RPI 2014-15

As a result of the 2014 RPI program, a five-year Regional Prosperity Plan was developed that identified six priority projects to improve efficiencies and move the region’s economy forward. Those projects, which were implemented with a second round of funding awarded in 2015, were as follows:

  1. Economic Development Service Delivery – Support and planning to develop a sustainable system for delivering economic development and business assistance services from several organizations via a single point of contact in each of five counties. Click on the following link to view Economic Development partners and services being delivered.
    Economic Development Partners
  2. Residential Target Market Analyses – Identification of target markets for residential housing types will help to better address housing needs and attract developers.
  3. “Connect Michigan” Action Plans – Conduct research and planning to gain information and address deficiencies in access to broadband internet service throughout the region.
  4. State Trunkline Road Maintenance Study – Explore conditions, methods, and budgets associated with winter maintenance of state highways by MDOT versus county road commissions and municipalities throughout the region, and identify the most efficient and cost-effective arrangements.
  5. Regional Chamber Alliance – Assist with formation, activities, and logistics of an alliance of Western U.P. chambers of commerce to foster collaboration and improve resource allocation.
  6. CTE Asset Mapping – Gather information about resources, programs, and facilities for career & technical/vocational education (CTE) in Western U.P. educational institutions for incorporation into a U.P.-wide asset map/inventory.

The issues of the Western and overall U.P.’s economy, along with potential solutions, have been studied before and are well known. See, for examples, WUPPDR’s 2011 Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy (CEDS) and the 2009 U.P./Wisconsin Border Region Economic Opportunity Study known as the UPWARD Initiative. WUPPDR does not intend to reinvent the wheel; instead, the Regional Prosperity Initiative will build upon these plans to produce functional results through organized structures to make change happen.

Spaghetti Map

Nothing shows the impact of lack of collaboration better than the state’s “Spaghetti Map,” which represented the overlapping boundaries of over 50 state-established districts at the outset of RPI.
(Click map for larger version)