ESCANABA — The Upper Peninsula Economic Development Alliance (UPEDA), the UP-wide association of local and regional economic development professionals, private companies and utilities, has endorsed the independent, privately led Upper Peninsula economic development organization initiative announced on May 5 by Governor Snyder.
“This effort will complement the collaboration between local and regional economic development organizations, business, utilities and others that was fostered by the creation of the UPEDA,” said Joel Schultz, UPEDA Chair. “Business and talent attraction is a task that most local EDO’s can’t afford to pursue and we look forward to working with this new organization to make it successful.”
The UPEDA supports the goals laid out by the organizers to attract new business and retain and attract talent to the UP and leverage the UP’s diverse array of economic development resources including local economic developers, three Smart Zones, three universities, three community colleges, UPWARD Talent Council Michigan Works!, Region 1 Small Business Development Center, Michigan Economic Development Corporation, Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, Northern Initiatives, and the three planning and development regions.
“The Upper Peninsula has a robust network of economic development resources and networks such as the UPEDA, said Dennis West, Northern Initiatives President. Being able to marshal these resources in support of a coordinated UP-wide growth strategy provides us with a unique and valuable opportunity”
The UPEDA also sees opportunities through the new UPEDO to bring a more coordinated UP-wide effort to address challenges and opportunities linked to our rail infrastructure, broadband access, investment in housing, and electricity costs.
“The potential focus and resources this new UP-wide organization can bring to addressing infrastructure challenges that affect all of our communities could be a game changer for us,” said Jeff Ratcliffe, Keweenaw Economic Development Alliance Executive Director. “There are opportunities out there for the UP to grow, but it will take a concentrated effort and adequate resources to make it happen.”
The UPEDA is a 501(c) 3 economic development organization whose is to enhance, link and promote the unique aspects of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula as the superior location in which to invest and conduct business.