Partnership News and Views

Collaboration is key in today’s economy

Amy Clickner, CEO, Lake Superior Community Partnership

col≤lab≤o≤ra≤tion

/kəˌlabəˈrāSH(ə)n/

noun

1. the action of working with someone to produce or create something.

When I speak of the accomplishments of the Lake Superior Community Partnership, I always remind folks that we don’t go it alone. Our partners, investors, stakeholders and clients “collaborate” with us every day to achieve our goals. In fact, we couldn’t do it without them.

Collaboration isn’t always easy. It requires that you trust others and are willing to share the credit … and the blame. True collaboration can only be found where there are strong relationships, shared goals and the drive to succeed together. Fortunately, at the LSCP, we see this every day. Let me share some examples with you.

Under the LSCP Foundation, sits our Electrical Line Technician program. For 15 years we have collaborated with Northern Michigan University and Upper Peninsula high schools and utility companies from across the U.P. to implement this program. The current class will graduate on campus this month and recruitment will begin for the fall class. For more information, contact Brooke Quinn at bquinn@marquette.org.

How about the Lake Superior Leadership Academy? We collaborate with a variety of businesses, educational institutions, state/local governmental agencies and community leaders to put on this nine-month program. Day Chairs, experts in the topic of the day, put together robust agendas for the academy participants to experience. This means we tour various locations, take on leadership activities and hear from community leaders for one day each month. Talk about a large collaboration! The LSLA’s 20th class will graduate in May and recruitment for the Class of 2020 will begin. For more information, contact Ashley Szczepanski at ashley@marquette.org.

What about collaboration in our economic development efforts? Absolutely! For example, we work with our Michigan Works! counterparts. While we provide a large variety of business development services, companies oftentimes require workforce services as well. We also work with a variety of state and federal agencies that provide programs and incentives to businesses. How about local municipalities? Yep, we work with them on projects, too. Knowing and understanding when to engage your partners in the process is key to these collaborative efforts. By working together, we see more successes and are able to openly and honestly solve challenges that impact our business clients.

And then there are our LSCP investors. Without them, we would not exist. They support the LSCP with both their human and financial resources. Our diverse board of directors are committed to the organization’s success. We have a long list of volunteers involved in task forces and committees. The Marquette County Ambassadors collaborate with us to achieve our goals in legislative advocacy. Our Chairman Circle donors commit additional funding that allows us to afford critical resources not included in our general operating budget. And the list goes on …

Want to be part of our collaborative efforts in economic development? Your support can make a difference. If you aren’t an investor, why not consider it? Go to our website www.marquette.org or give Kennan Marana a call at our office at 906-226-6591 for details. If you are already an investor, perhaps you are ready to advance to the next tier or get more involved in the LSCP. We can help you do that as well.

In our world of economic development, collaboration is key.

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.