Its Full Speed Ahead for Ohio, Governor Approves 7.8B Transportation Budget

Highway in Cleveland Ohio

Its full speed ahead for Ohio as Governor John Kasich approves a $7.8 billion transportation budget. “Ohio ranks high among all states for the quality and maintenance of our highway infrastructure and we did it without ever having to raise the gas tax,” said Governor Kasich.

The 2018 – 2019 Transportation Budget Bill was signed into law on March 31, 2017. The bill was established to help the state improve its highways as well as be in a better position for the long-awaited self-driving vehicles and drones. Remember, Ohio is one of the few states selected for the research and testing of self-driving cars. “We’re determined to maintain the competitive edge we have with our highways, while also positioning our state for the industries of tomorrow with self-driving cars and drones,” he added.

Roads are of strategic importance to the economy. From the gas we put in our cars to the groceries on store shelves, all depends on roads. The $7.8 billion transportation budget will not just improve Ohio highways but also will make sure that the introduction of the autonomous vehicles becomes real and successful. And now there is the determination to improve Ohio roads and highways further to remain on the short list of states with the best roads in the country.

Recent reports indicate that the past seven years has seen more than a few states falling behind in repairing and maintaining their highway infrastructure. And Ohio wants to remain in the driver’s seat to push their economy forward, as depicted in its $14 billion investment for over 7,000 projects. The new transportation budget is enormous and will lead to the accomplishment of many necessary infrastructure projects. In fact, the state is planning to start and complete 43 major projects, 356 safety projects, 446 bridge projects, and 615 pavement projects within a span of just two years.

Additionally, the Transportation Research Center (TRC) projects in central Ohio are also included in the transportation budget. Some monies have been allocated to expand capabilities for self-driving research as well as to create smart highways where autonomous vehicles will be safely tested in real-life traffic situations. This will include improvement for highway U.S. 33, sections of Interstate 90 in northern Ohio, and I-270 in Columbus. The drone technology will also benefit from the transportation budget, with funds set aside for its development. Moreover, the funds will facilitate the ongoing plans to fly unmanned aircraft beyond the line of visual sight.

The transportation budget will give Ohio a much-needed competitive edge. It is a comprehensive budget that takes into account all highway infrastructure including smart highways. The 2-year transportation budget will without a doubt take Ohio’s highway infrastructure into the future.

Image Credit: Doug Kerr

Cleveland to Host Team USA Triathlon National Championships

Team USA Triathlon

Cleveland, Ohio has been selected to host the USA Triathlon National Championships in 2018 and 2019. The events, which are expected to attract around 5,000 athletes and 10,000 spectators, will be another big for boost Cleveland’s economy with a total estimated $13 million economic impact for the two annual events,” noted Victor Bierman, Ohio lawyer and business expert.

The 2018 USA Triathlon National Championships is scheduled to take place from August 11 – 12. The venue will be at Edgewater Beach Park and the surrounding neighborhoods of downtown Cleveland. The 2019 event is expected to take place from August 10 – 11 in the same venue.

On Saturday (August 11, 2018, and August 10, 2019) the concentration will be on the Olympic-distance triathlon. This section includes a 10-kilometer run, 1,500-meter swim, and 40-kilometer bike. Athletes who come top in these categories will represent Team USA at the International Triathlon Union Age Group World Championships. That event will take place in 2019 in Lausanne, Switzerland and 2020 in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada.

Also, there will be Sunday competitions (August 12, 2018, and August 11, 2019) and this includes a sprint triathlon. The competition will be open to public competitors. The open sprint triathlon will feature a 5-k run, 20-k bike ride, and 750-meter swim. The 5k run and 20k bike ride are scheduled along the Detroit-Shoreway, St. Clair-Superior, Downtown Cleveland, and University Circle neighborhoods. The 750-meter swim, on the other hand, will be held at Edgewater Park.

This is great news for Cleveland. “We are extremely excited that Cleveland was chosen to host the Team USA Triathlon National Championships,” said the President and CEO of the Greater Cleveland Sports Commission, David Gilbert.

This is not the first time Cleveland has held a major competition. In 2007, the city hosted an NCAA Division I women’s basketball Final Four while in 2015, it hosted the ACHA Division I Men’s Hockey Championships and U.S. Master’s Swimming Championship. It has also hosted the Donate Life Transplant Games of America, which was held in 2016 and the 2017 USA Fencing North American Cup.

Cleveland is becoming known as the sports city and has been selected to host some very exciting sporting events in the near future. And these include the 2018 NCAA DI Wrestling Championships, 2018 CONCACAF Gold Cup, and 2019 Major League Baseball All-Star Game at Progressive Field, which is the home of the defending American League Champion, Cleveland Indians.

Image Credit: West Point Military Academy

Cleveland Sees a Bright Future in Solar as Jobs Double

solar power home

With the solar industry on the rise across the country and in Ohio, Cleveland sees a bright future as jobs double. The Solar Foundation, an independent non-profit organization, recently released employment data indicating a number of states have greatly benefited from solar jobs. And Ohio is taking the lead. A recent report states that 5,831 people were employed in the Ohio solar industry in 2016. “Definitely Ohio is the heavyweight among its neighboring states,” said Andrea Luecke, President and Executive Director of The Solar Foundation. The number of solar jobs in Cleveland doubled in 2016 to 1,632 workers representing nearly 30 percent of the state’s total solar workforce.

According to Luecke, solar energy adds tens of billions of dollars to the U.S. economy annually. Experts are encouraging solar states like Ohio to continue investing in the solar industry. In 2016, the U.S. solar industry employed more than 250,000 workers generating a $62.5B economic impact and creating nearly 789,000 jobs nationwide. In other words, every solar job creates two additional indirect jobs that support the industry.

“After years of economic decline from the loss of manufacturing and other industrial facilities, Cleveland has spent much of its resources on economic revitalization diversifying its industry portfolio without relying too heavily on any one sector for job growth,” noted Victor J. Bierman III, Ohio lawyer and business expert. Capitalizing on solar makes economic sense for Cleveland. Sustainability and clean energy is big here, and in Ohio as a whole, and Clevelanders have embraced solar as the next big thing in green energy. In fact, Mike Foley, head of the Department of Sustainability in Cuyahoga County, has even gone so far as predicting “in 10 years a rooftop that doesn’t have solar will look funny and will look out of place, ” in a Midwest Energy News article.

In cooperation with OH SUN, the Cuyahoga County Solar Co-Op is helping to educate local residents throughout the Cleveland Metropolitan area about solar energy and adding solar panels to their rooftops. With the increase of high paying solar jobs ($26/hr. avg.) combined with the recent economic growth, the sun is rising again in Cleveland.

Image Credit: Andrew Fogg

Explore 5 Top Museums in Ohio

Cleveland Museum of Art

“When you think of Ohio, there are a lot of things that come to mind, but museums and culture is probably not one of them for some”, noted Victor Bierman III, Ohio lawyer and business expert.  While touring the Buckeye State from the northern shoreline of Lake Erie to the Appalachian Mountains you will find numerous tourist attractions dotting the landscape including some of the best museums in the country that even the kids will love. In keeping up with its nickname, Ohio really is in the Heart of it All. So, pack up your gear and load the family in the car while we take you on a tour of the 5 top museums in Ohio.

1. The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum

Designed by famed architect, I.M. Pei, The Rock Hall is one of the most unique museums in the world showcasing hundreds of legendary performers that have shaped the American music scene. The fascinating exhibits take visitors on a musical journey through the Rock and Roll revolution. And the building’s unique architectural design is a work of art in its own right.

2. The Cleveland Museum of Art (CMA)

The Cleveland Museum of Art has been the cultural epicenter of Northeast Ohio since its founding in 1916. It was ranked as the #2 museum in the country in 2016, by Business Insider. The highly acclaimed museum is known for its impressive Asian, Egyptian, American, and European collections from contemporary to medieval art. The original neoclassical building has also been expanded and renovated several times. Every year, the CMA attracts approximately 598,000 visitors.

3. Cincinnati Art Museum

Founded in 1881, the Cincinnati Art Museum is one of the oldest museums in the U.S. Today, the diverse museum has more than 67,000 works in its collection with some artifacts nearly 6,000 years old. Aside from its comprehensive collections, the museum’s old and unique architectural design built in the Romanesque Revival style will surely appeal to any historian.

4. American Sign Museum

Housed in a former factory in Cincinnati, The American Sign Museum is hands down one of the most interesting museums in the world. The museum’s sign collection spans over 100 years. The exhibits in its historic collection include neon signs that recreate a Main Street USA storefront. The 20,000 square foot museum takes visitors on a trip back in time to discover the changing sign styles over the past century.

5. The Dayton Art Institute (DAI)

The Dayton Art Institute or DAI, as it is sometimes referred, was rated one of the top 10 best art museums in the U.S. for kids, by Parents® Magazine. In addition to its rotating exhibits, the museum features an extensive permanent collection of more than 20,000 objects from around the globe dating back 5,000 years. And its Lange Family Experiencenter, an interactive hands-on experience for the entire family is one of its most popular galleries.

Image Credit: Erik Drost