GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — The Right Place, Inc. has unveiled its “roadmap to success” for economic growth in the Grand Rapids area over the next three years.
The economic development agency — which is partnered with eight West Michigan counties — has created strategic three- or five-year plans since 1985 as it works to encourage growth in the greater Grand Rapids area.
The new strategic plan was put together with the help of more than 300 local leaders and business consulting firm Ernst & Young. It looked at 19 ‘peer’ and ‘aspirant’ cities like Kalamazoo, Ann Arbor and Detroit to compare economies.
The plan is building toward a 10-year goal “to be amongst the best regional economies in the Midwest,” the report says.
“From both internal research conducted, and stakeholder conversations held, we see that Greater Grand Rapids has a great deal of opportunity in the years to come,” the report says.
The Right Place says it is working toward four goals by the end of 2025: to have 4,000 jobs retained or created, an average of $26.50 hourly wage for jobs The Right Place is connected with, to have $500 million in capital investment and $100 million in community development investment.
The strategy is focused on the advanced manufacturing, health sciences and technology industries.
Each initiative recommended in the plan is focused around four goals: fostering economic growth, championing inclusive opportunities, elevating greater Grand Rapids and boosting regional impact.
Initiatives include partnering with Hello West Michigan, TalentFirst, Experience GR, Pure Michigan and Michigan Economic Development Corporation.
The report also recommends creating councils for strategic growth areas, like a ‘Development Council,’ and getting a tech scout for Silicon Valley and Europe. The Right Place also wants to host events for manufacturing and health science employers to teach them about technology trends, like Tech Week Grand Rapids.
To read the full report, click here.