University Economic Development Association

LGBTQ-focused Regional Hub Development with Cleveland State University!

UEDA celebrates LGBT Pride Month as we feature the Center for Economic Development (CED) at Cleveland State University, and its partnership with Studio West 117. Since its founding, CED operates as a community resource with professional staff practicing engaged learning, scholarship, and research. The majority of CED’s client-centered work is done in partnership with the community. From project conceptualization to inquiry response, CED utilizes a consultant model and serves as the on-the-ground research partner for its external organizations seeking assistance, aiming to meet their needs.Studio West 117 (SW117), an LGBTQ+ regional hub that brings together various establishments for people and place-based economic development. Based in the west side of Cleveland and Lakewood Suburbs, it aims to build LGBTQ+ neighborhoods from the ground up by bringing establishments together such as housing, entrepreneurship incubators, coworking spaces, gyms, LGTBQ-owned businesses, and community gathering spaces. SW117 utilizes a wraparound service model as it represents a convergence of community and economic development– the first of its kind in Ohio.SW117 reached out to CED to conduct a needs assessment towards developing a critical health services component for its constituents. Both organizations are currently in the proposal and development stage to negotiate project features such as scope, parameters, and duration. While a number of development programs and construction have already taken place within the regional hub, establishing health providers in SW117 meant accessible healthcare for neighborhood residents. CED’s needs assessment would help SW117 identify service gaps and engage hospital systems in coordinating a healthcare talent pipeline that would increase provider capacity.CED’s needs assessment for SW117 presents a bright future for the Cleveland metropolitan area and beyond. Additional goals include creating a function towards researching LGBTQ health, which would support future education and training of health providers. The next step after the needs assessment plans to explore developing a pipeline of doctors servicing the LGBTQ+ community. CED perceives these efforts as long-term development opportunities that can create research in other LGBTQ+ aspects of economic development, such as entrepreneurship and incubator space. With the help of an EDA University Center, SW117 approaches a future as a shining example of a wraparound regional hub model to be replicated by communities everywhere.For More Information about the Center for Economic Development, click here.To check out Studio West 117’s website, click here.