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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REI continues its call for submissions pertaining to Co-Learning Plans, with a focus on catalyzing economic growth and development in economically disadvantaged communities. 


Supported by the U.S. Department of Commerce - Economic Development Administration (EDA), REI has played a pivotal role in the economic landscape since its establishment in 2011. Our operations are bolstered by the support of the REI Network (all of you!), a community comprising over 3,000 individuals representing both public and private sectors. This collaborative effort aligns with Michigan State University's Innovation and Economic Prosperity (IEP) designation, which underscores our commitment to regional economic engagement and growth. 


REI extends its support to three distinct project categories: Co-Learning Plans research initiatives written by practitioners, decision-makers, community leaders, entrepreneurs, scholars, or other stakeholders; Co-Implementation Plans / Innovation Fellows who create change on the ground; and Student-Led, Faculty-Guided Technical Assistance projects, undertaken by student teams from Michigan's higher educational institutions. 


These funded research initiatives are designed to yield actionable insights and recommendations that will significantly inform decision-making processes for local and state economic development professionals and policymakers. Ultimately, these endeavors are dedicated to the betterment of Michigan's distressed communities and regions. 


For 2024, REI and its partners have strategically identified six category areas for Co-Learning Plans - emphasizing their potential to influence job creation, business retention, and overall economic advancement within the economically challenged regions of Michigan. 


1. Sustainable Infrastructure 

2. Equitable Economic Development 

3. Investing in Michigan Business 

4. Effective Referrals and Collaborations 

5. Circular Economies 

6. Other 


For more information, please visit Please share these opportunities with your networks and reach out to Jenan Jondy at or call 517-353-9555 for questions.

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