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Stockbridge : West Michigan In The News

262 Stockbridge Articles | Page: | Show All

Ohio joins Great Lakes Compact to sustain robust regional water supplies

As southern and west coast states slowly run out of water, many fear the Great Lakes’ seemingly unlimited quantities loom large on their radar. So, state by state, Great Lakes legislators have said no to diverting this precious resource. But Michigan, which has yet to approve the compact, is swimming two strokes behind.

According to excerpts from the story:

Sorry, California. Too bad, Arizona. Quit watering your lawns, Nevada.

One by one, Great Lakes states are signing onto a deal that will put a lockdown on future plans to divert water from Lakes Erie, Superior, Michigan, Huron, or Ontario or the St. Lawrence River.

After nearly eight years of negotiation and discussion, the Ohio Senate voted 33-0 in favor of joining the Great Lakes Compact on Tuesday, June 10. The bill now goes to Gov. Ted Strickland, who is expected to sign it.

Read the complete story here.


Battle Creek editorial calls for action on Great Lakes restoration plan

$20 billion is a lot of money, but, according to one study, an investment of that amount to clean up the Great Lakes could generate nearly three times that amount in jobs and economic investment. After Great Lakes leaders agreed to a cleanup plan in 2005, federal legislators have taken no action to support it, and one Great Lakes editor agrees that it’s time for businesses, organizations and state government to move ahead on their own.

According to excerpts from the story:

We have voiced support on numerous occasions for the Great Lakes restoration plan unveiled in 2005 by a coalition of federal, state, local and tribal agencies.

The ambitious long-range strategy would protect and upgrade the Great Lakes' ecosystem at an estimated cost of $20 billion. But it would generate at least $50 billion in long-term economic benefits for the region, according to an analysis released last year by the Brookings Institution.

Read the complete story here.


NY group launches boat tour to encourage Obama, McCain to restore Great Lakes

The United States’ largest freshwater resource, the Great Lakes, is threatened by pollution, invasive species, loss of wildlife and fish habitat and other dangers. Now one forward thinking New York coalition has launched a boat tour to Great Lakes ports in the hopes of garnering national attention and a promise of action from presidential candidates.

According to excerpts from the story:

The Healing Our Waters-Great Lakes Coalition has launched a 13-city boat tour in Buffalo, N.Y., to highlight the need to restore the Great Lakes and to urge the U.S. Congress and presidential candidates John McCain and Barack Obama to act to restore the lakes.

"The boat tour underscores the importance of the Great Lakes to millions of people and the urgent need to restore them," said Jeff Skelding, national campaign director of the Healing Our Waters-Great Lakes Coalition, the boat tour's sponsor. "To those seeking the presidency, we ask: 'Will you use your leadership as president to fund the restoration of the largest freshwater resource in North America?"

Read the complete story here.


In Utah, notice of Meijer Gardens

Grand Rapids continues to bring the works of world famous artists to its local galleries, and those exhibits are drawing national attention to the city’s love of creative endeavors. That, in turn, encourages art lovers from outside the region to spend time and money seeing the sights. 

According to excerpts from the story:

The Frederik Meijer Gardens and Sculpture Park in Grand Rapids, Mich., will host "Degas in Bronze: The Complete Sculptures" through Aug. 31. The exhibits offer visitors a chance to view the complete set of acclaimed A.A. Hebrard bronze castings - 73 sculptures in all - which is one of only four complete sets in the world.

Read the complete story here.


West MI primed for wind, solar energy innovations, experts say

As Michigan’s political leaders drag their feet on creating a workable policy that spurs development and jobs around alternative energy one West Michigan business leader says emerging energy technologies and Michigan’s geography are a perfect match—including a possible wind farm in Lake Michigan—and a recent energy symposium in Holland launched a new conversation.

According to excerpts from the story:

On June 5, the Ottawa County Planning and Grants Dept held an Alternative Energy Symposium. . Michigan Now’s Chris McCarus sat down with one of the speakers. His name is Steve Hamstra. He’s with GMB Architects and Engineers in Holland.

Read the complete story here.

 


Growth in staffing companies suggests growth in West Michigan businesses

Unemployment took another jump this week, but the West Michigan job news scene isn’t all bad with current trends showing that staffing agencies are placing more and more employees in positions that range from highly-skilled trades jobs to research positions, and that means that there are manufacturing and knowledge jobs to be had.

According to excerpts from the story:

EmploymentGroup just reported a record quarter -- 32 percent growth in sales for the first quarter of this year, attributed to 35 new clients that produced $3.45 million in new sales.

A growing employment agency suggests a growing demand for workers. Small and medium-sized businesses -- the majority of EmploymentGroup's clients -- are hiring in those markets, if not full-time staffers, at least full-time temporary workers.

In Holland, Manpower Inc. Great Lakes also has seen an increase in demand for workers, president Rebecca Dernberger said.

Read the complete story here.


GVSU communications students launch PR business on-campus

A new college student -founded and -led PR firm based on a college campus helps students learn the joys and pitfalls—things they can’t learn in the classroom—firsthand, and since they’ve already landed clients, maybe they’ll be encouraged and stick around to start businesses here after graduation.

According to excerpts from the story:

What started as working with fellow students to plan events on campus has turned into a student-run business venture at Grand Valley State University.

The fledgling public relations firm Grand PR presently consists of 10 GVSU communications students who set up the business and have so far landed four clients.

Read the complete story here.


Michigan advocates say push ahead with Great Lakes protection efforts

The forthcoming federal money for cleaning up, stopping the spread of invasive species, and remediating toxic hot spots or wildlife habitat in the Great Lakes region falls woefully short of what's need to accomplish goals established way back in 2005, and Michigan’s top brass says it time to stop waiting to take action. Is anyone listening?

According to excerpts from the story:

Michigan should push ahead with Great Lakes protection efforts despite a shortage of financial support from the federal government, state officials and conservation advocates said Thursday.

Lt. Gov. John Cherry said state agencies and nonprofit organizations would look for ways to implement portions of a Great Lakes restoration plan that supporters say has languished because of inadequate funding.

"It's pretty clear that we in Michigan need to move forward on our own ... with hope that when we elect a new president the federal interest will re-emerge," Cherry said in a phone interview. He announced the initiative in Lansing with representatives of the state Office of the Great Lakes and the Michigan United Conservation Clubs.

Read the complete story here.


Hertz taps Grand Rapids firm to design China locations

Just as design leaders across West Michigan are gathering to form the first national initiative for design as an industry, one local design firm lands a groundbreaking design contract to create the model retail location for an international rental car firm’s venture into China.

According to excerpts from the story:

A company based in Grand Rapids, Michigan, has been awarded the contract to design Hertz Rent-A-Car’s new hire outlet in Shanghai, China. The new retail location will also likely serve as a model in terms of its design for Hertz outlets to be built in the near future, not only in China, but rather in other parts of the world as well.

Fishbeck, Thompson, Carr & Huber, a major engineering firm in Michigan, was awarded the contract and according to media reports, the company is planning on meeting with both Hertz representatives, as well as contractors in China, to jumpstart the project.

Read the complete story here.


Michigan residents give Grand Rapids high marks compared to southeast side of state

Closing the gap of perceptions between residents on the east and west sides of the state is an important step in unifying opinions, politics, and economic strategies. A recent survey compiled some interesting results about how each side of the state feels about the other.

According to excerpts from the story:

It’s hardly news that Southeast Michigan’s neighbors across the state favor West Michigan for business-labor relations, work ethic, raising a family, philanthropy and volunteerism, and even fostering entrepreneurship.

More surprising is that when they say they do better, on some issues, we agree.

Read the complete story here.


Greenville’s United Solar Ovonic to add 400 jobs

A statewide push to delve deeper into alternative energy solutions just got a jumpstart with the announcement that a leading global manufacturer of solar laminate products will hire record numbers of West Michigan workers.

According to excerpts from the story:

GREENVILLE, Mich., June 2 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- United Solar Ovonic LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Energy Conversion Devices, Inc. and the leading global manufacturer of thin-film flexible solar laminate products for the building integrated and commercial rooftop markets, announced today that it will begin hiring to accommodate the recently announced expansion to add 120MWs nameplate capacity to its existing Greenville Campus. With this expansion the total employment at the site is planned to reach approximately 800 team members.

Read the complete story here.


Grand Rapids touted as ‘must do’ road trip by Indianapolis publication

Auto travel and high fuel costs don’t often mix, but this Indiana travel writer says making the drive to discover West Michigan’s vibrant art scene, bar and restaurant hotspots, and the family activities along the lakeshore is worth the time and money.

According to excerpts from the story:

As the city's Web site states, "Grand Rapids is serious about art," as confirmed by the Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park and six downtown museums. The Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park (www.meijergardens.org) is 125 acres of landscape, which includes works by Auguste Rodin.

The city also offers a lively downtown restaurant and bar scene, a zoo, the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Museum, minor league baseball and a 16-mile biking/skating path.

Read the complete story here.


Great Lakes’ water conservation will spur waves of entrepreneurial opportunities

As potable fresh water becomes more scarce, Great Lakes states are in a unique position to meet the demand for designers, manufacturers, retailers and creators of ‘green’ water technologies; and that means opportunity, money, and jobs for the only region where 35 million people depend on Great Lakes water.

According to excerpts from the story:

How do you “brand” water? If anyone has an answer to that question, its journalist and Traverse City native, J. Carl Ganter. Ganter is the executive director of an ambitious international non-profit, Circle of Blue, addressing the dangers – and opportunities – lapping at the issue of fresh water conservation. As environmental matters go, branding is how Ganter plans to make water the next global warming. Or, at least on par with that issue in the public consciousness.

“More than half the states in this country will be facing water shortages in the next five years,” said Ganter. “One-third of the global population doesn’t have adequate access to clean drinking water. It’s not all negative, however. There are huge economic opportunities. Huge.”

Read the complete story here.


Feds could approve $2B funding to create alternative energy jobs in Michigan

Michigan has the ability to compete in the alternative energy industries, but the lack of tax incentives and funding for research is holding companies back and high prices for hybrid cars are preventing green-minded consumers from buying…until this proposed legislation goes through.

According to excerpts from the story:

U.S. Sen. Debbie Stabenow said Thursday that federal funds and incentives pending in Congress will grow alternative energy jobs in Michigan and help consumers afford more fuel-efficient hybrid vehicles.

Stabenow, a Democrat who sits on the Senate Finance Committee, said the full chamber has approved her request for $2 billion to support energy efficiency programs by cities, counties and states. It would also increase federal funding for advanced battery research from $22 million to $250 million.

The budget legislation is now in the House, but the funding level for the U.S. Department of Energy has been secured, she said.

Read the complete story here.


Middle East expansion may be on horizon for West Michigan businesses

West Michigan’s competitive edge as leading manufacturers and tradesmen will serve it well in the burgeoning Middle Eastern market, and experts are standing by, ready to help companies cash in on some of the $1.6 trillion dollars waiting to be invested in equipment, knowledge, and technology West Michigan companies can provide.

According to excerpts from the story:

A few western Michigan companies have discovered new markets in the Middle East. More could -- demand is strong and there is a lot of professional help locally to expand sales in that region.

"There are more than $1.6 trillion dollars to spend by just the six Gulf Countries on various projects where American countries can produce equipment, knowhow, technology and products," said Abdul Quader Shaikh, senior international economist for the trade information center of the federal Department of Commerce.

Saudi Arabian business people who hosted Dixie Anderson and other members of the National World Affairs Council in December repeatedly asked about plastics, Anderson said. The Kingdom, as Saudi Arabia often is called, also is in a construction boom.

"They're building five cities from scratch," said Anderson, executive director of the World Affairs Council Western Michigan in Grand Rapids.

Read the complete story here.

262 Stockbridge Articles | Page: | Show All
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