MSU REI's EDA grant renewed

The U.S. Economic Development Administration awarded the Michigan State University Center for Community and Economic Development a $750,000 University Center grant.

October 24, 2016

By: Jennifer Bruen, MSU REI

The U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA) awarded the Michigan State University Center for Community and Economic Development (CCED) a $750,000 University Center grant. It will be used to create, identify and implement innovative regional economic development tools and strategies to expand business opportunities, creating new jobs across Michigan.

The MSU CCED, located within University Outreach and Engagement (UOE) in the Office of the Provost, [and led by MSU Urban & Regional Planning Seinor Specialist Rex Lamore,] has worked with hundreds of communities in Michigan for nearly 50 years. The CCED developed a number of innovative initiatives in partnership with EDA and Michigan's EDDs, while operating an EDA University Center (REI) for the last five years. A variety of departments, colleges, and units within MSU--­the College of Social Science; College of Communication Arts & Sciences; Office of the Vice President for Research & Graduate Studies; Office of the Provost; School of Planning, Design and Construction; Office of the Associate Provost for University Outreach and Engagement; and MSU Extension­--have made commitments to support REI's work, providing access to their expertise, resources, research centers, faculty, students, and more.

[The] REI successfully established relationships with a variety of partners that work with REI and benefit from collaboration on Co­-Learning and Student-­Led, Faculty­-Guided projects, conducting research and creating and identifying new economic development strategies. Partners include University of Michigan, Wayne State University, Northern Michigan University, University of Michigan­Flint, Washtenaw Community College, Grand Valley State University and Madonna University, regional planning organizations, such as SEMCOG, TCRPC, EMCOG, SWMPC, WMRPC, WMSRDC, EUPRPDC, MAR, etc., MSHDA, Detroit Economic Growth Association (DEGA), entrepreneurs, Red Ink Flint, Michigan Corps, Generation E Institute, inventors (Michigan Inventors Coalition), workforce development groups (Detroit Training Center), arts (Shop Floor Theater Co.), Connect Michigan, local governments (City of Flint, City of Grand Rapids), Northern Initiatives, Microenterprise Network of Michigan, MSU College of Agriculture & Natural Resources and many more. From 2011­-2016, REI supported nearly 100 projects responsible for more than $60 million in additional public and private investments. Additionally, REI successfully disseminated new knowledge through the creation and sharing of nearly 50 webinars and videos, more than 65 in-­person presentations at five Innovate Michigan! Summits and in the fall of 2015, REI was recognized as a finalist in the University Economic Development Association's Awards of Excellence program.

In supporting innovation, REI will adopt a new program called REI "Innovation Fellows". Designed to expand co­implementation efforts, new Innovation Fellows will be recruited by REI, its partners, EDDs, and past Co­-Learning Plan authors. Innovation Fellows--­assisted by REI­--will lead, organize, translate and support a community or region in taking the next steps to implement a previously completed Co-­Learning Plan. These prestigious Innovation Fellows will work to increase the rate of implementation of innovative economic development strategies. [The] REI looks forward to working with new Innovation Fellows in addition to its continued work in community and economic development across Michigan.

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