MAGNET and EDGE Join Forces to Grow Manufacturing Leadership in Northeast Ohio

September 19, 2023

Two regional nonprofits come together to create a one-stop-shop for operational consulting and leadership development to help manufacturers and others grow their people and their companies.

CLEVELAND — SEPTEMBER 18, 2023 — Today, EDGE joins MAGNET to expand the reach of its premier services. EDGE, a successful executive learning and economic development nonprofit based in Northeast Ohio, focuses on helping mid-size companies grow by accelerating the knowledge and expertise of CEOs and their leadership teams. The EDGE programs will enhance MAGNET’s already robust consulting services to help manufacturers grow.

“EDGE’s expertise in developing excellent, innovative leaders via peer learning and networking is a perfect complement to MAGNET’s focus on hands-on strategy, operations, technology, and talent services,” says Dr. Ethan Karp, President & CEO of MAGNET. “We’re on a mission to help Northeast Ohio lead the world in smart manufacturing. This combination will help us unlock the bold leadership we need to get there.”

MAGNET’s Blueprint for the Future of Manufacturing in Northeast Ohio is a detailed vision to transform Northeast Ohio into a global center for smart manufacturing, creating 30,000 jobs and boosting the regional economy by $40 billion over the next decade. To achieve this, massive systemic change is needed in four areas:

  • Talent: Build the workforce we need to win.
  • Transformation: Transform factories with advanced technologies.
  • Innovation: Pioneer new products and services.
  • Leadership: Boldly lead our companies and region.

“Over the past two years, we’ve seen real progress in three of these areas: talent, technology and innovation,” says Stephen Lovass, Board Chair of MAGNET and EVP of Nordson Corporation. “Now, by scaling and expanding EDGE’s successful leadership and innovation programs, we can grow manufacturing leaders and companies at every level and equip them with the strategy, skills, and mindset required to leapfrog our regional industry into the future. Combining these two nonprofits to grow the impact of both is something that will definitely benefit our region.”

The 20-year-old EDGE brand and mission will be retained, and the staff of EDGE will join MAGNET. EDGE’s peer-based learning programs will be expanded to help more companies develop managers and leaders. Successful EDGE programs like CEO and leadership cohorts, InnoQuest (cross-industry innovation forum), EDGE Fellows (graduate students validating growth opportunities for companies) and Scalerator (Burton D. Morgan Foundation’s premier business education program administered by EDGE) will continue and grow.

“This not only secures the legacy and future of EDGE, it’s also exactly the kind of collaboration that makes sense,” says Kirk Neiswander, President & Founder, EDGE. “Together, working in a powerful partnership, aligning our activities, and pushing progress in the same direction, our region will be stronger. We are excited to join MAGNET to help develop the next generation of bold leaders our region needs to prosper and grow.”

The combination will officially be completed in January 2024. All EDGE programs will continue to operate as usual and joint programming will be launched in the coming months. “This is one of those rare times when two strong organizations choose to decrease the complexity of our non-profit, economic development ecosystem to enable hundreds of more companies to accelerate their growth in Northeast Ohio and create jobs in our economy,” say Karp.



The Manufacturing Advocacy and Growth Network is a nonprofit consulting group on a mission to make manufacturing better. Since 1984, we’ve been proudly helping manufacturers in Northeast Ohio grow with effective workforce programs, advanced technology consulting, and innovation services.

We also catalyze bigger change by rallying companies, community leaders, governments, and educators to tackle the massive, systemic problems that hold our region back. We’ve helped more than 2,000 manufacturers generate an additional $1 billion in sales, realize more than $400 million in cost savings, and create or retain 11,000 jobs in Northeast Ohio. Our work is made possible by the National Institute of Standards and Technology, part of the U.S. Department of Commerce, the Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP), and the Ohio MEP. Learn more:

About EDGE

EDGE sparks profitable business growth for mid-sized companies in Northeast Ohio by accelerating the exchange of knowledge and experience among CEOs and leadership teams. Founded in 2005, EDGE is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit economic development organization that helps mid-sized companies in Northeast Ohio achieve profitable growth. EDGE convenes peer groups among CEOs and functional leaders from multiple companies so that individuals within these peer groups can learn with and from each other.

EDGE provides its members with an invaluable opportunity to develop their leaders, grow their company and improve Northeast Ohio through programs, services and events geared specifically for them. Learn more: