How I Spent My Summer: Michael Elliott

Michael Elliott

Michael Elliott

A good question determines the quality of the answer given and helps to uncover the underlining issues of a problem or challenges we will face in our particular fields. This has been my approach in life and it has served me very well in gaining new insight as a problem solver.

Each week the Cleveland Foundation interns have the opportunities to meet powerful and influential leaders within the nonprofit and government sectors. What better way to understand the vision and direction of our cities leaders than to ask effective questions? The ability to ask thoughtful questions, demonstrates to leaders that you are thinking critically and you are intellectually engaged. Most times these exchanges lead emerging leaders to networking and new career opportunities.

With over eight years working within the private sector and three years within the nonprofit sector, this opportunity with the City of Cleveland Economic Development Department will provide another perspective in a well-rounded public servant. I am pleased with what this department is doing. The 17 individuals that make up the small but influential department are working hard to attract, retain and expand existing business that will provide tax revenue for the city to deliver superior services and increase the quality of life for its citizens. This fast-paced environment “…moves at the speed of business…” (the director’s words to me) and the number of city projects that have been completed thus far, illustrates this point.

My project focuses on the analysis of Cleveland’s fiscal returns on business and community investments over the last five years. Job creation and tax revenue generated (income, property, and sales) are just a couple of ways the city determines return on investment metrics. During this time with the City, I hope to identify other measures that will aid in providing a comprehensive analysis of the city’s investment efforts.

Each week we use this space to give each of our interns the chance to reflect on their internship experiences. Michael Elliott, a graduate student from Cleveland State University, has been placed at the City of Cleveland (Department of Economic Development). Michael will design a data collection process, analyze data on City‐funded projects and identify alternative benefits of the projects.