Partnership News and Views

Reflecting on the first half of 2018

Amy Clickner, CEO, Lake Superior Community Partnership

As we head to the mid-way point of 2018 (can you believe it?) I thought it was a great time to review the activities of the Lake Superior Community Partnership and its partners from the first half of the year.

Kicking off the year, we held our annual meeting and annual dinner. The meeting is a more formal event with organizational business being held. We were able to share a presentation celebrating 20 years of economic development success and we recognized outgoing Chairman Dennis Smith while welcoming Chairman Brett French. This meeting is not just for the board of directors, but rather open to all investors of the LSCP.

Then the celebration began the evening of our annual dinner, allowing us and our partners to reminisce over the last 20 years of hard work and success. While this event is our major fundraiser, it is also a great networking event with a little fun and games attached.

How about delivery of economic development services? Yep. Our priority. Through May, we have worked with over 300 clients in various stages of start-up, retention, expansion and attraction. Approximately 83 percent of those stem from our Business Retention and Expansion program, scheduling visits with companies to get updated on their business activities and offer support for any opportunities or challenges they may be facing.

Of course, our largest expansion project has been the potential reopening of the Empire Mine. Our staff played a lead role in preparing for the delegation’s visit to Cleveland pledging our communities support. Now, we wait for decisions to be made.

As far as attraction, we have hosted and shared opportunities with several site selectors and developers hoping to entice them to choose our region for a project.

Oftentimes our role is more behind the scenes. Take the U.P. 200 legislative activities, Operation Action U.P.’s annual meeting and the U.P. Energy Summit for instance. All great events that keep our community leaders up-to-date and engaged in critical topics affecting their businesses and communities.

How about the recent launch of our Workforce Insight tool? Helping businesses find talent and narrowing their recruitment efforts for the best return on investment. Looking for data or research on your business, business expansion or new service/product? We can also provide you with that information. To find out more, contact our Business Development team.

Then there is legislative advocacy. Through our Government Relations Task Force and working with the Marquette County Ambassadors and Northern Michigan Chamber Alliance, we stay on top of legislation that can affect your business and our community. In April, we spent several days in Lansing meeting with elected officials and state department heads bringing a U.P. voice to the issues.

Don’t forget about our Revolving Loan Funds that we manage for the County EDC, or the Lake Superior Community Partnership Foundation that holds funds for a variety of activities supporting community and economic development.

Add to all of this the graduation of our Lake Superior Leadership Academy and Electrical Line Technician program in May and it has been a very busy year so far. If you are interested in either program, give our office a call and see how you can become involved.

Well. That highlights the first half of 2018. Imagine what, together, we can accomplish next!

If you are not an investor in the LSCP, why not consider supporting economic development activities like the ones outlined above. Your investment makes sure that the staff and resources are available in Marquette County to continue to provide these services.

Editor’s NOTE: Amy Clickner is CEO of the Lake Superior Community Partnership. Her twice-monthly column will address topics of interest to the local business community.