Archive for April, 2009

National Public Radio (NPR) has been doing a series of programs focused on “Remaking Michigan” economically. The series has focused mostly on Detroit, but a special program airing live on Michigan Radio April 24 from 1-2 p.m. brought in a West Michigan perspective and included WMSA President Greg Northrup. 

Listen to archived one-hour Michigan Radio program.


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GR Mayor Preaches Sustainability

Fleet managers who attended the “Greening the Fleets” workshop sponsored by the West Michigan Clean Cities Coalition, a program of the West Michigan Strategic Alliance, were rewarded by some encouragement from Grand Rapids Mayor George Heartwell.

Heartwell’s comments are captured in the Michigan Sustainable Business Blog.

Additionally, Lisa Locke of Sustainable Research Group, who manages the Clean Cities Coalition for the Alliance, was interviewed about Clean Cities by Rod Kackley of Clear Channel. The interview will be available as a podcast from WOOD Radio.

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WMSA and the Detroit Regional Chamber officially launched InternInMichigan.com on April 23, 2009 in simultaneous press conferences in Detroit and Grand Rapids. 

The Web site offers unique functions to match Michigan college students with Michigan employers for internships. It is a state-wide collaborative effort.


Greg Northrup speaks to partners in the internship initiative.

Greg Northrup speaks to partners in the internship initiative.

At Grand Valley State University’s Eberhard Center in downtown Grand Rapids, WMSA President Greg Northrup gave the background on the Internship Initiative. GVSU Provost Gayle Davis and Aquinas College President Ed Balog spoke of the importance of internship opportunities as part of the total education of college students.


Kevin Douglas, Amway’s College Talent Acquisition Coordinator, represented the employer’s perspective and praised the initiative as a significant help to employers who see internship programs as a critical component of their employee recruitment efforts.

Finally, Cindy Brown, the Project Manager for the WMSA Internship Initiative, provided an overview of the site and mentioned a tool kit for employers who need help starting an internship program. 

More information about InterninMichigan.com is available in the press release.

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The West Michigan Green Infrastructure Fourth Annual Regional Watershed Workshop took place on Thursday, April 2, 2009 from 8:50 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. at the Ottawa County Complex, West Olive, MI.  The purpose of this workshop was to promote regional collaboration related to watershed management and green infrastructure.  The workshop provided the framework for:

  • Increase networking among the region’s watershed stakeholders.
  • Provide opportunities to hear about some of the latest watershed tools being used and/or developed.
  • Improve watershed management and planning through implementing green infrastructure in the region.


Critical Lands Mapping Project – Rod Denning
High Impact Targe (HIT) System – Glenn O’Neill
Healthy Waters Rural Pride – Shawn McKenney
Muskegon (River) Watershed Research – Gary Noble
Urban Forest Ecological Services Assessment – Rod Denning
Green Grand Rapids – Susan Schulz
Prioritizing Wetland Restoration Efforts/Clinton River – Chad Fizzel & Rob Zbiciak

Find more information about the West Michigan Strategic Alliance Green Infrastructure Initiative.

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Friends of WMSA know that one of the objectives of the organization is to revitalize urban centers and plan for sustainable growth. A study released April 6 by the Brookings Institution offered some good news related to those goals–Grand Rapids area is doing better than much of the nation when it comes to a phenomenon known as ‘job sprawl’.

There was positive reaction to the study locally, as reported in the Grand Rapids Press.

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2009 State of the Region

WMSA 2009 State of the Region
On Wednesday, May 13, 2009 The West Michigan Strategic Alliance will unveil the 2009 West Michigan Vital Signs featuring benchmarking data on comparable regions around the country.
Join other stakeholders to help identify regional actions essential to achieving the vision of Western Michigan as a best place to live, learn, work and play.
WMSA’s work is about bringing people together for the good of the region. Your direct participation at the State of the Region helps improve the process.
There is no cost to attend this event but a reservation is required. When registering for this event, please consider making a tax deductible contribution to the West Michigan Strategic Alliance to support the work of regional collaboration. As part of your contribution, you can elect to be listed in the 2010 Action Report as a contributor.
WMSA is a 501(c)3 not for profit organization and your contributions are tax deductible as allowed by law. Thank you for your generous support!

May 13, 2009
2:00 pm  Registration & Networking
2:45 pm  Program
4:45 pm  Reception

Reserve By:
Please make a reservation by Wednesday, May 6, 2009.

The Pinnacle Center
3330 Highland Drive
Hudsonville, MI


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