley," the story says. "The school is its biggest source of brand managers. Of the 172 Kelley alumni there, the most senior is Marc S. Pritchard, the chief brand officer."

Read the full story here.
 

Renovated food markets in New Orleans offer lessons for Cincinnati


New Orleans once had 34 neighborhood food markets, with historic roots to a time before modern refrigeration when neighborhood shopping was central to daily life. Many closed post-WWII, as population moved to the suburbs, and most of the remaining markets were shuttered by Hurricane Katrina.

Next City has a feature story on the rebirth of three neighborhood markets in New Orleans, two as traditional neighborhood markets and one as a museum.

"In all of our post-Katrina work, what we find is that people want what they had, except they didn’t understand that what they had was very difficult to have to begin with," says Cedric Grant, executive director of the New Orleans Building Corporation, which is spearheading the renovations. "And now you have to really imagine something new."

These efforts remind us of the tremendous asset Cincinnati has in Findlay Market, a neighborhood market that has withstood the decline of its Over-the-Rhine surroundings and seems poised to benefit from redevelopment there, including the new streetcar line.

Description of the efforts to revive neighborhood food markets in New Orleans — including interaction with residents and struggles to develop the right business model — might offer lessons for movements to bring co-op markets to local neighborhoods like Clifton and Northside.

Read the full article here.
 

Craft beer & community development on WVXU


Soapbox Managing Editor John Fox was joined by Michael Albarella from Nine Giant Brewing and Doug Newberry from Wiedemann Brewing March 5 on WVXU's "Cincinnati Edition" program to discuss the upcoming forum on Cincinnati's embrace of craft beer as community development. Nine Giant is building a brewery and taproom in Pleasant Ridge, while Wiedemann is doing likewise in Newport; both plan to be open by fall 2015.

Albarella and Newberry will be panelists, along with Bryant Goulding of Rhinegeist, 5:00-7:00 p.m. March 11 at UC's Niehoff Urban Studio, bringing beer samples as well. The event is free and open to anyone 21 and older.

Read about the March 11 forum and RSVP here.

Listen to the WVXU interview here.

Cincinnati #3 among U.S. cities in company growth and relocation


Site Selection magazine and website has unveiled its ranking of the top U.S. cities for economic activity, based on the number of companies expanding or relocating, and Cincinnati ranks third behind Chicago and Houston and ahead of Dallas and Atlanta. There were 196 expansion/relocation projects in Greater Cincinnati in 2014, according to the rankings.

The report includes a nice feature section about Cincinnati under the headline "All-Star Success in an All-Star City."

"Several years ago Major League Baseball selected Cincinnati to be the site of the 2015 All Star Game," the article says. "But the city on the banks of the Ohio River has been a top choice for companies for long time and last year it climbed three spots, from number six to number three, among Site Selection’s Top Metros."

The section highlights decisions by ThyssenKrupp Bilstein and Empower to expand in this region instead of moving out and quotes Johnna Reeder, president and CEO of the Regional Economic Development Initiative (REDI): “While other regions fought to hang on during the 2008 recession, Cincinnati doubled down with investment in infrastructure and housing. It’s created an environment where new companies are moving to town and expanding. Cincinnati is hot right now.”

Read the full story here.
 

OTR named a "hidden food and drink gem"


The Daily Meal online food and dining website has a travel story about Over-the-Rhine as a "hidden food and drink gem."

"When it comes to great comeback stories, few places can top Cincinnati’s Over the Rhine neighborhood," says writer Teresa Tobat. "The area was once dubbed 'one of the nation’s most dangerous neighborhoods in the country' and has since been revitalized. And the food scene of Cincinnati's oldest neighborhood — the streets resemble a 1960s New York City — is surprisingly happening."

According to its website, The Daily Meal's "passionate team canvasses the world to bring you the best food and drink experiences at all levels, around the table, at home or on the road. Harvesting the delicious and discarding the mundane, we are your friend on the inside, discovering and reporting with a sense of fun and curiosity."

Read the full article here.
 

New York Times: "Downtown Cincinnati Thrives"


The Feb. 25 issue of The New York Times carries a glowing report, "Downtown Cincinnati Thrives as Riots' Memories Recede," in its real estate section. Read the full article online here.

Times writer Keith Schneider focuses on the high-profile downtown development projects we're familiar with — General Electric's new operations center on The Banks, Dunnhumby's new headquarters building at Fifth and Race, 3CDC's work at Fountain Square and in Over-the-Rhine — to describe Cincinnati as coming a long way since the 2001 riots. Nice photos by Mark Lyons, too.


 

Kansas City pulls together bistate transit authority to drive economic development


The former mayor of Kansas City, Kan., has been named to the newly created position of Kansas City Area Transportation Authority CEO, with a mandate to pull together four different bus systems in the region (across two states) and connect them seamlessly with the city's under-construction downtown streetcar line. So reports The Kansas City Star — the kind of story you likely won't be reading any time soon in the Cincinnati media.

The Transportation Authority board was looking for someone with the leadership and public relations skills to build consensus for an improved transportation system that, the article claims, "many say is underfunded, struggles in a car-centric city, and suffers from service gaps that make it challenging for suburban riders to use anytime but during the morning and afternoon rush hours."

"(Joe) Reardon’s job will be to expand and unify the region’s fractured public transit system at a time when transit is seen as a key driver of economic development," the article says, then quotes Reardon: "I think a unified transit system is a key component to moving Kansas City as a region forward."

Good thing we're OK with the status quo of Cincinnati's multiple, unconnected transit systems. The region's just fine as is, thank you.

Read the full story here.
 

Choremonster, Lisnr make list of Upstart 100 driving the "new economy"


The CEOs of two Cincinnati startups — Chris Bergman of Choremoster and Rodney Williams of Lisnr — are featured in Upstart 100, a list of "the inventors, visionaries, masters and more driving the new economy" as proclaimed by Upstart Business Journal, a national online publication owned by Cincinnati Business Courier's parent company.

Other figures named to the list include Mark Zuckerberg, Jeff Bezos, Larry Page, Steve Case, Jay Z and Taylor Swift, so the local entrepreneurs are in excellent company.

Read the full list and accompanying editor's note here.

 

After spurning Cincinnati, Chiquita decides to close Charlotte HQ


Chiquita Brands International, which moved its headquarters from Cincinnati to Charlotte, N.C., in 2012, announced last week that it would close its Charlotte office in the wake of a recent purchase by Brazilian companies. The Charlotte Business Journal reported Jan. 14 that Chiquita's CEO informed his 320 Charlotte-based employees that morning that the office would be closing as the company is taken private by its new owners.

Chiquita left downtown Cincinnati in 2012 after being courted by Charlotte, which pledged $23 million in local and state incentives. According to the newspaper, Chiquita has collected about $2.5 million of those inducements so far and said it would repay $1 million.

Charlotte Mayor Dan Clodfelter said he hoped the impacted Chiquita employees would stay in town and find other work: "I also want to encourage local employers to consider the impacted employees and their families, as many of them seek other job opportunities in our community."

Chiquita was based in Cincinnati from 1987 until 2012, the first 15 years under the control of majority owner Carl Lindner Jr.

Read more here.

Tech startup funding is "no problem" in Cincinnati


Huffington Post blogger Jason Grill gives big props to Cincinnati's startup scene, saying we now rival Kansas City as his pick for America's most entrepreneurial city.

"The words startup, technology and funding are creeping into the every day vocabulary in the Queen City," Grill writes. "Cincinnati lays claim to a growing and vibrant startup ecosystem. Much of this success is due to what we are seeing across the United States with fewer barriers to entry, but the main part of Cincinnati's success is due in large part to the venture funding access in the city."

Grill goes on to credit CincyTech and Cintrifuse for leading the recent charge here. Bottom line, he says: "Cincinnati is relevant in the startup world."

Read the full blog post here.

Cincinnati improves as one of "America's Best Performing Cities"


Noted urban guru Richard Florida offers his take of the 2014 edition of the Milken Institute’s Best Performing Cities study, which rates 200 large and 179 small metros on key measures of job growth, wage and salary growth and the size and concentration of high tech industry. "The study shows how the recovery has been concentrated in — and, indeed, has revolved around — what I have dubbed the twin pillars of America’s knowledge/energy economy," Florida writes, "with the best performers being energy centers and tech hubs."

San Francisco rated the #1 best performing large U.S. metro area in 2014, followed by Austin, Tex.; Provo, Utah; San Jose, Calif.; and Raleigh, N.C. Nine of the top 10 large cities were in California, Texas or Utah. The top-rated small metro area was Fargo, N.D., followed by Columbus, Ind.

Cincinnati made the list of biggest gainers between 2013 and 2014 among large cities, improving 45 spots to #68 — placing the Tristate around the top third of all large metro areas.

"Ultimately, the report paints a clearer picture of America’s geographically uneven recovery," Florida writes, "where tech hubs and energy centers prosper while older manufacturing and construction driven metros continue to falter."

Read more here.

 
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