Elevate Greater Akron is an economic development plan for the Greater Akron area.

Blue and white logo that says Elevate Greater Akron

This initiative is the product of a first-ever collaboration between four entities: County of Summit, City of Akron, Greater Akron Chamber, and GAR Foundation, who came together to create a transformative, high-functioning and collaborative economic development system for Akron. Each entity, in addition to other key partners and stakeholders, plays a unique and critical role in the execution of this initiative. The initiative is informed by extensive market research, local interviews, and insights from emerging practices in peer cities. Today, the  focus of this initiative is to embrace the new fundamentals of economic development – getting back to what works and working together to grow the region.


The focus of Elevate Greater Akron is to transform the culture of economic development, expand opportunity for all residents, and position the Akron region on a new trajectory in an era of rapid global change.


There are five strategies that Elevate Greater Akron is pursuing that address small- and middle-market business growth:

New Approach to Business Retention and Expansion
Strategy Lead: Jason Dodson | Consultant, Summit County

Goal: Focus on increasing competitiveness of scale-up and mid-market businesses.

Opportunity Akron
Strategy Lead: Robert DeJournett | VP, Opportunity & Inclusion, Greater Akron Chamber

Goal: Be highly intentional in ensuring that Akron’s Black population is positioned to engage in, and share the benefits of regional growth and prosperity.

Spark Akron
Strategy Lead: Heather Roszcyk | Innovation & Entrepreneurship Advocate, City of Akron

Goal: Support Akron’s innovation, entrepreneurs, and startup potential.

Refocus on Urban Centers
Strategy Lead: Adele Dorfner Roth |Director of Development, Office of Integrated Development, City of Akron

Goal: Prioritize the development in, and growth to, downtown Akron and other job hubs.

Elevate Greater Akron
Strategy Lead: Steve Millard | President & CEO, Greater Akron Chamber

Goal: Establish a unified culture of economic development.

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