Team NEO Award
Created on 9/20/2010 1:28:24 PM
The City of Independence recently received the Team NEO Award!
The Mayor received notification earlier this year that Independence was selected as a candidate to vie as a finalist for the annual TeamNEO Award for best “Business Retention” effort in 2010. The City in collaboration with Cuyahoga County, The City of Cleveland, and The Village of Cuyahoga Heights worked together in conjunction with the State of Ohio Department of Development to save 1,200 jobs in the region at the Alcoa, Inc. plant on Harvard Ave. and in other areas of the region.
The City of Independence houses the headquarters staff of this division; therefore, this is the reason for the City’s involvement in this retention project. When engineers at Alcoa noticed a stress fracture on their 50,000-ton press at the Forged and Cast Products Division in Cuyahoga Heights, representatives of the State, County, and local governments confronted the problem. Either Alcoa had to come up with $70.0 million dollars on their own to completely refurbish the press, an essential machine that produces alloy aluminum components for the new F-35 Joint Strike Fighters program of the U.S. Air Force or expect to shut down the plant and lose the jobs in the region. The governments and agencies met and formulated a plan to provide a portion of the funding for the furbishing and commit to Alcoa their willingness to assist them in retaining their production capability and the jobs.
The total dollars committed to Alcoa through a Job Retention Tax Credit, a Rapid Outreach Grant, and a local match on a loan, amounted to $21.4 million dollars in support. By this action, to respond to the need, not only were the jobs saved at Alcoa, but it also paved the way for the company to invest an additional $110.0 million dollars in its Cleveland Works by 2011.
The Mayor, City Council, and the Administration of the City of Independence are extremely humbled by the recognition shared with our partners. We are grateful for all that TeamNEO has done for us and the region. We look forward to many opportunities ahead where we can coordinate our efforts and remain strong voices for the growth and development of the region.
Mayor Kurtz remarked, “Not only does this project and award demonstrate that our region and the communities in it know how to collaborate, but when the need is clearly defined, the leadership is in place to take necessary and responsible action, stepping forward, and solving problems”.