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NEO SOJO is a team of news outlets including WKSU passionate about news and information, amplifying the voices of those often unheard, and changing the narrative about our communities.

What Should Northeast Ohio's Economic Recovery Look Like? Share Your Input

Cleveland skyline

Northeast Ohio’s economy has suffered setback after setback in recent decades. There was the loss of major industrial players which led to the American rust belt decline. Then there was the 2008-2009 recession. And finally, the pandemic.

While other parts of the country suffered from these events, places like Cleveland and Akron have had a harder time rebounding, said Emily Campbell, associate director for the Center for Community Solutions in Cleveland.

“The other parts of the country recover much faster and much more completely than Northeast Ohio does,” Campbell said. “Our communities, and especially the city of Cleveland, continue to have higher rates of poverty and higher unemployment than the rest of the country.”

That’s why the Northeast Ohio Solutions Journalism Collaborative (NEO SoJo) will soon embark on a year-long reporting project on the region’s economic recovery from the pandemic.

What works? What doesn't?
We want to highlight the unique problems this region faces as it tries to build a better economic future for all, not just for a privileged few. And we want to play a part in that story too, by engaging with the community; by highlighting tales of success; and by finding what’s working elsewhere, to see what solutions in other cities might also work here.

To start off our new year of coverage on the right foot, we’re embarking on a listening tour. You can help by taking our short survey assessing your community’s needs. Or, you can meet us at one of our upcoming events.

Our next one is a listening session on what YOUR concerns are regarding economic development and the environment in your neighborhood, in partnership with MetroHealth and The Land. Here are the details:

When: Sat., Aug. 28, 10-11:30 am (Check-in/refreshments 9:30-10)
Where: MetroHealth courtyard, 2500 MetroHealth Drive
Sign up here.

We’d also like to meet people where they are, so, if you have an event coming up where we could discuss the topic of economic recovery, we’d love to hear from you! Please email NEO SoJo Project Coordinator Sharon Broussard.

NEO SoJo is a group of 18 news outlets in Cleveland, Akron and Kent working together to cover our region from the lens of solutions journalism. We spent the last year covering our communities’ response to COVID-19’s major impact on marginalized people, whether that be how Cleveland pivoted its strategy to house unsheltered people; how local churches leveraged their trust with the community to get people vaccinated; or exploring the gaps in aid people received for things like rent and utility bills.

Don’t forget to follow NEOSOJO on Twitter and Facebook to keep up-to-date on our latest stories and upcoming events.

Updated: August 9, 2021 at 1:59 PM EDT
This story has been updated.
Conor Morris is a corps member with Report for America, assigned to the Northeast Ohio Solutions Journalism Collaborative.