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Andy Balaskovitz

Andy Balaskovitz

 
 
Managing editor, covers energy, policy and economic development.

Twitter: @ABalaskovitz
Email: [email protected]

Monday, 21 November 2022 18:04

State energy regulator says Palisades denial ‘obviously disappointing,’ but other clean energy routes exist

COVERT TWP. — While the recent denial of funding to reopen the Palisades nuclear power plant handicaps Michigan’s short-term emission-reduction goals, the state’s top energy regulator says new federal laws will create additional clean energy opportunities.

Monday, 21 November 2022 16:22

Goorhouse stepping down as leader of Community Foundation of the Holland/Zeeland Area

HOLLAND — Mike Goorhouse began his work with the Community Foundation of the Holland/Zeeland Area when he was just 14 years old. In the coming months, Goorhouse will say goodbye to the organization that he has led for the past eight years.

Sunday, 20 November 2022 18:26

West Michigan executive survey: Talent, inflation pose critical hurdles to growth

Talent and labor availability, inflation, and supply chain disruptions are the biggest hurdles to growth for West Michigan executives, while many plan to turn to automation and price increases to mitigate those risks.


Thursday, 17 November 2022 11:16

Incoming Senate Majority Leader from GR discusses ‘right to work,’ civil rights expansions, housing and abortion as an economic issue

Democratic state Sen. Winnie Brinks from Grand Rapids continues to make history. She was the first woman to represent Grand Rapids in the state Senate since Eva McCall Hamilton was elected in 1920, and she will be Michigan’s first woman Senate Majority Leader when the Democrats take control of the legislative branch on Jan. 1 for the first time in 40 years.

Tuesday, 15 November 2022 13:45

TiiCKER marks largest deal yet with movie studio partnership

TiiCKER Inc., a Michigan-based financial technology firm that manages direct-to-shareholder marketing platforms and perks programs for publicly traded companies, has launched a new partnership with a global movie studio.

Sunday, 06 November 2022 18:16

Using A.I. for good: Data ethicist discusses ways companies can leverage benefits of algorithms

University of Virginia data scientist and criminologist Renée Cummings will visit Grand Rapids this month to share her insights — and warnings — on the growing use of artificial intelligence and algorithms in corporate decision making. The exponential growth in data availability has created the need for companies to make informed decisions when deploying such technology in hiring practices, DEI efforts or growing revenue, for example. That decision making should be done in a way that is justice-oriented, equitable, diverse and inclusive, Cummings says. The former journalist-turned-data scholar will make multiple appearances in Grand Rapids from Nov. 14-17 as part of a weeklong exploration of data ethics led by The Delta Project, Greater Grand Rapids NAACP, the West Michigan chapter of Public Relations Society of America, the Grand Rapids Area Chamber of Commerce, Grand Valley State University and a consortium of tech businesses. Cummings spoke with MiBiz ahead of her visit to highlight key themes of her work and why businesses should be paying attention to ethics in data-based decision making.


Sunday, 06 November 2022 18:09

People in the News: Nov. 7, 2022

Here are the staffing announcements from the Nov. 7, 2022 print edition. 

Sunday, 06 November 2022 18:06

Stimulus funding requests underscore staffing ‘crisis’ for disability service providers

Atrio of West Michigan nonprofits are requesting millions of dollars in federal stimulus funding to help combat a longstanding and worsening workforce shortage among service providers for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

Tuesday, 01 November 2022 17:59

New owner to close Wyoming call center acquired from Booking.com

WYOMING — A Booking.com call center in Wyoming that was acquired by a global customer experience service provider early this year will close and lay off all 226 employees next month, according to filings with the state.


Monday, 31 October 2022 17:11

Inflation Reduction Act a ‘great tailwind’ for utility clean energy plans

Michigan’s two largest investor-owned utilities say tax credit provisions in the Inflation Reduction Act will speed up their investments in solar, wind and battery storage and could lead them to owning more facilities that earn a return on those investments.

Thursday, 27 October 2022 10:48

SW Mich. automation manufacturer to add 100 jobs, expands footprint to accommodate growth

SHOREHAM — Southwest Michigan automation manufacturer Eagle Technologies Group will add 100 jobs by 2024 and is leasing additional engineering and manufacturing space near St. Joseph to accommodate recent growth.

Tuesday, 25 October 2022 15:23

Meijer Sports Complex plans $11M expansion as sports tourism exceeds pre-pandemic levels

PLAINFIELD TWP. — Eight years after opening the Meijer Sports Complex, the West Michigan Sports Commission is embarking on an $11 million capital campaign to expand the Rockford area facility with more fields and amenities.


Monday, 24 October 2022 16:51

MiBiz on WOOD-TV8: Development-ready sites narrowed down across West Michigan

West Michigan economic development agencies have spent the past eight months inventorying more than 100 sites across the region and selecting the top 10 that could be most suitable for large projects.

Monday, 24 October 2022 14:20

Byron Center I.T. service provider acquires Novi firm to bolster cybersecurity offerings

BYRON CENTER — Information technology service provider People Driven Technology Inc. has acquired a Southeast Michigan tech consulting firm to build out its cybersecurity offerings after a two-year string of organic growth.

Thursday, 20 October 2022 15:39

WMPF panel: ‘We are stuck’ in the past on economic development incentives

GRAND RAPIDS — The West Michigan Policy Forum hosted a conference today in Grand Rapids where speakers promoted sweeping K-12 education reforms and lamented the ongoing use of large incentive packages to lure automotive supplier jobs.


Thursday, 20 October 2022 15:26

Kalamazoo Foundation for Excellence endowment confronts inflation, stimulus funding

KALAMAZOO — The Kalamazoo Foundation for Excellence plans to cut spending on annual “aspirational” projects by more than half in 2023 to protect the endowment from economic headwinds and allow the city’s federal stimulus funding to potentially fill in gaps.

Wednesday, 19 October 2022 15:39

Steinman steps down as GVSU Annis Water Resources Institute director to pursue research

MUSKEGON — Alan Steinman, who helped grow Grand Valley State University’s Annis Water Resources Institute in size and prominence within the Great Lakes region during his 21 years as director, recently stepped down to focus on research full time.

Tuesday, 18 October 2022 16:21

Economic developers inventory top 10 large West Michigan properties to help lure projects

Three economic development organizations serving a 13-county region in West Michigan have narrowed nearly 150 properties down to 10 sites that would be suitable for potentially large industrial or advanced manufacturing projects.


Monday, 17 October 2022 15:44

Q&A: Chicago Fed auto policy adviser discusses EV transition, incentives competition

The global transition to electric vehicles and low-carbon transportation is well underway and creating a high-stakes competition among countries, and even states, to capture the associated manufacturing jobs.

Wednesday, 12 October 2022 14:39

Advanced transportation driving Michigan clean energy job growth, report finds

The advanced transportation sector is driving Michigan’s clean energy job growth that has experienced steady increases after a pandemic-related downturn. 

Sunday, 09 October 2022 19:31

Experts see local economic, food security benefits with planned potash mining facility

Astate board late last month advanced a key step in financing a proposed Osceola County potash mining facility that could lower fertilizer costs for farmers while delivering significant local economic benefits, according to agriculture experts. 


Thursday, 06 October 2022 14:32

Q&A: West Michigan’s first Black-founded, Black-led community foundation takes root

Ciarra Adkins formed the first Black-founded and Black-led community foundation in West Michigan with a primary goal to shift the narrative about Black, Indigenous and People of Color (BIPOC) communities and philanthropy. Specifically, she wants to advance the notion that these residents are not simply “receivers” of funds, but also serve as “distributors.”

Wednesday, 05 October 2022 13:12

West Mich. wastewater pipeline lands $60M in state funding to support agribiz expansion

A wastewater pipeline expansion project that local leaders and company executives say is crucial for agribusiness expansion in Ottawa and Muskegon counties has received $60 million in state funding.

Wednesday, 05 October 2022 11:17

‘HISTORY IS BEING MADE’: State board approves incentives for 2 major battery manufacturing projects

A state board has approved hundreds of millions of dollars in tax exemptions and performance-based grants to help lure two large battery manufacturing projects that promise more than 4,000 jobs and nearly $4 billion in investment.


Monday, 03 October 2022 19:49

Recent settlement could clear path for long-planned Grand Rapids landfill solar project

GRAND RAPIDS — A recent settlement agreement approved by the Michigan Public Service Commission could finally create a viable path forward for a long-discussed solar project on a Grand Rapids brownfield.

Thursday, 29 September 2022 13:53

Hope College, Ottawa Co. partnering on EV charging needs assessment

Hope College is partnering with local officials to determine Ottawa County’s electric vehicle charging infrastructure needs in the coming years as automakers and utilities forecast increased vehicle adoption.

Tuesday, 27 September 2022 12:51

State board takes first step to approve $225M bond for potash mining facility

The Michigan Strategic Fund has taken an initial step in approving a $225 million bond for a company pursuing a large-scale potash mining operation in Osceola County.


Monday, 26 September 2022 11:31

MiBiz on WOOD-TV8: ‘Transformational’ battery project eyed near Big Rapids

State and local economic development officials are in the process of luring a major Chinese electric vehicle battery manufacturer to Mecosta County that could result in thousands of jobs and billions of dollars in investment over the next decade.

Sunday, 25 September 2022 18:58

Corporate demand drives new renewable energy projects across Michigan

Over the past few years, corporate demand for cleaner energy to power their operations has directly led to the development of large-scale wind and solar projects across Michigan.

Wednesday, 21 September 2022 10:06

Details emerge on ‘transformational’ Big Rapids battery manufacturing project

BIG RAPIDS — The Big Rapids area could experience a multi-billion dollar advanced battery manufacturing investment in the coming years, according to a recent media report confirming months of speculation about the project.


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