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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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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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

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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Ohio to Train Workforce to Meet Future Job Market Demand

Ohio State Capitol building

In an effort to train Ohio’s workforce to take full advantage of future job market demands, Governor John Kasich recently announced a new workforce initiative asking his Executive Workforce Board to “find ways to remove barriers to training and employment opportunities for Ohioans.” He asked the board to bring recommendations to him within ninety days. “We need a workforce system and education system that can respond to the changes and develop a skilled and productive workforce to compete in a global economy,” said Ryan Burgess, the governor’s director of the Office of Workforce Transformation.

In a study conducted by OhioMeansJobs, 100,000 jobs are available on a consistent basis. But, at the same time, around 300,000 people are unemployed, according to state unemployment data. It’s because of these statistics that Gov. Kasich has instructed his Executive Workforce Board to search for ways to do away with barriers that prevent people of Ohio from landing these jobs. Gov. Kasich wants Ohioans to have the necessary skills that Ohio companies need, so they can be absorbed in the job market. And these skills, according to the Governor, can effectively be acquired through training.

The Executive Workforce Board is planning to work with colleges, schools and universities, as well as non-profit organizations and labor groups. The main objective of the board will be to determine the skills that individuals need today and in the future.

Burgess leads a strong Executive Workforce Board team of 28 members who are educators, business leaders, legislators, and labor leaders. Although Ohio has been consistently increasing the number of available jobs, Gov. Kasich wants to make sure that current and future employees are prepared to meet the companies’ ever-changing working requirements. Recent years have seen employers and educators carry out various initiatives to help equip workers with basic skills needed by companies in Ohio.

Given the fact that Ohio has been adding jobs on a consistent basis means the state currently has numerous jobs available. “But there are just not enough people with the required skills to fill these vacant positions,” said Victor Bierman III, Ohio lawyer and business expert. “Considering the quality of training the Governor wants to develop, Ohio workers will not just have the experience and expertise to perform in current jobs but also the ability to meet future job market demands.”

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Ohio High School Football Prepares Youth for the Big Leagues

Friday Night Lights

High school football is one of the most popular interscholastic sports. It began in the late 19th century; the same period when many college programs began. In the late 19th and early 20th century, many college and high school teams started to play against each other; what later came to be referred to as “Friday Night Lights”.

In fact, high school football is generally considered to be a 3rd tier, behind both college and the NFL. This is where a player accumulates the statistics and life skills that will determine his chances of competing at the college level, and ultimately the professional level.

While Florida, Texas, and California lead in producing top talent, another state that is notable for producing talented football players is Ohio, particularly northeast Ohio. For the past decade, Ohio has been injecting new blood into the NFL with its talented players. Great players like Desmond Howard of St. Joseph, Tom Cousineau of St. Edward and Stow’s Larry Csonka have all passed through northeast Ohio.

So, what’s the secret ingredient? According to team coaches from northeast Ohio, commitment and hard work are the first in line. The goal is to make sure that all players possess these two important virtues, because according to them, it is the key to enhancing their skills and abilities, both on and off the field. “One of my most rewarding experiences in life has been my time spent in coaching,” said Victor Bierman III, lawyer, Ohio business expert and former coach of Southern Hills Youth Football. “I have had the fortunate opportunity to coach and teach players, my son included, about valuable life experiences through the game of football for many years.”

Beaming with such talented athletes, high school football in northeast Ohio is fascinating to watch. The game is mostly enjoyed on Friday nights when the stadiums are well lit. According to Victor Bierman IV, a senior at Brecksville High School’s Class of 2017 and captain of the Bees Varsity Football Team, “Playing football has taught me a lot about hard work, dedication and leadership. I am very fortunate to have worked with great coaches over the years. I truly feel that an invaluable lesson I have learned as a player is how to help my team overcome adversity on the field when it really matters.”

A large crowd, including alumni, students and parents gathered under the Friday night lights for the Brecksville opening game against Padua on August 26th and enjoyed their first victory.  With a current record of 5-0, the undefeated team is well underway for a championship season.

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The Republican National Convention Was Good for Business in Cleveland

The Republican National Conventional was good for business in Cleveland

Some could say that the city of Cleveland, Ohio was re-born two years ago when the city was chosen to host the 2016 Republican National Convention (RNC). While city leaders were excited and knew they were laying the foundation for a better Cleveland, there were those who had their doubts. Some went as far to suggest that it would lead to violence and mayhem. This, in fact, was just a smokescreen. Fortunately, for Cleveland it pushed against all odds and the RNC became one of the most successful political conventions in U.S. history. As a result, the city benefited immensely both economically and socially.

“It came off incredibly well,” said David Hertz, current managing director of Dix & Eaton, and former Pulitzer Prize-winning editor for the Akron Beacon Journal. “The party’s not over; it’s just beginning,” he added. Nevertheless, making this a success and turning things around required each and every person from Cleveland to work toward the same goal, as noted by Hertz, “The city and its people did a spectacular job and made sure that this happened; congratulations to everyone.” As Hertz puts it, Cleveland was hungrier because the last time they hosted a political convention was in 1936, so they were more than ready to get the best from this year’s convention.

Hertz read from a July 29, 2016 letter that the president and CEO of the Cleveland 2016 Host Committee, David Gilbert wrote to the Plain Dealer holding that Cleveland did not just host the Republican National Convention; it knocked it out of the park as well. According to Gilbert, the convention pumped in around $200 million into Cleveland’s economy. It also accelerated essential civic projects as well as elevated how Cleveland is viewed by the world and how its residents view themselves. After the 2016 convention, a lot of positive stories about Cleveland started cropping up. The city got universal praise from delegates, the media, and other guests. It also had many people planning to relocate, invest or visit it mainly because it has convention experiences.

“The city of Cleveland is now the place to be, and investors are scrambling for opportunities here; something that will continue to greatly improve Cleveland’s economy,” noted Victor Bierman, Ohio lawyer and business expert.

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Ohio State University Ranked as Top College in State

Ohio State UniversitySince its founding in 1870, Ohio State University (OSU) has been doing everything it takes to climb and remain at the top. It’s focused on providing high quality education and ensuring that students have unforgettable experiences during their time here. This commitment to excellence shined through when the U.S. News & World Report ranked it the top public university in Ohio in its annual “America’s Best Colleges” rankings in 2015. In addition to being ranked as the top college in the state, OSU is #16 among the best public universities in the nation.

And just recently, the Associated Press (AP) declared that Ohio State University, home of the Buckeyes, has the greatest football team ever. The AP has been ranking college football teams since 1936.

Of the 200 private and public institutions rated, Ohio State University was #52 overall, up from #54 in 2015. In fact, a new ranking of online degree programs ranked Ohio State in the top 10 among 142 schools that offer online programs. “We are thrilled that our academic reputation continues to rise and we remain an affordable and outstanding education for future generations,” said Michael V. Drake, President of Ohio State University. U.S. News & World Report ranks universities and schools based on alumni contributions, graduation and retention rates, financial resources, undergraduate academic reputation, student selectivity, and faculty resources.

Going by the rankings, Ohio State meets all these attributes. In fact, it’s believed that the university climbed to the top because of its ability to combine high quality education with affordability. Despite maintaining an 83-percent graduation rate and a 20-year net ROI of $360,000, the university’s annual net cost is far below the state average. “Having lived in Ohio for over 19 years and getting to know many parents and students who have been involved in the experience of an Ohio State education, including my daughter who is a Sophomore at OSU, I am firm believer that it is one of the best public universities in the country at a tremendous in-state tuition value,” said Victor Bierman, Ohio lawyer and business expert.

Offering such a huge array of graduate programs through its highly ranked Max M. Fisher College of Business, College of Education and Human Ecology, Michael E. Moritz College of Law, College of Engineering, and College of Medicine, Ohio State is undoubtedly one of the best educational institutions. These programs include learning communities, undergraduate research, and first-year experience, and they are put in place to help students succeed.

But it’s not just an extremely high quality education that OSU offers; it also ensures a high quality and interactive student life experience. This is accomplished through various curriculum and co-curriculum programs such as student organizations and athletic programs. Offering high quality education and being ranked among the best in co-curricular activities, Ohio State University will continue to provide an enriching learning experience.

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Cleveland Scores Big with NBA Championship

Quicken Loans Arena Cleveland

After years of urban decay and neglect, Cleveland is making a well-deserved and long overdue comeback. And with the recent Cavaliers’ NBA championship victory for the first time in franchise history, the city seems to be on an unstoppable trajectory of growth.

Cleveland is alive and thriving again. For the first time in years, you can feel the energy and excitement beaming around town. Consumers are coming back to downtown Cleveland. Businesses are opening again. Residents are moving back in. It’s now the place to see and be seen in Northeast Ohio.

It is estimated that over $6B in new investment has poured in to the city in the last six years and approximately 3,000 new jobs created in the last three years. This has helped to reverse the trend of residents leaving the city. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the estimated Cleveland population in 2015 was 388,072. This is down slightly from 2012 estimates of 390,928 residents. If this trend continues, the city’s population could easily top the 400K mark by the next official census in 2020.

Even more impressive is the area welcomed its largest increase in employment in 2015 with the addition of 23,000 jobs to the area, based on a report published by the Levin College of Urban Affairs at Cleveland State University.

The crown jewel of downtown Cleveland was the recent completion of the Public Square renovation project. Not only is this an open-space that brings the city together, it has become a symbol of civic pride.  In addition, the park has spurred a number of residential and commercial development projects. Major employers including IBM and New York Life have created hundreds of new jobs. Retailers have expanded or opened up shop around the square. The old East Ohio Gas Building has been renovated and is now a prime residential complex. With apartment occupancy hovering at 96 percent, hundreds of new units are planned to come online downtown in the near future.

But perhaps downtown’s most important and vital redevelopment project is the renovation of 200 Public Square. Soaring 45 stories it is one of the tallest buildings in Cleveland.  When the renovation is complete, this location will undoubtedly be one of the most prestigious downtown addresses. And Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse is expected to open in the space later this year.

Not surprisingly, Millennials are helping to fuel the growth in downtown Cleveland. The Downtown Cleveland Alliance reports that the area ranks 8th, along with Miami and Seattle, among college educated 25-34 year-olds. “Downtown is particularly attractive to millennials. There is plenty of green space, exciting shopping and dining options, and a vibrant nightlife and two professional sports venues outside their door,” said Victor J. Bierman III, Ohio lawyer and business expert. “Downtown Cleveland is fast becoming an exciting city to live, work and play.”

Image Credit: Erik Drost | Flickr