LPI and Networks Northwest Partner on Regional Services Recommendation Study

The Land Policy Institute is partnering with Networks Northwest to develop a regional services recommendation report outlining state-�funded services and programs and identify state-�regional partnerships.

Logo for the Framework for Our Future Plan.

The Land Policy Institute is partnering with Networks Northwest to develop a regional services recommendation report outlining State-funded services and programs and identify State-regional partnerships in support of the area’s Regional Prosperity Plan; thus, helping local decision makers to access the best tools and resources in support of the Northwest Michigan’s Framework for Our Future: A Regional Prosperity Plan.

The Michigan Prosperity Initiative, administered by the Michigan Department of Technology, Management and Budget, was established two years ago as a program to incentivize and support 10 regions across the state in the development of a common vision and streamlined strategies for achieving economic prosperity. State of Michigan departments have been directed to align their service delivery regions with the new prosperity regions that were established through the Michigan Prosperity Initiative. The program recognizes that State agency service delivery will be most effective and efficient if it is customized to each region’s assets, challenges, opportunities and vision.

During 2014, the Northwest Michigan Council of Governments (now Networks Northwest), with input from a variety of community stakeholders and members of the public, created the Framework for Our Future, through the Michigan Regional Prosperity Initiative. This regional plan provides information and tools on a variety of community and economic development issues, such as housing, transportation, land use, energy, arts and culture, workforce and economic development, community health, food and farming systems, and natural resources. The plan serves as a resource for local government leaders in the Northwest Michigan region to access data and best practices to achieve their goals and to collaborate with other leaders.

To complete this project, the LPI will compile a list of State-funded services and programs currently provided to the region, with a particular emphasis on the categories of workforce development, business and economic development, community development and infrastructure (such as transportation). The LPI research team will then talk with Networks Northwest, other regional partners and State agency representatives to identify issues, barriers, gaps and opportunities associated with the current service provision conditions in the region. The analysis will include an assessment of how the current system aligns, or fails to align, with the Framework for Our Future, and an exploration of any relevant State programs/resources/services that may not be currently utilized in the region. The final report will include recommendations about potential changes to local, state or federal service provision programs that would aid in the execution of the Regional Prosperity Plan.

For more information about this project, please contact Mary Beth Graebert at lakemary@msu.edu or call (517) 355-3378.

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