The Cleveland Foundation in 2005 convened the Greater University Circle Initiative (GUCI), a gathering of large local anchor 42 | A New Anchor Mission institutions—such as Case Western Reserve University, University Hospitals, and Cleveland Clinic—with the goal of revitalizing the disadvantaged neighborhoods that surround University Circle. As a neutral convener, the foundation was able to bring fiercely competitive institutions together. With a slogan of “buy local, live local, hire local,” the GUCI has stimulated hundreds of millions of dollars of new investments and hundreds of new jobs for residents of low-income neighborhoods. The network of Evergreen Cooperatives was one result, as was a workforce training center (NewBridge), an employer-assisted housing program (Greater Circle Living) and a robust community engagement initiative (Neighborhood Connections). The foundation has also funded two staff people at the City of Cleveland to focus on sustainability and wealth building issues and has taken the unusual step of placing a Director of Economic Development on its staff.
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