Gov. DeWine, fresh off COVID exposure, visits Cleveland to discuss ‘great’ Innovation District progress


CLEVELAND, Ohio (WJW) – Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine attended his first public event in Cleveland after canceling several appearances due to his COVID-19 exposure.

The governor’s office announced last Wednesday that, while they were testing negative, Gov. DeWine and First Lady Fran DeWine had been exposed to two staff members who had tested positive for COVID-19.

The governor was at the Health Education Campus of Case Western Reserve and Cleveland Clinic Monday with Lt. Gov. Jon Husted and JobsOhio President and CEO J.P. Nauseef to offer an update on the progress of the Cleveland Innovation District.

The program, which is a $565 million investment the governor’s office says will create 20,000 jobs in 10 years, was launched in January of 2021.

The Innovation District involves the following Cleveland groups working together: Cleveland Clinic, University Hospitals, the MetroHealth System, Case Western Reserve University and Cleveland State University. And DeWine said he spoke with the leaders of these five institutions Monday and was pleased with their progress thus far.

“Their report was great,” he said in a speech (seen in the video above).

As an example, DeWine said “Cleveland Clinic has filled 300 new jobs already towards a seven year commitment of 1,000 jobs created at the Clinic directly related to the Cleveland innovation District.”

The bulk of the project’s funding is going to Cleveland Clinic’s new Global Center for Pathogen Research and Human Health.

A timeline for the construction of the center has still not been announced – although the Clinic has opened the Cleveland Clinic BioRepository, the first building specifically made for the Innovation District, and partnered with IBM to lay the technology groundwork for the center.

The center is expected to eventually be adjacent to the Cleveland Clinic campus.

“The Cleveland Innovation District will play an essential role in attracting and retaining STEM graduates who will make Ohio a global leader in developing life-saving research and treatments worldwide,” DeWine said Monday. “The advancements made here will bolster Ohio’s healthcare and IT sectors and be a magnet for fast-growing companies seeking the talent and innovations that will bring high paying, long-term jobs to Northeast Ohio.”

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