A local corporate giant that's about to celebrate its one hundredth birthday is joining in the party for another area centenarian. ideastream’s David C. Barnett has more on General Electric’s long relationship to Northeast Ohio.
Just about a hundred years ago, the General Electric Company set-up their world lighting headquarters on the grounds of a former vineyard in East Cleveland.
They named this new corporate campus after the National Electric Lamp Association --- N-E-L-A --- and it's been known as Nela Park ever since.
GE Lighting CEO Maryrose Sylvester announced Thursday that the company plans to donate advanced LED technology developed at Nela Park to light-up the tower and surrounding grounds of Cleveland’s West Side Market, which hits the 100 mark in November.
Sylvester said the gift was evidence of the company’s long-standing commitment to Greater Cleveland. In a time when many area businesses have either shut down or left the region, she says GE Lighting plans to stay put.
MARYROSE SYLVESTER: This is our roots, our history. If you look around Nela Park, you could never replace this anywhere else. This is the first industrial park in America.
East Cleveland Mayor Gary Norton says that industrial park is an important corporate citizen.
GARY NORTON: They are the largest employer in the city of East Cleveland, by far. And an employer like this is important, not only because we have GE Lighting's international headquarters here, but because they make financial contributions through taxes and their employees buy lunch and all sorts of other things in the area, so it's a wonderful local economic impact.
At the Thursday announcement, GE also laid out plans to donate new street lighting for Cleveland's Public Square, and to co-sponsor a four-year scholarship to Case Western Reserve University for a graduate of the city's Science, Technology, Engineering and Math high school.