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Cuyahoga County Department of Regional Collaboration

What does the Department of Regional Collaboration Do?

County Executive Ed FitzGerald created the Department of Regional Collaboration because he believes that economic development is driven by the strengths of a region and that the 59 communities of Cuyahoga County should be working together to strengthen themselves and advance development. Too often, it seemed, our communities remained isolated in “silos” or competed to attract businesses already located in the county.  As Executive FitzGerald said, “It’s time to stop competing against each other and start competing against the world.”

On the economic front, the Department advanced the Executive FitzGerald’s “Business Attraction and Anti-Poaching Protocol.”  The protocol asked communities to commit to: stepping up their economic development efforts; agreeing not to “poach” or lure companies in neighboring communities that have not expressed a desire to move; and to provide notice to and engage in discussions with the home community in the event a business chooses to explore an intra-county re-location. All 59 Cuyahoga County communities are signatories to the Business Attraction and Anti-Poaching Protocol.

To advance shared services and efficiency, the Department works closely with the County’s mayors, managers and trustees.  In early 2011, we conducted a survey to identify those services these officials are most interested in sharing.  Working with the Efficient Government Network, the Department played a lead role in staging a Regional Collaboration Conference in October 2011 and also a Shared Services Expo in November 2012. We also assist the Executive and Department heads in efforts to expand county-provided services under the Executive’s “Western Reserve Plan.”

The Department also serves as a County liaison to the: Regional Prosperity Initiative, which focuses on regional land use planning and revenue sharing opportunities; Sustainable Communities Consortium, which examines regional planning on transportation, housing and environmental issues; Cuyahoga County Planning Commission; Fund for Our Economic Future; and Northeast Ohio Areawide Coordinating Agency (NOACA), where Director Jerse served as Governing Board President in 2012.  We also regularly attend meetings of the Cuyahoga County Mayors and Managers Association to ensure regular contact and interaction with local officials.

Finally, the Department serves as the point of contact between the County and our state and federal legislators and liaisons.  In this role, we survey County staff, identify issues, projects and initiatives of interest or concern, and prepare a summary that can be used for guidance and advocacy.  We participate in regular conferences with our state and federal liaisons to discuss County priorities, legislative developments, and grant and funding opportunities.  We also notify our local mayors and managers of promising grant and funding opportunities so they can apply.    

Cuyahoga County to Receive 2013 NACo Achievement Award

The National Association of Counties (NACo) awarded Cuyahoga County with a 2013 Achievement Award for its Business Attraction and Anti-Poaching Protocol program. Started in 1970, the annual NACo Achievement Award Program recognizes innovative county government programs.

In September 2011, Cuyahoga County Executive Edward FitzGerald asked the 59 communities of Cuyahoga County to sign  the Business Attraction and Anti-Poaching Protocol in an effort to encourage collaboration on economic development.  The protocol commits each community to improving its economic development efforts and to not “poach” or lure the re-location of businesses, in other signatory communities, that have not expressed a desire to move.  It also establishes a level of trust and a platform for future collaboration on economic development, shared services, and other matters. As of January 2013, in a rare showing of unanimity, all 59 of Cuyahoga County’s diverse communities had signed the protocol.

"We are very honored that Executive FitzGerald's Business Attraction and Anti-Poaching Protocol has been awarded a 2013 NACo Achievement Award," said Ed Jerse, Cuyahoga County's Director of Regional Collaboration.  "The protocol encourages our 59 communities to think and act as a region and we trust that it will serve as a platform for future collaboration in the interest of efficiency and economic development."