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Stockbridge : West Michigan In The News

262 Stockbridge Articles | Page: | Show All

Census data shows Grand Rapids gained residents, migration south slows

The sluggish housing market and other economic woes have had a beneficial side effect for Grand Rapids: a population increase, which results in a healthier economy. A recent study points to a number of reasons for the demographic shift, indicating some changes that may be long lasting.

According to excerpts from the story:

Something happened last year in Chicago that hasn't been seen since 2001: Instead of losing residents, the Second City actually gained population.

Chicago isn't the only Midwestern city to reverse its growth trend during the period: St. Paul, Minn., Green Bay, Wis., Kansas City, Kan., Grand Rapids, Mich., and Warren, Mich., also gained residents, said William Frey, senior fellow at the Brookings Institution.

Read the complete story here.

 


Grand Rapids named among top 66 cities nationwide for buying a home

A national study has found that Grand Rapids is one of only 66 major housing markets nationwide where purchasing a home could cost less than renting an apartment and homebuyers could build substantial equity in just 12 years.

According to excerpts from the story:

With house prices falling around the country, many renters are wondering if this is the time to jump in and score a deal.

The answer, of course, depends on where you live. In much of the U.S., you're better off buying despite falling home values, say new data compiled by the National Low Income Housing Coalition and the Center for Economic and Policy Research.

Of the 100 most populous metro areas, 57 have average three-bedroom rental costs higher than the cost of a 6% loan for a typical low-priced house, including Little Rock, Ark., and Akron, Ohio.

Read the complete story here.


$20B Great Lakes cleanup lauded as economic driver by state lawmakers, researchers

Coming on the heels of the signing of the Great Lakes Compact, which safeguards Great Lakes water, state legislators, top researchers, and area business leaders advocated for a 20-year, $20 billion strategy to clean up the Great Lakes; a venture that promises to create jobs and bring billions in statewide tourism and manufacturing.

According to excerpts from the story:

Grand Haven, MI — Regional leaders want to buoy the Great Lakes environment and Michigan’s economy with a $20 billion cleanup effort.

U.S. Reps. Peter Hoekstra, R-Holland, and Vern Ehlers, R-Grand Rapids, and other leaders advocated the plan at Grand Haven’s Ferry Landing on Friday, Aug. 8, as part of the Great Lakes Regional Collaboration Strategy.

“This is an issue that sells itself,” Hoekstra said. “People here and around the country recognize what an important and valuable asset we have.”

Read the complete story here.


Policy conference to give region a voice for prosperity, jobs

In mid-September, business and civic leaders from all over West Michigan, and lawmakers from all over the state, will gather in Grand Rapids to discuss and dissect economic policies that matter to the region and will set it on a course for prosperity and jobs.

According to excerpts from the story:

Western Michigan has a few ideas that could make Michigan a more prosperous place, in Peter Secchia's view. The Regional Policy Conference, to be held in Grand Rapids Sept. 18 and 19, is a chance to develop some of them.

(Peter) Secchia explained why a western Michigan conference will be undertaken and what he hopes it will accomplish for Michigan.

"We're going to ask western Michigan leadership to voice their opinions (on) what has to be done," Secchia said. "The key to this is to create an atmosphere of discussing these issues -- on education, taxing, right to work, charter schools, competition in the schools, funding of the southeast quadrant versus the western quadrant -- with various viewpoints.

Read the complete story here.


Road Rally sets up finish line in Grand Rapids, 60-plus cars expected

Auto enthusiasts can join the excitement this October as over 60 cars race into Grand Rapids, the finale of a cross-country road rally designed to raise publicity for missing children rescue. The rally also gives West Michigan an end-of-the-season economic boost.

According to excerpts from the story:

GRAND RAPIDS -- The Fireball Run Transcontinental Rally will roll through Grand Rapids this fall, bringing along a slew of exotic cars driven by cunning, strategic thrill seekers.

It remains to be seen if someone will be able to claim home field advantage.

J. Sanchez, the director and founder of the rally, made a pitstop in Grand Rapids Friday, as he continued preparation for the Oct. 3-4 local stop.

The nine-day rally, which begins in Baton Rogue, La., on Sept. 26, and concludes in Grand Rapids, is expected to attract more than 60 cars, featuring drivers from across the nation.

Read the complete story here.


Grand Rapids CVB names new leader

Grand Rapids’ growing reputation as a convention destination brings tens of thousands of people and millions of dollars into the local economy, and with that growth in mind, the Convention and Visitors Bureau has selected a new leader with a proven track record to continue the momentum.

According to excerpts from the story:

GRAND RAPIDS — The Convention and Visitors Bureau has hired Douglas Small as its new president.

Small, with 26 years of experience in the hospitality industry, comes to Grand Rapids from Denver where he is senior vice president of that city's Metro Convention and Visitors Bureau, which has an annual budget of $16 million and 63 full-time employees.

Read the complete story here.


Housing bill may save Michigan homeowners from foreclosure

As the West Michigan faces the foreclosure crisis and homeowners fight to keep their families in their homes, a new federal bill could rescue up to 15 percent of those homeowners and help to stabilize a struggling economy.

According to excerpts from the story:

GRAND RAPIDS—No legislation coming out of Washington could give Michigan what it truly needs for an economic recovery -- jobs -- but the housing bill signed by President Bush this week will throw some people a lifeline.

"We're going to be looking at the rescue option under FHA, we're going to be looking at the tax credit for home buyers, we're going to be looking at the higher FHA limits on lending," said Dan Grzywacz, president of Exchange Financial in Kentwood, citing elements that could help.

Read the complete story here.


Vote for Michigan!

Vote for Michigan!

Football season hasn’t even started, but Michigan and Virginia are head-to-head in spirited competition. The two states are competing for the best tourism Web site. Virginia and Michigan were the only states to make the finals.

So give Michigan a boost by voting here. Polls close August 8 at midnight.

 


Grand Rapids, Lakeshore rank in top 10 metro areas for fast-growth companies

A study showing that West Michigan’s fastest growing companies span all industries and employment ranges contradicts conventional thought that Michigan’s future lies in targeted industries or in pulling in new, untested entrepreneurs.

According to excerpts from the story:

The Grand Rapids-Lakeshore area ranks among the top 10 metro areas in the country for fast-growing companies, a new study shows.

Yet Michigan as a whole ranks 44th among the states for its proportion of such employers, in the report issued by the Office of Advocacy of the U.S. Small Business Administration.

Of the 376,604 "high-impact" companies identified by researchers nationwide, 11,006 are in Michigan. That's 2.07 percent of Michigan's firms, putting it far behind No. 1 Alaska with 2.76 percent.

Read the complete story here.


Backers say Grand Rapids streetcar could bring $400M in development

A recent feasibility study of the proposed streetcar system for downtown Grand Rapids says the streetcar could spur $400 million in development by way of restaurants, stores and more—which means more jobs for the region. The challenge is finding the initial $79 million to construct the first phase.

According to excerpts from the story:

GRAND RAPIDS -- The vision is this: Sleek, electric streetcars running up and down Monroe Avenue NW, stopping every 10 minutes at canopy-covered stations.

It also includes a new wave of downtown development: nearly $400 million in restaurants, shops, offices, condos and apartments within blocks of the tracks.

The question, however, is who would pay for it.

Read the complete story here.


Michigan’s population growth of young adults outpaces nationwide average

It’s time to dispel the brain drain myth: stories of Michigan’s young people hitting the road after graduation and never looking back may have some merit. But a recent study says that during the same time state officials were worried about the loss the population of young adults was on the rise, outpacing the rest of the country.

According to excerpts from the story:

Michigan's population growth has slowed significantly from the period of 2000-06, but ironically the population of young adults increased during that time period even as officials worry about the loss of young people to other states, according to a report issued Monday by the Land Policy Institute at Michigan State University.

In fact, the growth of younger adults in Michigan from 2000 to 2006 outpaced the average growth nationwide, the report said.

Read the complete story here.


GVSU to offer Chinese studies major, doctoral of nursing practice

China continues to grow as a worldwide force and demand for healthcare management professionals continues to rise in West Michigan. So one West Michigan university recently responded by establishing the region’s first degree program in Chinese language and culture, and a separate doctorate program in nursing practice.

According to excerpts from the story:

At its meeting today, the GVSU board was expected to approve two programs to attract and retain students.

A Chinese studies major focusing on the country's culture, language, and history would be implemented this fall, admitting 37 students.

A new doctorate of nursing practice would educate nurses on management, quality health care delivery and illness prevention. It would seek accreditation this year and start in fall 2009.

Read the complete story here.


Manufacturers’ demands for skilled workers outnumber college grads

Michigan manufacturing is in the midst of a conundrum: the number of jobs is decreasing while manufacturing output is increasing. The solution could be engineers with high-level tech and manufacturing skills. Universities are producing them as fast as they can, but business leaders say it’s not fast enough.

According to excerpts from the story:

Manufacturing engineering students almost walk off the graduation stage into $50,000 to $60,000 a year jobs. Programs such as those at Western Michigan University, Grand Valley State University and Ferris State University can't produce grads fast enough to meet demand, directors say.

That's a paradox for an industry that analysts project will continue to lose workers. From 2004 to 2014, manufacturing employment in Michigan is expected to drop by 6.3 percent, or more than 44,000 jobs, according to the state Department of Labor and Economic Growth.

Even with placement rates at or near 100 percent, manufacturing engineering programs in western Michigan have trouble recruiting students.

Read the complete story here.


Perrigo plans to add 400 new jobs, keeps $10M plant expansion in Michigan

After a courtship by New York and New Jersey to develop a $10 million expansion and create 400 high-pay jobs in one of those states, one fast-growing pharmaceutical company has opted to stay in Michigan and create the jobs here. Some estimates predict direct and indirect jobs could total over 1,000.

According to excerpts from the story:

Perrigo Co. plans to invest $10.5 million in its Allegan headquarters and production campus in an expansion that's projected to generate 99 new jobs within a year and 400 over five years.

The Michigan Economic Growth Authority this morning was expected to approve a tax credit valued at $8.4 million over 12 years for a project that would include a 30,000-square-foot headquarters expansion and a 20,000-square-foot expansion at two production facilities.

Perrigo, which presently employees 2,569 people in Michigan, expects to complete the project by 2010, according to a MEGA briefing memo. The jobs directly created will pay an average weekly wage of $881.

Read the complete story here.


Pure Michigan sells Great Lakes tourism to international market

The push to bring out-of-state travelers and their wallets to Michigan reached beyond U.S. borders this week when a state tourism official played host and tour guide to a cadre of European travel agents in hopes of encouraging overseas travel to the state.

According to excerpts from the story:

The drive to bring more visitors to Michigan has gone international.

This weekend travel agents from England and Germany stopped at Meijer Gardens in Grand Rapids to check out Pure Michigan.

Their guide was a state tourism official who took them more than 1400 miles around Michigan in about four days.

Read the complete story here.

262 Stockbridge Articles | Page: | Show All
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