NO CAR, NO JOB.
NO JOB, NO CAR.

Can you solve The Transportation Paradox?

$1 Million

In Support Available.

Through The Paradox Prize, The Fund for Our Economic Future, the National Fund for Workforce Solutions, Greater Cleveland Partnership, The Lozick Family Foundation, and DriveOhio are seeking to invest in big ideas to improve the mobility of Northeast Ohioans stranded economically by their geography. Your idea will help residents connect to tens of thousands of open positions with paths to family-sustaining wages.

The Paradox Prize is about solving chicken-or-the-egg-type challenges to transform lives and Northeast Ohio’s economy.

How we got here is

why they can’t
get there

For decades, industrial, commercial and residential development has migrated outward, but there has been no net increase in jobs or population to substantiate the regional spread. The result: Jobs are farther and farther away from where people live, which creates a disconnect between people and the economy. This disconnect has real costs: People spend more time and money commuting, if they can get to a job at all; businesses struggle to fill open positions; municipalities spend on infrastructure to support new development while having to maintain the underutilized assets left behind; and our environment suffers as air quality declines due to long, car-based commutes. Ultimately, our regional economy loses its competitive edge.

“My car broke down and I had to choose between walking to work or to my daughter’s daycare. I chose daycare and lost my job.”

“My car broke down and I had to choose between walking to work or to my daughter’s daycare. I chose daycare and lost my job.”

Jess
Single Father, Works 2 Jobs
“We may be missing out on top talent simply because individuals without access to transportation won’t apply for positions outside their immediate area.”

“We may be missing out on top talent simply because individuals without access to transportation won’t apply for positions outside their immediate area.”

Ina
HR Exec at Fortune 500 Company

Note: These stories are fictional but based on interviews with actual Northeast Ohio workers and employers.

Incentivizing
Breakthroughs

Transforming lives and Northeast Ohio’s economy

The mission of this inaugural challenge for The Paradox Prize is to inspire innovations through an open call for ideas aimed at generating sustainable solutions that will eradicate the ‘no car, no job; no job, no car’ paradox in Northeast Ohio.

How does the Paradox Prize work?

Anyone with a good idea can apply. We’ll grant funding (awards will range from $20,000 to $100,000, depending on the needs and potential impact of each project) as well as technical assistance to help further develop early-stage concepts. We will be reviewing applications through a series of deadlines and will award funding or technical assistance in rounds until funding is exhausted. We expect to do three rounds in 2019. (See the timeline for more details.)

If your idea is not yet ready for implementation, we’re here to work with you. Please refer to the timeline below for opportunities to meet with Fund for Our Economic Future staff and to discuss your proposal and connect with potential partners.

Experiencing a transportation challenge and don’t know quite what to do? Let’s talk! We can connect you with others who may be in a similar situation, explore potential partners to work with, and help shape ideas that may be considered for technical assistance or funding in a future round of The Paradox Prize. Email us at paradoxprize@thefundneo.org.

Ready to submit? Enter The Paradox Prize here. You will be asked for a 300-word summary of the transportation challenge you’re trying to address, a proposed solution, and potential partners you’ll work with in the process. Those with the most promising ideas will be selected as finalists and be asked to present a business plan before our Advisory Committee that meets the following criteria.

How to win the Paradox Prize

Winning solutions must be:

  • Connected to jobs We are seeking to improve the mobility of Northeast Ohio’s workforce through The Paradox Prize. The goal is more people accessing or keeping good jobs.
  • Connected to the local place The Transportation Paradox is an urban, suburban and rural challenge. Solutions should make sense in the context of the local place (e.g., density, existing assets); those that work in urban environments may be different from ones that work in rural environments.
  • Simple, practical and easy to use Winning solutions will be user-friendly, i.e., easy to access and manage.
  • Affordable for users and
    financially sustainable beyond
    the pilot
    Winning solutions will be financially accessible for users. Partners in the pilot will demonstrate commitment to its success and have a clear idea of potential paths to financial sustainability.
  • Measurable and demonstrate
    impact for low-income
    communities and people of color
    We know those most affected by The Transportation Paradox are living in communities of economic distress and are disproportionately people of color. Winning solutions will disproportionately benefit these communities.
  • Considerate and respectful Winning solutions will demonstrate a deep understanding of the issue and the people and businesses affected by it.
  • a Additionally, we will prioritize proposals that:
  • Complement existing
    infrastructure and transit
    We’re not looking to recreate the wheel. Innovation can be about using existing assets and services in new ways to increase efficiency and effectiveness.
  • Are spreadable, scalable or
    replicable
    Pilots may demonstrate potential to increase mobility options across the region, state and beyond.

Timeline

We're here to help

Throughout the challenge, we are hosting a number of opportunities around the region to meet with the Fund staff to discuss ideas, connect to partners and shape proposals to get them ready for consideration. Check back frequently for updated times and locations.

Office Hours

 


 

ROUND 2

July 24, 2019
Fund for Our Economic Future HQ
4415 Euclid Ave., Suite 203
Cleveland, OH 44103
11 a.m. – 1 p.m. and 4 p.m. – 6 p.m.

August 7, 2019
Lorain County Transportation & Community Center
40 East Ave
Elyria, OH 44035
11 a.m. to 1 p.m. and 4 p.m. to 6 p.m.

August 21, 2019
Community Foundation of the Mahoning Valley
201 E. Commerce St., Suite 150
Youngstown, OH 44503
11 a.m. to 1 p.m. and 4 p.m. to 6 p.m.

September 4, 2019
Fund for Our Economic Future
4415 Euclid Ave., Suite 203
Cleveland, OH 44103
11 a.m. to 1 p.m. and 4 p.m. to 6 p.m.

 


 

ROUND 3
September 18, 2019
October 2, 2019
October 16, 2019
October 30, 2019

Advisory
committee

 

*Also a member of the Selection Committee

Bishara Addison, Towards Employment

Bishara Addison, Towards Employment

Curtis Baker, AMATS

Curtis Baker, AMATS

Nelson Beckford, The Cleveland Foundation*

Nelson Beckford, The Cleveland Foundation*

Adam Briggs, The Briggs Family Funds *

Adam Briggs, The Briggs Family Funds *

Debbie Berry, University Circle Inc.

Debbie Berry, University Circle Inc.

Sheri Dozier, Cleveland Neighborhood Progress *

Sheri Dozier, Cleveland Neighborhood Progress *

Alicia Booker, Cuyahoga Community College *

Alicia Booker, Cuyahoga Community College *

Bethia Burke, Fund for Our Economic Future  *

Bethia Burke, Fund for Our Economic Future *

Ben Capelle, NEORide

Ben Capelle, NEORide

Ted Carter, Cuyahoga County *

Ted Carter, Cuyahoga County *

Dr. Floun’say Caver, Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority

Dr. Floun’say Caver, Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority

Kirt Conrad, SARTA

Kirt Conrad, SARTA

Robert DeJournett, Greater Akron Chamber of Commerce

Robert DeJournett, Greater Akron Chamber of Commerce

Dawn Distler, METRO Regional Transit Authority

Dawn Distler, METRO Regional Transit Authority

Rich Granger, DriveOhio *

Rich Granger, DriveOhio *

Jim Kinnick, Eastgate Regional Council of Governments

Jim Kinnick, Eastgate Regional Council of Governments

Chris Hitchcock, The Lozick Family Foundation *

Chris Hitchcock, The Lozick Family Foundation *

Rahul Kumar, Keolis North America

Rahul Kumar, Keolis North America

Sue Lacy, ConxusNEO

Sue Lacy, ConxusNEO

Victor Leandry, MOVE Lorain County

Victor Leandry, MOVE Lorain County

Janelle Lee, Strengthening Stark

Janelle Lee, Strengthening Stark

Dominic Mathew, Fund for Our Economic Future *

Dominic Mathew, Fund for Our Economic Future *

Marty McGann, Greater Cleveland Partnership *

Marty McGann, Greater Cleveland Partnership *

John Mitterholzer, The George Gund Foundation *

John Mitterholzer, The George Gund Foundation *

Melissa Pearce, Community Action Wayne/Medina

Melissa Pearce, Community Action Wayne/Medina

John T. Petures, Jr., Akron Community Foundation *

John T. Petures, Jr., Akron Community Foundation *

Jeffrey Sleasman, Clevelanders for Public Transit

Jeffrey Sleasman, Clevelanders for Public Transit

Sponsors

The Lozick Family Foundation
Drive Ohio
Fund for Our Economic Future
The Cleveland Foundation
Creative Cleveland Partnership
National Fund for Workforce Solutions

Community
Partners

  • Akron Community Foundation
  • Akron METRO Regional Transit Authority
  • AMATS
  • The Briggs Family Funds
  • Clevelanders for Public Transit
  • Cleveland Neighborhood Progress
  • ConxusNEO
  • Community Action Wayne/Medina
  • Cuyahoga Community College
  • Cuyahoga County
  • Eastgate Regional Council of Governments
  • The George Gund Foundation
  • Greater Akron Chamber of Commerce
  • Greater Cleveland RTA
  • Keolis
  • MOVE Lorain County
  • NEORide
  • Stark Area Regional Transit Authority
  • Strengthening Stark
  • Towards Employment
  • University Circle Inc.

Latest news

Cuyahoga County, The Cleveland Foundation Join as Sponsors of The Paradox Prize
Sep 10 2019

CLEVELAND--September 10, 2019--Cuyahoga County and the Cleveland Foundation have joined the Fund for Our Economic Future, the National Fund for...

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The first winners of the Paradox Prize are helping to bridge the transportation gap for Northeast Ohio workers. Three ideas...

Pilot programs rewarded with Paradox Prize grant money to test out, launch new transportation ideas
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Three winners announced in $1M Paradox Prize competition to link urban workers to suburban jobs
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The Fund for Our Economic Future today announced the first three winners in its $1 million Paradox Prize competition, a...

Paradox Prize Announces First Round Winners
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The Paradox Prize announced the first winners in its competition to connect Northeast Ohioans with job centers. The top award...

Akron Metro RTA receives $75,000 grant for door-to-door pilot program
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The Akron Metro Regional Transit Authority has nabbed a $75,000 grant from the Cleveland-based Fund for Our Economic Future to...

Crain’s editorial: Mobility works
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The Paradox Prize Aims to Address the Gap Between Transportation and Jobs in Northeast Ohio, But Is the Problem Really a Paradox?
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Transportation a barrier to getting, keeping jobs
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For years, manufacturers have said they struggle to find reliable workers who can show up on time, day after day....

$1 million Paradox Prize seeks ideas to help Northeast Ohio residents get to where the local jobs are
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Interested in getting part of a $1 million prize? Then come up with a good idea — a big idea...

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“For decades, industrial, commercial and residential development has migrated outward, but there has been no net increase in jobs or...

$1M avail for big ideas to ease NE Ohio’s work transportation issues
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Economic development nonprofit offering prizes for transportation solutions
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The Fund for Our Economic Future is putting $1 million behind an effort to help solve what it calls the...

Putting Northeast Ohio workers on the map: The road to employment begins with worker mobility
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Worker mobility, or transportation to available employment, stands as a barrier for many people who live in urban areas or...

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Introducing a new podcast called Merge Now, a weekly series of conversations with the people who are helping to shape...

Paradox Prize seeks inventive transportation solutions
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It’s the classic chicken-or-egg paradox, but in transportation terms: If you have no car, you can’t get a job. If...

Solutions sought to ease NEO worker mobility obstacles
Apr 08 2019

Too many of the region’s workers face an intractable scenario: no car, no job; no job, no car.  This stems...

Eradicating the Mobility Paradox
Mar 26 2019

Residents across Northeast Ohio are faced with an untenable choice: a commute by public transit that can be as long...

Pilot programs rewarded with Paradox Prize grant money to test out, launch new transportation ideas