Archive for the ‘Economic Development’ Category

WMSA and a coalition of partners recently announced a project to bring 50 electric vehicle charging stations to West Michigan. Details about the effort  can be read in this news release.

There has also been some good media coverage, including FOX  17 and the Muskegon Chronicle.

Some of the coverage has sparked interesting reader comments and questions. What do you think? Will more charging stations help boost use of electric vehicles in the region? Will an infrastructure of charging stations be an economic benefit for the region?


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A Celebration…

20th Anniversary of the Pollution Prevention Act of 1990,

5-year Progress Report of the Green Suppliers Network Program,

and the new West Michigan E3 Initiative

Hosted by Steelcase Inc., The Right Place, Inc./MMTC-West and Sustainable Research Group, LLC

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

10:00 – 1:00 p.m. (includes lunch)

Followed by plant tours from 1 to 3:30 pm for a limited number of guests.  Please see details on the agenda below.

Steelcase University Learning Center

901 44th Street SE, Grand Rapids, MI 49508

Please join West Michigan manufacturers and energy providers at this event to:

  • Celebrate the 20th anniversary of National Pollution Prevention week.
  • Discuss the accomplishments of West Michigan manufacturers in “lean and green” efforts through the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Green Suppliers Network program.
  • Discuss the intent to launch an E3 (Economy, Energy, and Environment) initiative in West Michigan, a federal, state and local collaboration focusing on manufacturing growth, energy efficiency and environmental performance.

Agenda (10 am – 1 pm):

Integrating Sustainable Principles into West Michigan Manufacturing Greg Northrup, President, West Michigan Strategic Alliance
Pollution Prevention, the Green Suppliers Network and more Jim Jones, Principal Deputy Assistant Administrator, EPA’s Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention
What is E3 and how does it complement the Green Suppliers Network? What are the Michigan-specific resources to support these efforts? Tom Murray, Senior Scientist and  Chief of the Prevention Analysis Branch, EPA’s Pollution Prevention Division, and Laura Rauwerda, Senior Environmental Analyst, Michigan Department of Natural Resources & Environment

How energy efficiency helps West Michigan

Consumers Energy
Lean and Green Manufacturing and theExtended Value Stream – Waste Reductions and Cost Reductions along the Supply Chain Jack Puricelli, Director, Supply Chain Management, Steelcase
Why Sustainability is important to Steelcase(and how pollution prevention has evolved into new opportunities) Jim Keane, President, Steelcase Group, North America
Lunch (12 – 1 pm)
Optional plant tours (1 to 3:30 pm) – theExtended Value Stream

(limited spots available)

1:15 – 2:15 pm: Steelcase Kentwood East Plant; then

2:30 – 3:30 pm: Magic Steel (with presentations from Mike Welch, VP, Magic Steel, and Bill Small, VP, The Right Place Inc., & Regional Manager, Michigan Manufacturing Technology Center-West)

No cost to attend this event. Seats are limited so please RSVP by Friday, September 24, 2010, and indicate whether you would also like to attend the plant tours.

Please RSVP to:  powersn@rightplace.org or 616-771-0327

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The Walmart Foundation has awarded a $550,000 grant to the West Michigan Strategic Alliance t expand a pilot adult worker literacy program in Kent County to Ottawa and Muskegon counties. Eventually the program will cover all eight counties that are the focus of WMSA.

WMSA partnered on the project with Grand Rapids Community College and the Literacy Center of West Michigan.

You can read more about the grant and the project in the Walmart Foundation news release or the WMSA news release.

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Site Selection Magazine ranked the State of Michigan 3rd in new economic development projects for 2009.

Meanwhile, for metropolitan areas with a population between 200,000 and 1 million, Grand Rapids-Wyoming was tied  for 3rd with Baton Rouge, and the Holland-Grand Haven metro was 5th in the country.

In an era with lots of bad economic news, and in which Michigan seems to be singled  out as an example of bad economic situations, this is particularly good news.

As Tim Mroz of The Right Place pointed out: “It means that the state and especially West Michigan are growing new projects faster than almost every other area of it’s size in the country.”

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