Wolverine World Wide Inc. Chairman, President and CEO Blake Krueger joined his colleagues from around the state last week at the Business Leaders for Michigan CEO Summit in Detroit. His point during a panel discussion: After a decade of tough times, now is a great time to invest in Michigan, which is recovering economically faster than almost every other state in the nation.
The state’s economic decline could very well give way to what Bruce Katz sees as a state that is a leader in innovation and global exports. The Great Recession from which the U.S. is now recovering “was a wake-up call for this country” that requires America to “build a next economy and enable a different kind of growth in the next decade,” said Katz, director of the Brookings Institute Metropolitan Policy Program.
John Weiss takes over as head of the Grand Valley Metropolitan Council at what he sees as an opportune time to promote greater cooperation among communities and stronger collaboration with the private sector.
The Michigan Economic Development Corp. under Gov. Rick Snyder and CEO Mike Finney has begun to focus more on talent initiatives as part of both an internal and an external strategy to promote economic gardening in the state.
With scores of jobs going unfilled, unemployment remains high as disconnects between the region’s labor pool and employer needs persist.
Teams create results far greater than any individual or organization alone, so it’s not surprising that many economic development organizations – including some of our strongest competitors – already represent collective regions rather than single units of government.
The local authority charged with overseeing the Grand Rapids SmartZone incubator and accelerator wants to see more “churn” and better ROI from the life science companies that call the SmartZone home. To help achieve that goal, the 12-member Grand Rapids Local Development Finance Authority (LDFA) in February issued a request for qualifications, inviting organizations to apply for the job of staffing and managing the Grand Rapids SmartZone.
The Right Place Inc. and Grand Valley State University each envision bringing more partners into the Grand Rapids SmartZone’s operations to better spur new business and job creation, according to responses each submitted to the Local Development Finance Authority’s request for qualifications.
Speaking of job-centric, put this in your jobs pipe and have the Administration smoke it: TransCanada Corp. says its Keystone XL pipeline project is shovel-ready and the company is poised to put 20,000 Americans — pipe fitters, welders, mechanics, electricians, heavy equipment operators, etc — to work to construct the pipeline.
WEST MICHIGAN — Every “end of the world” prediction so far has been wrong. We are still waiting to see if the world will survive past 2012, thanks to the ancient Maya. Assuming they, too, will be wrong, MiBiz set out to find out what our world could be like in 2050, an arbitrary date to be sure, but the halfway point of the 21st century.
A Grand Rapids venture fund exceeded its first-year goals, both in funds raised from investors and investments made. Michigan Accelerator Fund I netted $9 million in commitments from investors during its first year, lifting the total capital that it will have available to $15 million. Launched in January 2011 with $6 million in state seed funding, the venture fund expected to raise $4 million from private investors.
With backgrounds ranging from theater to medicine to art, the roster at March’s TEDx Macatawa is packed with speakers who will speak to different aspects of the event’s theme “Do More Good.”
The newest ideas from a coalition of corporate CEOs and university presidents seek to build on what Michigan already does well to drive employment and economic growth in the years ahead. Building on Michigan’s engineering and logistics acumen; growing the life sciences sector further; boosting agricultural processing and exports and tourism; strengthening higher education; and leveraging the auto industry’s legacy for new forms of transportation are the key elements of a “New Michigan” strategy rolled out by Business Leaders for Michigan.
I want to tell you about a great success story coming out of Battle Creek’s Downtown Transformation Initiative: the Global Food Protection Institute.
Muskegon is sitting on a gold mine, and it is colored “blue.” That is a major part of the message that John C. Austin, director of the Brookings Institution Great Lakes Economic Initiative, delivered to the Muskegon Lakeshore Chamber of Commerce on Jan. 27. Austin joined W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research’s George Erickcek in a joint presentation on Muskegon’s economic outlook.