West Michigan In The News
Strong state policy to promote energy innovation is a proven strategy to generate jobs, attract new investment, and boost Michigan's competitiveness in the global economy. But a number of lawmakers in Lansing still believe the costs of change are simply too high.
In Grand Rapids, 20 percent of residents are illiterate, and the methods of one organization to use grants and community volunteers to cut illiteracy in half in the next decade is changing the social landscape and attracting national attention.
Efforts to undertake the enormous, and somewhat intangible, task of assessing the state's green infrastructure, its monetary worth, and its value as a quality of life amenity that appeals to talented professionals are detailed in a recent study that values Michigan's environmental attributes at $1.6 billion annually.
West Michigan businesses continue to face the challenge of finding qualified high-tech professionals to fill job openings and lead development teams. But that could change after two influential online technology resources have combined forces to establish a comprehensive jobs list connecting employers with the talent they seek.
Aquinas College wants to add a sports and fitness center to the campus, and they've brought home one of Grand Rapids' most famous athletes to lead the capital campaign and increase the college's endowment fund.
As Michigan's need for creative, innovative thinkers continues to grow, a majority of the state's colleges and universities are transforming their curriculum programs to focus on entrepreneurism, from retraining factory workers to helping small businesses grow.
West Michigan's business leaders find it increasingly difficult to find the talent they need to spur business growth and fuel Michigan's economic recovery, but a new coalition of economic development corporations has a plan to change all that.
As Michigan sits on the cusp of what researchers and business leaders say is a new energy economy, one West Michigan manufacturer is ahead of the curve and already ramping up for production.
Manufacturing ain't what it used to be in Michigan, but business leaders and economic experts say that, with the right talent and a new way of doing business, manufacturing is still a viable leader in the knowledge economy.
Tourism proponents say that getting travelers to Michigan is key in bringing money to the state and jobs to tourist regions, and the governor's recent proposal to allocate $60 million to the tourism industry for advertising will go a long way toward making that happen.
Citing the need to attract global talent to Michigan as a means to spur a rise in the number and quality of knowledge economy workers and, thereby, ramp up economic revitalization, the state House passed legislation saying that individuals do not need to meet federal Real ID criteria to qualify for a driver's license.
Michigan remained in a recession in the last quarter of 2007, but one economist says the state's manufacturing sector is going to pull the state out of it's economic slump and make it a leader in many emerging global markets.
When the automotive industry first took hold, Michigan became the most entrepreneurial state in the union, and business leaders aim to make it number one again with the help of some enterprising economic development corporations who are leading the charge.
A Swedish technology firm that moved to Grand Rapids is slowly taking the furniture design world by storm, allowing furniture designers to spend less time learning the software and more time creating designs that fuel the local furniture industry.
With a $29 million boost from the feds, Grand Rapids' sleek train-like Bus Rapid Transit line will bring riders to the central city in style, increasing mass transit options and further accelerating the revitalization of Michigan's second largest urban area.