Making A Comeback

Posted by – Stephanie Carroll, Manager of Business Development & Community Relations

As part of my role at the City, I work with a great team that focuses on economic development.  So what exactly does that mean?  Well in more general terms, economic development is the focus of state, county and local governments to improve the standard of living through the creation of jobs, the support of innovation and new ideas, and the creation of an overall better quality of life for the citizens of Michigan.

Group photo of many of my peers from other communities in the region.

Group photo of many of my peers from other communities in the region.

Ten years ago, I attended my first Michigan Economic Developers Association (MEDA) Annual Meeting in Detroit.  This year, we were back in Detroit to learn how to develop an eye for seeing our communities in a different light.  It’s an exciting time for economic development in Michigan and this year’s MEDA Annual meeting was appropriately themed “Retooled.” Detroit Mayor Duggan kicked off the conference with an update and future look at the City.  Throughout the week, we attended sessions about rebranding our communities, re-growing Michigan’s Farms, and rethinking entrepreneurship.

This was also a great opportunity to network and talk about the programs that we often use to conduct economic development and learn about what’s changing and how it will affect how we do our jobs.  All the sessions focused on our current assets and how we can better use them to continue to make our communities great!

Learning best practices on how communities can assist businesses expand the economy.

Learning best practices on how communities can assist businesses expand the economy.

We definitely have a lot of work and challenges ahead of us, but the conference gave me an introspective look at the profession and the effectiveness and impact of economic development in the State.