Health Care Industry Positioned To Benefit Region's Future

Photo Courtesy Team NEO & Cleveland Plus Business
Photo Courtesy Team NEO & Cleveland Plus Business

Health care employment in an 18-county area that includes Cleveland grew 20 percent since 2000 - even as other industries contracted during the Great Recession, according to the latest quarterly report by Team NEO.

But the business advocacy group's leader, Tom Waltermire, says it's not the job growth that is most noteworthy from their latest study. It's work being done behind the scenes largely at the region's health care giants, the Clinic and University Hospitals.

"These institutions are also major economic development engines because they are inventing new technologies. And new technology is the lifeblood of a growing economy," Waltermire says.

Since 2000, the region's medical institutions and universities have nearly doubled their research spending and obtained 700 new patents, according to the report.

"That leads to new companies being formed, and new companies means new jobs and those companies are selling their products all over the world and that's what creates an economic driver," Waltermire says.

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