Cleveland Ranks Among Best Cities for New College Grads

college graduates

Saddled with student loans and a sluggish economy, many college students are having difficulty finding their ideal job after they graduate. But that’s not the case everywhere. And increasing the job prospects for graduating seniors may be as simple as moving to a sunnier economic climate.

According to a recent SmartAsset survey, Cleveland, Ohio, ranks among the best cities for new college graduates. In fact, Ohio managed to score number one and three other spots on the list, making the state the best destination in the country for new college grads. In the top spot is Cincinnati, followed by Columbus (3), Toledo (21) and Cleveland (25).

The survey is more good news for Cleveland and Ohio. The cities on the list were ranked according to criteria that are important to college grads including available jobs, cost of living and entertainment options. With so many things to do in Cleveland, along with its quality education standards, affordable living and a robust economy, it is a great place for young adults to begin their career and raise a family.

The first question many college grads have is “where do I get a job”. And while many other cities are able to offer jobs, the high cost of living makes it difficult for a young adult starting out to make ends meet, especially when there are debts to re-pay. Therefore affordability has to be part of the career equation. And according to HSH, a mortgage data company, Cleveland is the second most affordable metropolitan area in the U.S.

Ohio is known for its highly acclaimed colleges and universities. And Ohio State University-Columbus (OSU), a leading public university, ranked as one of the “Best Colleges” by U.S. News and World Report. Located at the state capitol, OSU offers students access to a high quality and affordable education experience. Other lauded Ohio schools include Cleveland State University, John Carroll University and University of Cincinnati.

“Cleveland has a lot to smile about. The city has been undergoing a major transformation over the past few years, and now it’s on the national stage as one of the best places for college grads to live, work and play,” noted Victor Bierman III, Ohio lawyer and business expert.

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Loyal Cleveland Fans Sticking with the Browns

Cleveland Browns fans

After a difficult and disappointing season, loyal Cleveland fans are sticking with the Browns. As long as we have a team, there is hope that next year will be our year. Cleveland fans’ loyalty hasn’t gone unnoticed. Browns fans were recently nominated as one of the best fan bases in the world according to Fansided.

After 14 consecutives losses, you could feel a sigh of relief when the Browns won their first game of the season against the San Diego Chargers on Christmas Day. “It’s incredible, man,” said wide receiver Andrew Hawkins. “It’s a relief.” At least it won’t be a winless season. In fact, the Cleveland Browns have not had a winless season in its entire 72-year history.

“This isn’t the first time Browns fans have been disappointed and it certainly will not be the last. The Browns are like a roller coaster with its share of ups and downs,” said Victor Bierman III, Ohio lawyer and business expert. Unfortunately, they have had more downs than ups in the last few years. It wasn’t always like this. Back in 1948, the four year old team had a perfect season winning all 14 regular season games and the playoff game. While they came close in the following few years, the Browns were never able to repeat it. But they haven’t had a season like this either since 1999, when they won just two games the entire season.

Having drafted 14 NFL players this year, the Browns are a young team with a lot of potential. Like Cody Kessler, a 23-year old rookie QB from USC who proved to be instrumental in the recent win against the Chargers with an important nine yard third-down pass to another rookie player,  WR Corey Coleman. “Even if it was just a few passes or getting to the line of scrimmage, every inch matters and we were able to get the win,” noted Hawkins on

Fans remain hopeful. “Because it’s like believing in Santa Claus,” said Reggie Davis, mechanic and Browns fan. “If you wish every year, and you believe every year, eventually you’ll get what you want.”

Cleveland fans will be hoping for one more Browns victory at their last game of the regular season on New Years Day, Sunday January 1, 2017, against the Steelers at Heinz Stadium in Pittsburgh.

Image Credit: Erik Drost | Flickr

7 Family Fun Things to Do in Ohio

African Safari Wildlife Park

African Safari Wildlife Park

Ohio is a fun state to explore with a lot of exciting things to do for the entire family. Explore beautiful natural landscapes, quaint little towns and interesting attractions like thrilling theme parks, wonderful museums and outdoor adventures that are unique to Ohio. “Whether you are venturing out with the family for the day or a weekend trip, there is no shortage of fun and enticing destinations throughout Ohio,” noted Victor Bierman an Ohio lawyer and business expert. To kick-start your adventure, here are seven family fun things to do in Ohio.

1. Kings Island

Located in Mason; Kings Island is one of Ohio’s most popular theme parks. Kings Island features what’s popularly known as, “The Beast” (a wooden roller coaster which offers one of the longest ride times on the planet). There are also many other thrilling roller coasters including, but not limited to; Planet Snoopy, The Banshee and the Firehawk. If your family likes adventure and speed, then Kings Island is the place for you.

2. Hocking Hills State Park

Hocking Hills State Park is one of the most scenic areas in Ohio. It’s also a hiker’s paradise with many amazing trails ranging from relatively easy trails which are appropriate for kids, to more challenging ones which cover steep terrains. Surrounding this magnificent park is Hocking State Forest which is great for rock climbing, horseback riding, rappelling and other exciting outdoor adventures.

3. The Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden

The Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Garden is the 2nd oldest zoo in the country, and welcomes more than 1.3 million visitors annually. It is home to more than 500 animal species like white lions, polar bears, and manatees, and over 3,000 plant species. The zoo is open all year round except on Christmas day.

4. The Greater Cleveland Aquarium

Located in the First Energy Powerhouse on the west bank of the Cuyahoga River, the Greater Cleveland Aquarium offers a captivating and family friendly experience with sea creatures from all over the world. This amazing aquarium features over 5,000 exotic creatures ranging from Great Lake Perch, to the more exotic lion fish, sea horses, glow in the dark jellyfish, sea anemones and crustaceans.

5. Amish Country Tour

Amish settlers first arrived in Ohio over 200 years ago and the state is home to the world’s largest Amish population. Spend the day in the city of Berlin in the heart of Amish Country and learn about their day-to-day life without modern conveniences. Taking a tour of the Amish Country is a great way to break from the rather hectic pace of our day to day lives, and enjoy the quite and peaceful way Amish families live. While you’re there you will have ample opportunity to shop for locally made Amish goods.

6. The African Safari Wildlife Park

Located near Port Clinton, the African Safari Wildlife Park is like driving through Africa. You’ll see a 100 acre preserve and enjoy watching and even feeding the wildlife from your car; the animals come right up to you, so you can roll down your window and feed them. Here, you’ll get to see a wide range of wildlife like giraffes, white zebras, alpaca, exotic giant eland (an open savannah antelope), water buffalos, and many more.

7. Winter Fest at Lock 3

Enjoy the winter holidays Ohio style at Winter Fest at Lock 3 in downtown Akron where there are plenty of fun and exciting activities for the entire family. Test your skills with indoor putt-putt golf; attend a holiday tree lighting ceremony, have a blast going down a reindeer run slide, and enjoy the welcome Santa parade, to name a few. Lock 3 also features Ohio’s largest outdoor ice skating rink and is one of the most popular destinations for ice skating in Northeast Ohio.

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Cleveland Wins $60M Federal Award to Spark Economic Growth

Economic growth in Cleveland Ohio

Investment in Cleveland is on the rise and Cleveland is poised for even greater heights. Cleveland Development Advisors (CDA) recently announced it has received a $60 million federal award to attract private investment and spark economic growth in the region. “It’s an exciting time for Cleveland and our region has made incredible strides over the last few years, but we certainly can’t stop there. The $60 million in federal tax credits will help us to continue this positive momentum well into the future,” said Joe Roman, CEO of the Greater Cleveland Partnership.

The city has been on an upward trajectory since its hosting of the Republican National Convention (RNC) and recent back-to-back professional sports championships. There is a lot of activity here and Clevelanders are excited. Whether its downtown or the suburbs, everywhere you look there is something going on. Last October for instance, a $60M mixed-use construction project began to revitalize the Ohio City neighborhood.

The New Markets Tax Credit (NMTC) program was signed into law as part of the Community Renewal Relief Act of 2000. The goal of this bi-partisan initiative was to inject economic development to facilitate urban renewal projects in low-income and distressed cities around the country.

As a result of the NMTC program, approximately 750,000 jobs were created nationwide over a nine-year span from 2003-2012. “Simply put New Market Tax Credits work. Previous allocations have leveraged more than $796 million in investment in the City of Cleveland resulting in more than 5,000 permanent jobs and 1,104 housing units,” noted Congresswoman Marcia L. Fudge (OH-11).

According to the CDA which is an affiliate of the Greater Cleveland Partnership, it is expected that this tax credit will result in hundreds of millions of dollars worth of new projects in the city. Cleveland has received these tax credits before and has put them to good use through the financing of more than thirty projects that have generated over 5,000 permanent jobs. Also, more than 1,000 residential units and 2.6 million square feet of commercial space was made possible through NMTC.

“As exciting as this federal award is, it is important to keep in mind that it is given to distressed cities. While Cleveland has made considerable progress, there is a long way to go before it is no longer on the distressed list,” said Victor J. Bierman III, Ohio lawyer and business expert. Through these types of public-private investments, Cleveland is well on its way to being recognized as the world class city it truly is.

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4 Surprising Facts about Ohio You Probably Didn’t Know


There is something about Ohio that you just don’t find anywhere else in the country. “Maybe it’s the high quality education, traditional mid-western values, or a little bit of both, but this state gives birth to some of the best and brightest talent in the nation in a range of disciplines,” noted Victor Bierman III, Ohio lawyer and business expert. Whether you live here or are planning a visit, here are four surprising facts about Ohio you probably didn’t know.

The birthplace of 7 U.S. Presidents

During a 54-year span from 1869 to 1923, 7 of our elected Presidents, all Republicans, were born in Ohio. That’s an astonishing fact!  Ulysses S. Grant (18th) born in Pt. Pleasant was the first President that was born in Ohio.  What you probably didn’t know is that he signed legislation that created Yellowstone National Park which is the nation’s first national park.

Then there was Rutherford B. Hayes (19th) Delaware, Ohio; James Garfield (20th) Moreland Hills, OH; Benjamin Harrison (23rd) North Bend, OH; William McKinley (25th) Niles, OH; William H. Taft (27th) Cincinnati, OH; and Warren G. Harding (29th) Blooming Grove, OH.

29 astronauts were born in Ohio

Ohio is not only the epicenter of American Politics; it is also a leading contributor to NASA’s space program with more than two dozen astronauts having been born in Ohio, including Neil Armstrong (Wapakoneta) and John Glenn, Jr. (Cambridge, OH). As you probably know, Armstrong was the first man to walk on the moon during the Apollo 11 mission in 1969. Meanwhile, Glenn was the first astronaut to orbit Earth. He also served as a U.S. Senator for 25 years from 1974 to 1999.

First professional sports team

In 1869, known as the Cincinnati Red Stockings, this baseball team of 9 players became the very first professional sports team in the U.S. According to the Reds website, the team won their first game against the Mutual’s of New York. The score was 17-8. In 1887, the team eventually changed its name to simply the Cincinnati Reds. The oldest franchise in Major League Baseball hosts home games at Great American Ballpark in downtown Cincinnati.

The NFL was founded in Ohio

Ohio has a long history of professional sports, but you probably didn’t know that the National Football League (NFL) was actually founded here. In the early 20th century, football was a young and growing sport.   After all, it wasn’t until the late 1870’s when the rules of American football were first written. So you can imagine the chaos of different teams interpreting rules differently. To bring organization and unity to the new sport, the American Professional Football Association was founded in Canton in 1920. Two years later the league changed its name to the National Football League (NFL). You can learn more about its exciting history at the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio.

Image Credit: NASA Glenn Research Center, Cleveland, Ohio

Cleveland Declared America’s Hottest City

Cleveland nightlife

On the backs of several prominent victories, Forbes contributor Peter Lane Taylor recently declared Cleveland “America’s Hottest City” and I couldn’t agree more. Sure, there is a trendy and thriving downtown nightlife. And yes, we’ve had some impressive wins with our major sports teams and we were even on the world stage hosting the RNC convention. But Cleveland’s greatest achievement is not just its recent victories that has helped put this great city back on the map, but the investment dollars that are hard at work revitalizing the city.

Like other major cities along the rust belt, the loss of manufacturing and related industries had taken its toll by the end of the 20th century.  Abandoned buildings throughout the city gave way to vandalism, graffiti and other criminal activity. But even has the population went into a steep decline, the city never lost hope and was determined to give itself a makeover, one neighborhood at a time.

One of those abandoned buildings was the once thriving Joseph & Feiss garment factory in the Stockyards neighborhood that closed in 1998. During Joseph & Feiss’s 150-year history it was one of Cleveland’s largest employers employing over 2,000 people at times. The old factory building was torn down, however, the 5-story office building remains on the site.   It was recently acquired by Menlo Park Academy in a $17 million project to redevelop the building as its new home. Menlo is an approved Cleveland Metropolitan School District (CMSD) partner, and is the only tuition-free community school in Ohio for K-8 gifted learners. Residents in Cleveland are given priority for admission. “We are excited about Menlo Park’s growth, which creates an expansion of opportunities for Cleveland’s gifted students,” said Stephanie Klupinski, J.D., Executive Director, CMSD Charter Schools.

Although Cleveland is still a work in progress, people are starting to move back into downtown. “So considering where Cleveland has been, to now being called the hottest city in America, is really a reflection of more than a decade of progress,” says Victor J. Bierman III, Ohio lawyer and business expert.Stay tuned. There is much more to come.

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More Jobs Coming to Ohio

Cleveland, Ohio

Make no mistake about it Ohio is on a tear. And there is even more good news for Ohioans to celebrate. Governor John R. Kasich recently announced that with the approval of several economic development projects, more jobs are coming to Ohio.  The six economic development projects are a result of the culminated efforts of several state agencies working together for Ohioans.

The projects were made possible through a tax credit from the Ohio Tax Credit Authority (OTCA) that reviewed proposals from JobsOhio and its regional partners. This effort will see the creation of 1,318 new jobs and retain 1,354 jobs throughout the state. These jobs are expected to generate $63 million in additional payroll revenue and $47 million in new investments. Some of the companies that will be adding employees include Magretech in Belleview which expects to create 35 full-time positions, Spirex Corporation in Austintown Township with 143 full-time positions and Medpace in Cincinnatti with 650 full-time positions, to name a few.

Also, more than 1,000 new jobs are expected to be coming to Dayton. The Miami Valley has been posting impressive job numbers lately ratcheting the jobless rate in that area down a notch to 4.6 percent, according to the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services.

And it was the result of hard work between JobsOhio, Team NEO, the Greater Cleveland Partnership (GCP) and the City of Brecksville that helped to bring Pison Steam Solutions to Northeast Ohio. “We’re pleased to work with our regional and local partners in bringing this investment and job-creation project to Greater Cleveland,” said Joe Roman, GCP President and CEO. The research and manufacturing facility is expected to add 130 jobs over the next three years generating an $8.5 million annual payroll. Pison chose Northeast Ohio due in part to its proximity to customers and suppliers along with an attractive real estate opportunity. This combined with a skilled local workforce sealed the deal.

As impressive as these job additions are, there is much more that needs to be done. As of September 2016, the preliminary unemployment rate in Ohio is 4.8 percent, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. This is up from 4.4 percent in October 2015, the lowest point of the year, but down from its highest point in June 2015 when the unemployment rate was 5.2 percent. “This illustrates the importance of the State of Ohio to continue working with local and regional leaders through public and private partnerships to bring jobs and prosperity to all corners of Ohio,” said Victor Bierman, Ohio lawyer and business expert.

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Tourism is Big Business in Ohio

Ohio tourist attractions

When thinking about tourist destinations, Ohio may not immediately come to mind. But tourism is big business in Ohio and its growing. According to a report released by TourismOhio, Ohio has been seeing a steady rise in the number of visitors in the last five years. In 2015, the state welcomed more than 207 million visitors, a healthy 14.4 percent increase since 2011. This has propelled Ohio tourism into a $42 billion industry.

“The rise in tourism has helped to significantly improve economic conditions throughout the state,” noted Victor J. Bierman III, Ohio lawyer and business expert. In fact, tourism-related jobs make up significant numbers in Ohio’s job market. Research shows that there is one tourism-related job for every 13 salaried jobs in Ohio, says Christine Pleva, Lima/Allen County Convention and Visitors Bureau executive director. For instance, in 2014, there were 412,000 tourism related jobs and now, there are 420,000 jobs, based on a survey conducted by TourismOhio.

So what’s driving these impressive tourism numbers? It’s a combination of in-state travelers, corporate meetings and conventions as well as visitors from nearby states. There are also a number of highly rated attractions in Ohio that visitors want to see. The incredibly popular Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in downtown Cleveland is a top draw. And visitors from around the world come to ride some of the world’s tallest and thrilling roller coasters at Cedar Point.

Ohio also boasts a number of highly rated museums including Cincinnati Museum Center, which is located in a historic 1930s art deco building, and the world-renowned Cleveland Museum of Art, which was founded in 1916. Other places like Fountain Square (Cincinnati), Franklin Park Conservatory and Botanical Garden, Wright Brothers National Memorial, Stan Hywet Hall and Garden, and Hocking Hills State Park are also contributing to the rise in tourism.

Ohio visitors are big spenders. As an example, the roughly 20 percent of visitors who stay in Ohio on an overnight trip will spend $354 on average during their stay.  Also, a recent TourismOhio survey discovered that over 70 percent of visitors are spending their money on “experiences” rather than on souvenirs.

In 2015, TourismOhio unveiled its new “Ohio. Find it here.” logo and slogan as part of its branding Ohio as a top tourist destination. Approximately, $6 million will be spent in 2016 to increase in-state tourism as well as attract visitors from nearby states.

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Cleveland Browns Feeling the Pressure for a Win This Season

Cleveland Browns fans

It was Stipe Miocic, Cleveland-based mixed martial artist and UFC Heavyweight Champion, who first put the city of Cleveland on quite the roll. Born in Euclid, Ohio in 1982, his success in May 2016 was quickly followed by a host of fortunes from the Lake Erie Monsters, the Cavs, and most recently, the Cleveland Indians. With these successes the pressure is on for the Cleveland Browns this season. The team is young, probably younger than most opponents in the NFL, and this has made the expectation even higher.

Although the team is far from its peak the high expectations for Cleveland is enough to inject the motivation that will help propel the Browns to greater heights. According to Sashi Brown, executive vice president for the Cleveland Browns, it takes time to develop and start winning titles just like it took the Indians and even the Cavs. So, with hard work, good organization and, of course, motivation, the Browns will undoubtedly make it. But the team is so far 0-8 for the season.  And with the season at its halfway mark, fans are hoping that they will turn things around soon.

The Browns hope that this pressure from the media and fans does not impact negatively on the players but rather the players become motivated by it. After all, there is nothing like the pressure of having won zero games. The players desperately want to win. They need a win. This season, the Browns added 14 players and went further to strategically sign veteran leaders through the free-agency period. Also, the team has an experienced head coach in Hue Jackson who is accustomed to working with young talents at the start of the season.

According to Jackson, there is no science in football; thus, every player should stay focused and the pressure around should not mess with their mindset. “They should strive to win every game and relieve some of the pressure emanating from the media and fans,” noted Victor Bierman, Ohio lawyer and business expert. The players understand their coach and know that it’s all about work once they step into the Cleveland Browns camp. With Jackson as their head coach and young talented players who are more than willing to deliver, the Browns have the tools to right the ship. At this point, fans are just hoping for a win.

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World Series Fever Hits Clevelanders Hard

Progressive Field in downtown Cleveland

Against all odds, the Cleveland Indians finally made into the World Series for the first time since 1997, after clipping the Toronto Blue Jays in a 3-0 victory to win the pennant in Game 5 of the ALCS Championship on October 19th.  The fact that the Indians are in the World Series has excitement running through the veins of practically every Clevelander. The town has gone wild. While some were cautiously optimistic, they soon found themselves in a state of euphoria after the team’s incredible season and performance.

The past seasons have not been so great for the Indians though; they have struggled a lot. However, things change and this year is theirs to win. The team is strong and spirits in the Cleveland camp are so high that fans are starting to believe the Indians could actually win the World Series. They believe this team is the one to watch because of their outstanding performance this season. This will be the 6th time the Indians have made it to the World Series in their 116-year history. So, the fans are more than happy and everyone in Cleveland wants to be part of the experience. “It’s pretty crazy because Cleveland Indians have had the worst luck since I can remember,” said Britni Alkassmi , 28, of Belpre.

It’s been 68 years since the Cleveland Indians last won the World Series title. But they are playing against the Chicago Cubs which is in a 108-year drought and are just as thirsty for a win. Regardless of who wins, the 2016 World Series is a historic event that will be remembered for a lifetime.

Having seen their team struggle and overcome all sorts of hurdles, Cleveland fans are smiling from ear to ear and share the optimism that the team projects.  In a season that seemed tainted has abruptly turned and many fans simply cannot believe it.

Although game tickets are expensive, fans are trying everything within their reach to get to be part of the experience. “For most, it is more than just watching a baseball game.  It is hometown pride in a city that has had its shares of struggles and is now resurging,” noted Victor J. Bierman III, Ohio lawyer and business expert. Cleveland is turning around for the better. Most Cleveland fans believe that this is the year that the Indians will bring it home.

And they’re off to a roaring start. In Game 1 of the World Series opener, the Indians shut down the Cubs in a 3-0 win at Progressive Field in Downtown Cleveland. If history proves correct, the Indians have a 92 percent chance of winning the title. So, the title is all but assured, right? Play ball!

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