News & Announcements

Cleveland State University to Become “Talent Pipeline” for State Initiative Linking Cleveland’s Medical and Health Care Leaders 

Cleveland Innovation District partners will collaborate to bring investments, research dollars and jobs to Northeast Ohio 

CLEVELAND (January 25, 2021) – Governor Mike DeWine and JobsOhio announced today that Cleveland State University (CSU) will be the lead public higher education partner in a five-member consortium focused on making Northeast Ohio and the state more attractive to business and more competitive regionally, nationally and globally in the burgeoning healthcare and IT sectors. Cleveland State will be joined by The Cleveland Clinic, University Hospitals, The MetroHealth System and Case Western Reserve University in a $565-million collaboration focused on research, technology, emerging biological threats, epidemiology and training and talent development in STEM education.  

As part of the collaboration, CSU will receive a significant share of the $110 million JobsOhio investment to establish and lead a Public Health & Education Institute that will include a Higher Education Pathway Initiative to jobs across the region. Through this initiative, CSU is tasked with recruiting, educating and graduating the skilled talent needed to fuel growth in post-pandemic health care careers, emerging technologies, life sciences and data-intensive fields. Put simply, CSU’s mission is to increase the number of four-year degrees awarded to strategically match the demand from employers. 

“We are thrilled to be joining Cleveland’s most respected health care leaders in this transformational partnership,” said Cleveland State University President Harlan Sands. “As the largest producer in the state of four-year college graduates who live and work in Northeast Ohio, CSU is uniquely equipped to grow and prepare talent this program will need. We welcome the accountability that is central to this partnership and the confidence the state has placed in us to deliver the workforce that our partners and other businesses throughout the region are counting upon.”

The educational component of this partnership aims to create talent to fill over 20,000 new jobs over the next 10 years as part of a new Cleveland Innovation District, built upon a collaborative response to the pandemic from the five partner institutions. Partners will be using their collective experience and individual expertise to create a long-term strategy to improve health care, advance research, create job growth and produce highly skilled talent that will drive economic growth. The projected economic impact to Cleveland and Ohio is expected to be around $3 billion.

Approximately 80 percent of CSU graduates remain in Northeast Ohio, creating a talent pipeline with expertise and skills that align with high-demand fields. The Cleveland Innovation District initiative will enable CSU to increase the number of higher education degrees, certificates, adult learning opportunities and virtual education programming in key STEM fields. The university is also committed to growing existing internships and cooperative education opportunities to better connect students with regional employers. Additionally, CSU will invest in building classrooms, teaching labs, residence halls and research to support this innovative partnership. 

“Many of the students we serve are underrepresented minorities, first-generation college students or those who work multiple jobs to support their families,” said President Sands. “Education is the great equalizer and urban research universities have a special role to play in filling the talent gap. In fact, it is core to our mission.  Cleveland and our state get a double win with this partnership – the talent pipeline needed to support and sustain our region, and promising careers for our graduates.”

More information about the Cleveland Innovation District can be found here.


About Cleveland State University
Founded in 1964, Cleveland State University is a public research institution that provides a dynamic setting for Engaged Learning. With nearly 16,000 students, ten colleges and schools and more than 175 academic programs, CSU was again chosen for 2021 as one of America’s best universities by U.S. News & World Report, including the #1 public university in Ohio for social mobility. Find more information at