May 2015 - In This Issue:

REI Update for May, 2015

Share, Learn, Create Innovative Economic Development Ideas!

"A diverse and dynamic network developing innovative economic development ideas, tools, models, policies, and practices for Michigan."

What's Coming Up

Webinar: Family-Owned Business Database for Great Lakes Region

Speaker: Dr. Rama Yelkur

May 5, 2015 at 2:00pm

Family businesses remain a vital force for innovation, job creation, and community development in Michigan. The Saginaw Valley State University Family Business program proposes to create a comprehensive database of family-owned businesses in the Great Lakes Bay Region and surrounding counties.

Rama Yelkur is Dean & Professor at the College of Business & Management at Saginaw Valley State University. She holds a doctorate from Mississippi State University. She has extensive consulting experience in Sports Marketing, Advertising and Sponsorships with organizations such as Kimberly Clark, NBC Universal and the NFL. She is a NASBITE Certified Global Business Professional (CGBP) and is active in many other organizations.

Click Here to Register

U.S. EDA University Center Showcase

Last week, REI staff attended the Chicago Region EDA University Showcase at Cleveland State University. Below is a list of other University Centers that participated in the event:

Are You an Inventor?

REI and the Michigan Inventors Coalition are looking for Michigan garage and basement inventors to share their innovative products and services at the next MIC Expo. Attendees will meet Michigan garage and basement inventors, hear about their latest inventions, see their products, and find out how the discovery to market process works in Michigan.  

If you are interested in exhibiting or would like more information, please contact Joe Finkler at

Website Updates

Man mountain biking in the woods
Credit: Andy Armstrong

We have redesigned the Completed Projects section of our website! Every project now has its own page that includes the relevant reports, videos, author information, and more! The completed projects are divided into seven categories:

Don't forget to check out the new Co-Learning Plans and Student-Led, Faculty-Guided Priojects that are currently underway! For more information on those projects, check out the Current Projects section.

Student-Led, Faculty-Guided

Abandoned house
Credit: Ryan Garza

Michigan State University in collaboration with Muskegon County Land Bank Authority has received $1.8 million in funding, including federal assistance, for blight elimination. This plan will focus on regional partnerships, and specific areas in downtown Muskegon Heights. This project will be presented at Governor Rick Snyder's economic conference in the fall of 2015.

Learn More. 


Photo of Map showing the Great Lakes States The EDA University Centers in the Chicago Region recently initiated the Great Lakes Regional Training Initiative (GLRTI) to assist regions in the six states of Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio, and Wisconsin by promoting technical and training assistance needs. 

Take Our Survey

GLRTI makes valuable university resources available and provides training programs to economic development professionals in all six states.To accomplish this, gaps between currently available training and the needs of practitioners must be identified. Please take GLRTI's brief survey (5-10 minutes) by clicking here, to assist in identifying training needs and to lend your voice to shaping this new regional initiative.

Save the Date!

4th Annual Innovate Michigan! Summit
Innovate MI. Thursday, September 10, 2015. Kellogg Hotel & Conference Center.

The Innovate Michigan! Summit will be held September 10, 2015 at the Kellogg Center in East Lansing. Attendees will get the opportunity to hear various speakers talk about innovative economic development tools, models, policies, programs, and practices. Join the vast number of companies, organizations, and individuals to gain a more complete view of the economic climate in Michigan and the driving forces behind it.

Stay tuned for additional information.

Learn More


Carolyn Hatch focuses on the skills gap in the Michigan manufacturing sector, with an emphasis on how producer firms can play a role to address workforce development obstacles.
Video of Regional Economic Innovation: Skills Gap
Regional Economic Innovation: Skills Gap

MSU Center for Community and Economic Development
1615 E. Michigan Ave.
Lansing, MI 48912

MSU is an affirmative-action, equal-opportunity employer

Michigan State University, University Outreach and Engagement, Center for Community and Economic Development
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