Mayor Jackson: Rise in poverty in Cleveland, other urban centers shows the need for continuing Community Benefits Agreements and education plan

The news that poverty is on the rise in Cleveland and in other urban centers across the country is not surprising. There are reports daily about the ongoing uncertainty in the economy and the need for more job creation throughout the United States. Here in Cleveland, I see the impact of poverty on the people I meet every day.

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This rise in poverty in urban centers like Cleveland only further underscores the need for us to continue to press forward with our community benefits approach to economic development and the transformation plan for Cleveland schools.

The Community Benefits model that I have created, in partnership with the business community, local contractors and community organizations, is designed to open the door to economic prosperity for everyone in Cleveland.  It provides a career path to the construction trades and increases contracting opportunities for small and medium-sized Cleveland companies.

The Cleveland Plan for Transforming Schools is the ultimate tool for battling poverty. By ensuring an excellent education for every child, we will be arming them with the skills and information they need to be successful and build careers. Implementation is underway and I am confident that we will see dramatic results over the next three years.

These two key plans will have an impact on poverty in our community in the long-term.  But I know that today too many people are suffering from the effects of poverty. I want the people of Cleveland to know that I will continue to work for them every day to empower them and to help them rise out of poverty.

–Mayor Frank G. Jackson, City of Cleveland