Make it in Michigan strategy begins at home

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer recently announced the Make it in Michigan economic development strategy to keep successful projects, invest in students from pre-kindergarten through post-secondary and revitalize places in every part of the state.

The three pillars of the strategy are projects, people and places.

When it comes to projects, Whitmer is focused on competing for and winning projects to bring manufacturing and supply chains home. Helping people reach their potential in their educational careers while protecting their personal freedoms protected is another goal, as is making places more attractive to live.

According to Whitmer, this involves making Michigan a state with low unemployment, higher labor force participation and additional training. She believes Michigan should be more competitive in key sectors such as research and development, advanced manufacturing and clean technology.

What makes a community more attractive? Whitmer indicated that includes more housing, better child care, high-speed internet connectivity, redevelopment of blighted properties and “new life” to main streets and downtowns.

Locally, things seem to be headed in that direction.

A social district has been established in the city of Negaunee, and plans are underway for a downtown Marquette social district in which licensed businesses may serve alcohol to people who will be able to consume their beverages in an approved common area.

Regional leaders are looking at ways to improve the housing stock and child care, and community forums have taken place with state leaders to discuss ways to bring high-speed internet to rural areas.

We believes these are notable goals, but as with any such goal, it will take partnerships and cooperation between the state and communities to make them happen.

This, of course, means the Upper Peninsula as well. In fact, state Rep. Jenn Hill, D-Marquette, indicated that she will work to make sure U.P. voices are heard during the process.

How this state strategy develops remains to be seen, but in the meantime, local communities can keep moving forward to create the three pillars on their own.


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