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Cleveland Innovation District: STEM enrollment increases at local university, construction underway for cancer research center

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Posted at 7:42 AM, Nov 08, 2021
and last updated 2021-11-08 18:14:24-05

CLEVELAND — Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine, Lt. Gov. Jon Husted and JobsOhio President and CEO J.P. Nauseef visited Cleveland Monday to provide an update on the progress of the Cleveland Innovation District, a partnership to position Ohio as a competitive place to look to for medical advancements while boosting the area’s economy.

The Cleveland Innovation District consists of several of the areas major players in education and health care: University Hospitals, The Cleveland Clinic, MetroHealth, Case Western Reserve University and Cleveland State University.

"For the first time in my memory, this is all five of us working together," Serpil Erzurum, Chief Research and Academic Officer at the Cleveland Clinic, said.

This is the first update since the project launched in January. Watch a replay of the presentation below:

Gov. DeWine and Lt. Gov. Husted give update on Cleveland Innovation District

Following the update, there was a panel discussion with leaders from Case Western Reserve University, the Cleveland Clinic, Cleveland State University, MetroHealth Medical center and University Hospitals discussing how they plan to continue creating more jobs, attracting outside talent and business and increase their own medical research.

"When you gather smart people together, more smart people want to come," DeWine added.

So far in the last nine months, that progress includes a 40% increase in STEM program enrollment at Cleveland State University and construction underway at MetroHealth for a new cancer research cleanroom for the production of viral technology for cancer treatments and immunotherapies.

"Cleveland Clinic, for example, already filled 300 new positions," DeWine said. "Three hundred new positions already towards a seven-year commitment of a thousand new jobs be created to the clinic directly related to the Cleveland Innovation District. This includes promising careers and research, education, information technology and the supply chain."

With just about every industry dealing with a labor shortage, part of the push behind this Innovation District will focus on creating a pipeline for students from school straight into the jobs where they’re needed most.

“We employ a ton of people," said Julie Jacono, senior vice president at MetroHealth. "If we can start telling Case and Cleveland State the types of degrees and the type of training we need, those individuals that go into the training get the benefit of being employed right away and we get the benefit of the continuous workforce."

Over the next ten years, the Innovation District is expected to create 20,000 jobs with half of them tied to health care and technology. In addition to jobs, the initiative is expected to create $3 billion in new research, and $3 billion in economic impact.

When it was announced, the district would receive from the state and its partners $565 million, with a significant amount going toward the Global Center for Pathogen Research and Human Health to create research, developments, and job opportunities to advance healthcare in Ohio, nationally, and around the world.

RELATED: Newly created Cleveland Innovation District to fuel medical research, create billions in economic impact

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