Cathy Belk, president and CEO of the Deaconess Foundation, a private foundation that helps people in need build careers and one of the presenters at the GCP event, said there has been an unprecedented amount of collaboration among the public, the private and the civic sectors.
“We’re really committed in Greater Cleveland to not only creating an abundant talent pool, but a diverse one,” she said during a presentation about workforce sector partnerships.
As part of the discussion around the region’s talent needs, Belk also announced exploratory plans for the addition of a hospitality-focused workforce sector partnership.
If officially designated a sector for targeted workplace development, hospitality would join information technology, health care and manufacturing as sectors with groups working to address talent deficits in those industries.
Recently, the Fund for Our Economic Future announced that Sean Watterson, president and co-owner of the Happy Dog, a Gordon Square bar and music venue, was named a senior consultant for a hospitality talent initiative formed to determine if a more permanent workforce sector partnership is needed.
The idea came about from the intersection of “strategy and opportunity,” said Bethia Burke, president of the Fund for Our Economic Future, during an interview with Crain’s. The work is funded by the Cuyahoga County Department of Development and the Deaconess Foundation, with additional support from Destination Cleveland and the Greater Cleveland Sports Commission.
“There is an acute, visible talent need people can see when they try to go to a restaurant that is closed because of a lack of workers,” Burke said.