Budish Launches Neighborhood Surge Program Aimed at Transforming the County’s Disadvantaged Communities

Press Release: Office of the Cuyahoga County Executive

Pilot Program to Start in Cleveland’s Central Neighborhood

CUYAHOGA COUNTY, OH – On May 20, during his sixth State of the County Address, Cuyahoga County Executive Armond Budish announced the launch of the Cuyahoga County Neighborhood Surge program, a new initiative designed to transform the County’s underprivileged, most in need communities by pouring concentrated resources into a selected neighborhood to help lift it up across all areas. The County is proposing to begin the Neighborhood Surge program in Cleveland’s Central neighborhood.

“Our first step with the Neighborhood Surge program is to get input from residents and community leaders in a specific community. Together, based on their priorities, we will come up with a holistic plan to address their needs,” said Cuyahoga County Executive Armond Budish. “For a period of one year, we will actively concentrate our programs on that community, working to lift up the residents and businesses so that they can get the support they need to thrive. We cannot reach our fullest potential when segments of our community are left behind. By transforming the areas most in need, we can improve the lives of all County residents.”

In partnership with former Cleveland Councilwoman Phyllis Cleveland, new Cleveland Councilwoman Delores Gray, and County Council President Pernel Jones, Jr., the County will begin the Surge program in Central neighborhood and allocate resources across several key areas, including job creation, small business supports, enhanced community services, and bridging the digital divide.

The County, along with Ohio Means Jobs, Burten, Bell, Carr Development, Inc., and Cleveland Metropolitan Housing Authority will train Central residents for in-demand jobs. The County will also dedicate a portion of its summer job positions for youth in Central.

Funding for the program will also support the preparation of vacant sites to be shovel-ready for development, which will create new jobs for neighborhood residents and enhance desired community services.

The County will work with its small business assistance partners, the Economic Community Development Institute (ECDI), the National Development Council, JumpStart, and the Urban League of Greater Cleveland to support existing businesses in the area and foster entrepreneurship among residents.

Additionally, the County will work with other government agencies receiving American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds to increase internet coverage by up to 70 percent for Central residents.

The Surge program will also focus resources on road improvements, providing financial literacy and job coaching programs, and enhancing the Central neighborhood by including it in the tree planting initiative.