Western U.P. regional prosperity initiative starting

HOUGHTON — The Western U.P. Planning and Development Region has created a regional prosperity initiative that will focus on collaboration between multiple organizations and agencies that seem to overlap in terms of the services they provide.

WUPPDR was able to partner with many client support services, including Michigan Works!, the MTEC SmartZone and the Keweenaw Economic Development Alliance, along with three others.

WUPPDR executive director Kim Stoker said the establishment of service centers will create a new way to do business by bringing the organizations under one roof.

“I think this whole initiative is looking for these areas that are underserved,” he said. “How can we provide the services better with less dollars?”

The plan will look for approval from the advisory committee of the collaborative Wednesday, and will then be sent to the state of Michigan to obtain a second round of funds.

Stoker added most of the mechanisms are already in place, and it’s just about implementing them for the greater good of the Western Upper Peninsula.

“We looked at a number of things and those are all brought out in the plan so hopefully they’ll lead to better efficiencies and a stronger western six counties”, he said.

Details on the regional prosperity initiative are available at wuppdr.org.