The birthplace of Superman and the modern golf ball. Name that city! – November 6, 2019
We're hanging out at "America's north coast" aka "the 2-1-6", "the Rock and Roll capital of the world", and "the city of many nicknames!"
WHEELS DOWN: CLEVELAND
Cleveland: The Comeback Kid
Cleveland has had its share of highs and lows. The first high came during the peak years of American manufacturing, when it became a major industrial city. John D. Rockefeller founded Standard Oil there in 1870, and by the middle of the 20th century, Cleveland was one of the richest cities in the country. Then, as happened in many industrial towns, things started going downhill.
Manufacturing jobs disappeared, factories and businesses closed, and Cleveland’s economy declined. Its image suffered as well. Like that time the Cuyahoga River caught on fire. Actually, it wasn’t the first time, but this one got a lot of attention.
On the comeback trail
Revitalization was taking hold, bit by bit. City leaders focused on promoting Cleveland’s quality of life, punching up the positives—like its schools and universities, park system, recreational opportunities, cultural institutions, and expanding medical sector. There was a major effort to reduce pollution and reclaim riverfront and lakefront areas for public use. New businesses were launched, and cultural landmarks, like the grand old theaters of Playhouse Square, were rescued and renovated.
2016 was pivotal. David Gilbert, director of Destination Cleveland and the Greater Cleveland Sports Commission, described it at the time as a “fairy dust year.” The Cavaliers won the NBA championship (ending a 52-year professional sports drought), the city hosted the Republican National Convention and drew reputation-boosting accolades, and the Cleveland Indians made it to the World Series—a tremendous achievement, even though they ended up losing to the Chicago Cubs in an extra-inning game 7.
And the momentum has continued to build. Cleveland now boasts a growing economy, a healthy tourist industry, and a thriving startup ecosystem that’s drawing founders and funding from across the country.
The Cleveland Clinic, which ranks nationally in 15 adult specialties and nine pediatric specialties, attracts topnotch medical professionals and researchers. Its “culture of innovation” has led to key breakthroughs, from osteoporosis treatment to minimally invasive heart surgery to peanut allergy therapy.
The aforementioned Playhouse Square is the largest theater district in the US, except for Lincoln Center in NYC. It hosts Broadway productions, concerts, comedy shows, plays, dance performances, and children’s programs.
Sources: US Census Bureau; Zillow; BestPlaces
Erik Drost [CC BY 2.0]
Before we move on, you need to take a gander at The Cleveland Arcade, a magnificent Victorian treasure in the heart of downtown, replete with period wood paneling, ornamental ironwork and a massive glass skylight!
Opening in 1890, it is known as the "first indoor shopping center in America." It cost a paltry $875,000 to build, but was restored in 2001 for $60 million! How 'bout that?
Looks like a nice place for a wedding or a rock concert.
Missouri's Blue Ribbon Panel releases Hyperloop report
RichMacf [CC BY-SA 4.0)]
Imagine traveling from Kansas City to St. Louis—a distance of about 250 miles—in 30 minutes. You could theoretically enjoy a cold beer in the shadow of the arch before your carry-out Kansas City ribs get cold. That is the dream (the travel time, not the ribs) of Missouri officials who want to be the first to build a statewide hyperloop system.
A bipartisan “blue-ribbon panel” of Missouri political and business leaders has created a report calling for the exploration of the hyperloop, which could zip humans through a depressurized tube at 600 miles per hour. The proposed tubes would connect the cities of St. Louis, Columbia (home of the University of Missouri), and Kansas City along Interstate 70 and cost an estimated $7 to $10 billion. The report notes that the high price tag means the project would require private investment.
The payoff could be huge for the state, however. The report estimates a vast economic impact, the creation of thousands of jobs, a reduction of CO2 emissions, and a big reduction in traffic accidents. And, of course, bragging rights.
Crop protection firm's relocation another sign of area's agtech boom
Fresh off a $40 million haul in venture capital fundraising, Vestaron Corporation is moving its headquarters from Kalamazoo, MI, to Research Triangle Park, NC, “to be closer to the pulse of the U.S. crop protection industry.”
VC primarily focuses on the development of bioinsecticides, selling commercial products under the brand name Spear. CEO Anna Rath, who took the helm at VC 18 months ago, said, “The work Vestaron is conducting addresses three key points critical to the future of crop protection; controlling pests resistant to current products, environmental and worker safety concerns, and consumer mindfulness about how their food is produced.”
The 14-year-old company will maintain facilities in Kalamazoo for research and development, but the move to RTP positions the company well for continued growth in what Rath called a “revolutionary transition in crop protection.”
The team-building times they are a-changin'
Team building holds a hallowed place in the halls of corporate America. The thinking goes—build trust and loyalty through out-of-the-ordinary activities and exercises and enjoy the benefits of your employees' improved sense of belonging in the workplace. But as baby boomers age out of the workforce and more younger workers take their place, companies are looking for suitable upgrades in the team-building realm to cater to the interests and quirks of a changing workplace demographic.
Minnesota-based companies large and small have taken a keen interest in tailoring their extracurricular activities accordingly, turning to millennial-friendly experiences like ax throwing, escape room outings, and group cooking classes to improve employee retention, build camaraderie, and help identify natural leaders already on staff.
Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) adviser Rue Dooley noted, “These activities force us to use critical thinking, to be creative and innovative and to use our imaginations.”
The benefits are mutual and straightforward. Create meaningful shared experiences for employees and help reduce stress in the workplace while advancing basic business goals. Western National Insurance Group's Paul Grausam cited the positive impact several recent company outings have had on his staff, adding, “Fun shouldn't be a foreign concept.”
IN FLIGHT ENTERTAINMENT
It's ... Name that Flyover city!
Useless information that is strangely fascinating.
And now, the questions:
Click here for today's answers
Please click the button below to share stories and offer suggestions or comments