Discovering and applying new and innovative economic development tools, models, policies, and programs
Creating Jobs and Wealth in Distressed Michigan Communities

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In an effort to further utilize our research in these unprecedented times, REI will begin to highlight  previous projects and initiatives to better serve Michigan communities with our knowledge base created since 2012. We hope these projects will act as models to help communities and local economies progress through COVID-19-related setbacks.

Please stay in touch on our social media to view relevant projects.

Big-Box Converted to Co-op

This Student-Led, Faculty Guided Project from 2018 worked with the Alma College local community to convert an abandoned 'big-box' retail location (K-Mart) to a year-round fresh vegetable and fruit production facility. This project benefited both urban and rural citizens in the region while promoting community involvement, which is a growing necessity for regional development both currently and in preparation for post-COVID-19 impacts.

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Publicly-Operated Telework Facilities: An Economic Development Opportunity for Michigan's Rural and Tourism-Oriented Communities (2015)

This 2015 Co-Learning Plan discusses the importance and implementation of remote work or “telecommuting” for rural and tourism-based businesses, which has become a quick growing necessity during the shelter-in-place orders in effect in multiple states, including Michigan.

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Triple Bottom Line (2017)

The Triple Bottom Line business model is driving growth of companies that are decidedly place-based, pay better wages and prefer purchasing local goods and services. This innovative business trend implies a shift from the current focus of reducing the negative impacts of economic activity to the deliberate generation of positive impacts—an important factor for businesses trying to recover from the impacts of COVID-19.

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