State wide initiative provides expertise to selected small towns

Governor Snyder declares Central Lake as region two “rising tide” community.

Late September Governor Snyder announced a new state initiative from the Talent and Economic Development Office (TED) aimed at supplying specially selected communities with the tools they need to design and build a successful economic framework.

One community in each of the ten regions in Michigan were chosen based on six criteria points which included poverty level, unemployment level, labor participation rate, renter occupied units, vacancy rates, and percentage of households receiving food stamps.

Michigan State University Extension partner Northern Lakes Economic Alliance (NLEA) has a footprint in two of the ten regions. In region two  the NLEA covers Antrim, Charlevoix and Emmet County and in region three Cheboygan County. From within the NLEA Region, Central Lake (Antrim County) was chosen to participate in this initiative.

Based on the community’s vision of what they desire their economy to be based around- the NLEA and TED team will help them realize their vision by engaging local leadership in dialogues to identify their economic vision and will work in tandem with them to build an economic platform based on the guiding principles which include:

  • It’s about people, not programs
  • It’s about root causes, not symptoms
  • It’s about maximizing results, not wasteful spending
  • It’s about engaging everyone, not just a select few
  • It’s about measuring success, not just checking boxes

The Michigan Economic Development Corporation’s Redevelopment Ready Communities program will provide the foundation that will support the program. The communities chosen to participate in the pilot program were contacted in August and the project is expected to be completed and in implementation mode by February of 2016.

Although communities cannot apply to be in the program at this time, the NLEA is happy to assist other communities in starting the Redevelopment Ready Communities process. Contact the NLEA for more information at 231-582-6482 or

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