Monday, October 31, 2011

Lieutenant governor promotes area to consultants

By JOHNNY BUCK - Bulletin Staff Writer

Lt. Gov. Bill Bolling attended the Sprint Cup race at Martinsville Speedway on Sunday in part to market the region for economic development.

“We’ve got a group of, I guess, eight or nine site-selection consultants from all over the country in to help educate them a little bit about what Southern Virginia has to offer in terms of economic development and job opportunities,” said Bolling from the infield of the speedway before the start of the TUMS Fast Relief 500. “... This is the second year that we’ve done this type of economic-development retreat, and I think it’s been a great weekend.”

The weekend, which included a stay at Primland in Patrick County, was the latest of several trips Bolling has made to the area in his role as chief jobs creation officer.

Roughly two years ago, Gov. Bob McDonnell pledged that either he or Bolling would visit the Southside area at least once every 30 days in an effort to spur job growth. On Sunday, Bolling said they continue to honor that pledge, though he couldn’t immediately recall the last time he visited the region.

“I think we’ve proven true to the promise of putting a lot of attention and a lot of focus on Southern Virginia and on rural economic development. And I’m pleased with the progress that we’ve made,” he said.

He cited the creation of the Southern Virginia Regional Alliance, a marketing partnership between Henry, Patrick, Pittsylvania and Halifax counties and the cities of Martinsville and Danville. The alliance “is going to well-position this region for future economic growth,” Bolling said.

Although he didn’t name specifics, Bolling said, “We’ve got a number of good projects in the pipeline that I think you’ll be hearing about over the next several months. We’re going to have a very aggressive legislative agenda again this year to help advance some of the rural economic development strategies that we have.”

Bolling also expressed satisfaction with Virginia’s overall economic progress since McDonnell’s term began in January 2010.

“According to the Federal Bureau of Labor Statistics, we’ve created about 34,000 net new jobs in Virginia in the last two years. We’ve brought our (statewide) unemployment rate down from 7.2 percent to 6.5 percent. We’re doing much better than almost any other state in the country right now,” he said. “But unemployment’s an absolute thing. If you’re out there looking for a job and you can’t find one, your unemployment rate’s 100 percent. So we’re not going to quit working until we get to where we want to be.”

Bolling pointed to a pair of recent accolades for the commonwealth. About six months ago, CNBC named Virginia the “top state in America for business,” he said. Roughly three months later, Helena Commercial Real Estate declared Virginia the most “pro-business state in America,” he said.

“We’ve invested over a $100 million in proven economic development and job creation programs in the last two years alone. So I think the effort that we’re making is paying off, and I’m pleased with the progress we’ve made, but we all realize that we have a lot of work left to be done,” he said.

Unemployment rates in Southside are higher than the state average, with Martinsville’s rate in August 19.4 percent.

Bolling said he believes the governor will protect economic development initiatives even if he is forced to make cuts to balance the state budget. McDonnell has directed many state agencies to submit budget reduction proposals in the amounts of 2, 4 and 6 percent.

“What I suspect will happen is that, you know, budgets are always about priorities, so what I suspect will happen is that we will choose to invest more in some areas, like economic development,” Bolling said. “That may mean that we have less to spend in other areas, so we’re going to have to make some difficult choices. But at this point, the 2-, 4- and 6-percent budget reduction plans we’ve asked for are precautionary, and we’ll know better as we approach the release of the budget in December whether or not those plans will have to be implemented, and if so, to what degree they’re going to have to be implemented and what agencies they might impact,” he said.

Statesville 'very well suited' for food industry

By: Bethany Fuller

Statesville is positioned to be a player in the food industry, according to one of the senior vice presidents at Charlotte Regional Partnership.

Former executive director for the Mooresville-South Iredell Economic Development Corp., Russell Rogerson, told members of the Statesville Regional Development --- formerly known as the Greater Statesville Development Corp. --- Committee of 100 that many food manufacturing companies are looking for locations with good transportation access and proximity to large populations.

“I think Statesville is very well suited for it,” said Rogerson, senior vice president of economic development services at CRP. “They tend to locate where the product is. I believe it’s one of those areas that is going to continue to maintain momentum.”

The food industry has a variety of markets that fit into the Charlotte area, he said, such as niche, ethnic and organic foods.

Rogerson said there is an increased focus within the industry on trends and tracking food products, which is why manufacturers are able to track down the source of a salmonella or E. coli outbreak, for example, so quickly.

A good work force and access to utilities is a major factor in recruiting food manufacturers or distribution centers, Rogerson said. From his time in Mooresville, he said, he knows how helpful Mitchell Community College can be in recruiting new industry.

“I you can’t prove to them that we can train employees to perform, you won’t get to the starting line,” Rogerson said.

Iredell County already has a number of food manufacturers and distribution sites, and Rogerson said potential new businesses are going to want to go out and talk to them about what its like to do business in Statesville.

North Carolina is home to Food Lion, Fresh Market, Lowes Foods and Harris Teeter among others, he said.

Some of the selling points Rogerson described for the 16-county area within the Charlotte Regional Partnership are access to trucking companies, the Charlotte Douglas International Airport, an agriculture base to pull products from and the N.C. Research Campus in Kannapolis.

As the campus continues to develop and attract research projects from various colleges, Rogerson said, it will help the larger message that the Charlotte Regional Partnership, which serves 16 counties in North Carolina and South Carolina, shares with site selection consultants and businesses.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

County tries post card marketing blitz

The Hawk Eye

RICHMOND, Ind. - An eastern Indiana economic development group has launched a marketing blitz aimed at drawing food processing companies to Wayne County.

The Economic Development Corp. has sent postcards to 4,700 companies across the U.S., and created a new website to help attract businesses to the area.

Each card includes a link to and a code that can be used on smart phones to access the site.

The campaign cost $16,000 and has generated more than 230 hits from 34 states and Canada, reported the Palladium-Item.

Website visitors who provide an e-mail address receive a one-pound box of caramels from a local business.

Tim Rogers, chief executive officer of the economic development group and the Wayne County Area Chamber of Commerce, noted Wayne County has a history with food processing.

The push comes despite struggles by Really Cool Foods, which opened a 79,000-square-foot organic food manufacturing and distribution center north of Cambridge City in 2008.

The company promised a $100 million investment in the community and planned to hire 1,000 employees over five to seven years, but it has struggled to meet investment and employment goals. It laid off 31 workers last November, and employment numbers fell again in July.

Primary Employer Attraction Tips from Greyhill Advisors Blog

Site seletion consulting firm Greyhill Advisors maintains a blog on issues related to place marketing. Here's a sample of the useful information they provide from Daniel Kah:

Tuesday, October 11, 2011 at 11:20PM

Full disclosure - I stole today's post from Mike Masciola. I spoke with some wonderful people from Thornton, CO last week and Mike thoughtfully put our collective ramblings into an outline. Since I am just arriving home from the work day (I really need to start posting in the AM), this might be the only way for me to make my midnight deadline. Plus the outline is pretty good.

Primary Employer Attraction - What it takes to be competitive

Reasons primary employers move or expand into new markets
■Strategic positioning, efficiency needs due to increased competition nationally and internationally, new market opportunities, be closer to customer, consolidation/downsizing, etc.

Process used to evaluate new markets (Site Selection Process)
■Driven by the strategic needs of the company
■Location will be where company can be most successful
■Tremendous competition - Lots of choices – process of elimination
■Short list of Metro then go to Cities

Major considerations for new location decisions
■Use ~ 400 data points
■Traditional - Proximately, labor, operating costs, logistics /transportation, etc.
■In today’s environment
■Productivity improvements – reduces workforce needs
■Space optimization – smaller foot prints
■Existing buildings
■Shovel ready sites
■Alternative financing

What can a city can do to improve chances in the site selection process?
■Be very good at what the City can control (Good, Bad & Ugly)
■Government approvals (development, incentives, etc)
■Speed, Predictable, Flexible, Reduce risk and uncertainty
■Risks the projects (i.e. HR issues)
■Break means more work for company and consultant
■Makes community look unprofessional
■Effective ED staff - Importance of having a credible reliable single point of contact
■Regional networks/partnerships in place & coordinated
■Strong after care/retention program in place
■Long term strategic plan to protect investment
■An understanding/appreciation of business drivers not under city control
■Market fit, private sector negotiations, gaps in workforce, lack of building/site options, etc.

Actions city can take to increase opportunities of being included the site location process
■Marketing with regional organizations
■Strong relationships with site selectors
■Strong relationships with commercial brokers
■Data rich website
■Enlist existing industry in identifying prospect opportunities
■Effective public policy examples from other communities

Check out the blog here.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Mission job creation

By Adva Saldinger The Sun News

It’s hard to go anywhere without hearing about someone who is out of work, but now the Myrtle Beach Regional Economic Development Corp. has more money than ever to try and change that conversation.

Horry County Council nearly quadrupled the economic development group’s budget this year aiming to get results – more jobs and business investments – that have been elusive in recent years.

No major job announcements have been made in Horry County since 2009 and only 612 jobs from new companies have come to the area in the past five years, according to statistics from the S.C. Department of Commerce. That represented 0.7 percent of the 87,526 jobs that came to South Carolina from 2006 to 2010, according to the commerce department.

Read more.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Head of Colorado's economic development office says restructuring will help lure more jobs

By Steve Raabe
The Denver Post

A restructuring of Colorado's economic development office is intended to generate more big wins like the recent Arrow Electronics​ and GE deals, the office's director said Thursday.

"Our priority is to help retain and attract jobs to Colorado," said Ken Lund, executive director of the Colorado Office of Economic Development and International Trade​. "We need to realign to accomplish that goal more quickly."

The restructuring entails elimination of four positions and the hiring of 12 to 15 new staffers. More here.

Study urges St. Louis region to pull together around economic development

BY TIM LOGAN • > 314-340-8291

The St. Louis region is at a crossroads, and if it doesn't make the right decisions in the next two years, it could spend the next two decades sliding ever deeper into economic irrelevance.

That's the stark gist of a massive study issued Thursday by the St. Louis County Economic Council — the latest in a long string of calls for the region to pull together if it hopes to thrive in the global economy.

The report, produced by consulting firm AECOM and paid for with a federal grant, runs 247 pages and sounds alarms heard here many times before. But in an interview last week its author minced few words.

"If you want to create jobs, you have to start acting like a region," said Chris Brewer, a vice president for economics at AECOM.

That means no more incentives to companies just for moving across a city line or even the Mississippi River. No more sniping among the different groups that work on regional economic development. And, he said, political leaders have to step up and speak for the region, not just their own patch of turf. More here.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Shreveport leaders impressed with economic development efforts in trip to Oklahoma City


SHREVEPORT, La. — Shreveport city officials and community leaders say a trip to Oklahoma City last week provided them with new economic development ideas.

More than 50 people made the trip, according to The Times ( Businesses sponsored the bus trip and a reception. Meals and hotel expenses were paid individually.

Mayor Cedric Glover said he selected Oklahoma City for the trip because of its similarity to Shreveport.

Glover said he was impressed by the economic development efforts of Oklahoma City's Chamber of Commerce.

Glover said he was impressed by the economic development efforts of Oklahoma City's Chamber of Commerce. Caddo Commissioner Matthew Linn said he, too, was impressed by the work of Oklahoma City's chamber. He said one of those efforts was a partnership with a biomedical research foundation.

Linn said he would like to see Shreveport's chamber become more involved in economic development.

Information from: The Times,

Despite its financial problems, states still want Sears

Sears Holdings Corp. has lost about $314 million during the first half of this year, has been criticized by Wall Street and constantly reinvents itself to lure back recession-weary consumers.

Despite those financial ailments, this legendary company based in Hoffman Estates is being actively wooed by at least 16 states — including Illinois — for its global headquarters. Ohio and Texas are among those that reportedly have offered incentives, while Hoffman Estates and Illinois continue to work on a deal. More here.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Wisconsin leaders plan more state promotion to businesses

Written by Larry Avila
Post-Crescent business editorFiled

NEENAH — To lure more jobs to Wisconsin, officials say an important step is to better market the state to prospective businesses looking for new places to set up shop.

Paul Jadin, chief executive officer of the Wisconsin Economic Development Corp., the reorganized state Department of Commerce, said the state has not effectively marketed itself in the past. With Gov. Scott Walker pushing a pro-business agenda, the retooled commerce department has shifted its focus on economic development.

"The state has been bad at (marketing)," Jadin said Wednesday during a business forum in Neenah organized by the state and Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce, a Madison-based business association. More here.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

City manager: Economic development key to reversing ‘difficult’ budget trend

Evanston, IL beefs up its economic development staff to offset more than $15 million in budget reductions and the loss of 65 employees.  The city manager says further cuts will "severely impact our quality of life” and that the city must be more aggressive in attracting new business to the city and encouraging existing business to grow to reverse the trend.

“I believe it is the single most important thing that this city can do moving forward,” he said. More here.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Dothan looks to keep up with changing markets in industry recruitment

WIth major automobile manufacturers having located in Tuscaloosa (Mercedes), Montgomery (Hyundai) and Lincoln (Honda), residents of Dothan Alabama, are asking "where's ours?"

This article discusses what the community is doing to respond to changes in the marketplace and to be more competitive in its offerings.  More here.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Port Authority trying to find way through economic woes

The Zanesville-Muskingum County Port Authority has experienced declining finances in recent years. Executive Director Mike Jacoby discusses what the organization is doing to respond. 

The Interstate 70 billboard at left is is one of several marketing attempts advertising Zanesville as a site for shale business, Along with the billboard, the authority is using SEO, advertising in trade publications, email marketing and created a separate Shale Play link on its website.

More here.

FD Chamber says yes to alliance

The Fort Dodge Area Chamber of Commerce, the Development Corporation of Fort Dodge and Webster County have joined together to form the Greater Fort Dodge Growth Alliance effective Jan. 1.

The groups spent about a year planning the alliance. They expect it  will bring a unified message and centralized leadership to the quest for economic growth. It would also place the economic development and Chamber offices under one roof. More here.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Mayors want local economic development officers to be in on talks with Region

Niagara officials debate local autonomy versus regional cooperation as they attempt to put together a new model for their area.  More here.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Michigan State plans economic development center

Michigan State University says it's planning to create an economic development center to focus on new ways of generating businesses and jobs statewide.

The East Lansing school said Tuesday the project is funded by a $915,000 grant over five years from the U.S. Economic Development Administration.

Rex LaMore will oversee the MSU University Center for Regional Economic Innovation. LaMore, who is director of the school's Lansing-based Center for Community & Economic Development, said in a statement the idea is to produce a "21st-century toolbox" for economic development.

Under the project, faculty and students also will work with local and regional governments to improve and document economic development practices.

Beachwood Ohio Gets a New Development Plan

The city of Beachwood, Ohio received a final report from a team hired to recommend an economic development strategy for the suburban Cleveland community.

The consulting team included Steve Schoeny of SZD Whiteboard, Mark Barbash, former economic development director of the city of Columbus, and Mark James from ED Solutions.

The 29-page report outlined nine broad recommendations that each include specific tasks. Here’s a summary.

Greater MSP plans to market region with one voice

Tthe Minneapolis-St. Paul Regional Economic Development Partnership unveiled its economic development strategy for a 13-county region and its plans to market the Twin Cities to businesses that might be looking for places to expand.

Its goal is to grow jobs at a faster rate than the national average and add 100,000 jobs over the next five years.

The CEO of the new group, Michael Langley, was quoted as saying that "For the first time, the Minneapolis-St. Paul region will have a one-stop shop for businesses hoping to retain their workers, grow and expand their operations, or for those looking to move to a new community.

More here.

End of the U.S Economic Development Adminstration?

U.S. Rep. Mike Pompeo of Kansas wants to eliminate the Economic Development Administration.

The Wichita congressman says the EDA  uses taxpayer money from across the country to fund local projects, but the government shouldn’t be in the business of “picking winners and losers” by selectively doling out aid.

Overall, the agency — an arm of the Commerce Department — distributed $285 million nationwide last year. The agency was among the social and economic initiatives developed under former President Lyndon Johnson’s “Great Society” program in the 1960s.
More here

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

The Kilgore Economic Development Corporation Uses Metrics to Drive Strategic Plan

The Kilgore Economic Development Corporation uses a number of measurements to gauge success including the number of jobs retained and created during the period, assessing the percentage of the tax base total value of commercial/industrial enterprises, tracking the balance of oil and gas investment against other development and monitoring household and disposable income in the local market.

Success against these measurements were used to develop a new strategic plan that will carry the organization into 2017.  More on their metrics and new strategic plan can be found here.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Governors Share Development Strategies

Even though they compete against each other to lure businesses to their states, three governor’s attending the National Governors Association were open to sharing strategies that work for them last week.

While each state is different they all share the desire to get America back to work, Nebraska Gov. Dave Heineman said.

Christine Stuart blogged on CT News Junkie that Connecticut Gov. Dannel P. Malloy said “I think we all find ways to compete. Jack [Delaware Gov. Jack Markell] said earlier and I think we’d all agree, I think we’d all love if we didn’t have to have any incentives. If we leveled the playing field, by leveling the playing field as opposed to having to have tools. So the necessity is we have to have tools.”

More here.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Millar: 'Manufacturing is not dead'

Friday, October 07, 2011

Montgomery development efforts questioned

Some officials in Montgomery County, Maryland are questioning whether the department that oversees its economic health is doing enough to attract high-end jobs. They say say the county has lost thousands of jobs and no longer can depend on its proximity to Washington, D.C. and its federal jobs machine for its economic health. .

“In general, attracting companies like Costco or Walmart is not building the kind of high-wage economy that we need here to support our quality of life,” Councilman Hans Riemer (D-At large) of Silver Spring was quoted as saying. “The county has always been able to rely on the federal government to provide the economic engine to keep this county going. And I think those days are over,” he said.

Although Montgomery’s population grew by 100,000 from 2000 to 2010, the county lost about 5,500 jobs.

The director of the county’s Department of Economic Development, has released a plan that focuses on retaining businesses and attracting national and global interest. More here

Thursday, October 06, 2011

Partisan split emerges in NC over tire plant deal

After South Carolina won a new Continental Tire plant set to bring 1,600 jobs to the state, top elected leaders across the state line in North Carolina were already pointing fingers at each other over their failure to land the deal. More here.

Iowa works to reshape economic development efforts

Iowa's pipeline of businesses looking to locate or expand and the state's economic development director will seek $30 million in new incentive money to better compete for new jobs.

Debi Durham, director of the reconfigured Iowa Economic Development Authority, has been given indications that supplemental funds to recruit business prospects would be available if her agency runs short on funds.

More here.

TEAM Santa Rosa must reform to stay put

The Santa Rosa County Commission is calling for changes at TEAM Santa Rosa Economic Development Council.

At workshops held last week, some business leaders praised TEAM Santa Rosa while critics dismissed it as ineffective and lacking accountability.

TEAM Santa Rosa is working on a six month contract extension with the county, which began Oct. 1. County Commission chairman Lane Lynchard was quoted as saying there needs to be a look at the structure of the EDC.  Team Santa Rosa was asked to detail what reforms will be instituted.

Lynchard also said there was a public perception problem with TEAM that there is insider dealings. He called for reforms that instill confidence in the public.

Areas of potential reform Lynchard outlined include changing the makeup of the TEAM board of directors with more appointees from commissioners, and rebranding the organization. Some commissioners have also called for personnel changes at TEAM.

More here.

Wednesday, October 05, 2011

Sears eyes Ohio or Texas for HQ

The Chicago Tribune reported that Sears Holdings Corp. has narrowed its list of possible locations for a new headquarters to Illinois, Ohio and Texas.

The paper quoted a source as saying that a small group of Sears officials visited Columbus, Ohio, and Austin, Texas, last month to visit potential sites for their headquarters. They met with economic development leaders at the state and local levels and were offered offered incentives to relocate.

The company has said they prefer to stay at their current location in Illinois and are working with legislators there to develop a tax incentive package. More here.

Tuesday, October 04, 2011

EDC outlines marketing blitz of food processors

The Economic Development Corporation of Wayne County Indiana has developed a new marketing campaign that targets the food processing industry.

The campaign includes three different post cards, each with a different illustration and information. The themes include "Dine on Success" with a chef with pasta; "Sweet Reasons" with a chef with candy; and "We Deliver" with a chef in a car.

The cards are being sent to food processing company presidents and CEOs whose addresses were acquired by purchasing a mailing list of 5,000 names. The second and third post cards will be sent in two-week intervals.

The campaign invites recipients to visit a new website to provide an email address and receive a free gift of a one-pound box of handcrafted caramels from local businesses.  The website also includes testimonials from officials at existing food processing companies in the area. More here.

Monday, October 03, 2011

A plan to “Irrigate” St. Paul’s economic development through the arts

St. Paul has assembled nearly $1 million to galvanize a new artist-led economic development program along the city’s six-mile stretch of “Central Corridor” light rail construction. The program, called Irrigate, is a joint project of Springboard for the Arts (a Knight Arts grantee), the City of St. Paul and Twin Cities Local Initiatives Support Corporation.

Irrigate plans to actively enlist the city’s arts community and put them to work in Central Corridor neighborhoods, training artists to lead community development efforts on behalf of the area’s affected businesses and residents, with the aim of encouraging cultural vitality and fueling economic growth in those neighborhoods during the construction process and beyond. More here.

NASA And EDC Renew Economic Development Cooperation

Source: Kennedy Space Center

NASA's Kennedy Space Center and the Economic Development Commission (EDC) of Florida's Space Coast are formally renewing their economic development partnership. NASA and EDC managers signed a new five-year Space Act Agreement on Monday at Kennedy that outlines economic development cooperation aimed at supporting NASA's current and future missions.

"The Kennedy Space Center appreciates our relationship with the EDC of Florida's Space Coast and looks forward to continuing our strong partnership with this agreement," said Kennedy Space Center Director Robert Cabana. "It's the people of the Space Coast that have made Kennedy a success over the decades, and it's our hope that working with the EDC and other partners will help us and the surrounding communities continue to be successful."

The agreement calls for NASA and EDC senior leadership to meet regularly to discuss economic development matters of mutual interest. Managers from Kennedy's Center Planning and Development Office will work with the EDC on potential business partnerships and meet with business leaders and committees to address space-related and high-tech economic development. They will also collaborate with the EDC on industry recruitment initiatives seeking targeted space-related and high-tech companies and on targeted industry outreach activities, such as trade shows.

EDC officials will assist NASA with disseminating information about potential partnership opportunities and space-related and high-tech economic development, and increase awareness of Kennedy's Engineering and Technology Directorate collaboration initiatives. They also will promote the commercial use of underutilized facilities at Kennedy.

"The continuation of this agreement further enhances the partnership between the EDC and Kennedy Space Center," said Bob Whelen, Chairman of the Board for the Economic Development Commission of Florida's Space Coast. "This agreement reinforces our joint goal of maintaining and enhancing Brevard County's vigorous activity in support of the nation's preeminent gateway to space."

NASA and the EDC entered into their first economic cooperation agreement in 2005.

For information about the Economic Development Commission (EDC) of Florida's Space Coast, visit:

For information about how to partner and do business with NASA's Kennedy Space Center, visit:

And for more information about Kennedy, visit:

Sunday, October 02, 2011

New Fla. agency formed to attack economic development

Florida has created a new Department of Economic Opportunity to help attract new business and grow jobs, under new director Doug Darling.

The new department was created from several existing agencies, including the governor's Office of Tourism, Trade and Economic Development, or OTTED. Also being folded into the new agency are the former labor department and Department of Community Affairs. More here.

Expert: Market Newton as manufacturing hub .

Jay Garner, president and founder of Garner Economics told Newton, GA officials they have a strong manufacturing base that can be capitalized on with the right marketing, but there are still lots of obstacles standing in the way of economic growth.

Garner's report was part of a study commissioned commissioned and jointly funded by the city of Covington, Newton County, the Industrial Development Authority and the Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors to determine the county's assets and shortcomings as they might be viewed by industries and businesses on the hunt for a new location.

Reality is our friend and hope is not a strategy," Chamber President Hunter Hal was quoted as saying. "We've got to deal with the good, the bad and everything in between and this study is going to help us do that," he said in an interview with Rockdale Citizen.

Of 75 criteria, Newton had 19 assets that should be marketed to attract business and 17 challenges that could deter companies from locating there, Garner found.  The remaining factors were deemed neutral, not a plus or minus. The challenge over the next few years is to turn those neutrals into assets and the challenges into neutrals, Garner said. More here.

Officials tap water's economic promise

Communities in southeast Michigan are overflowing with optimism about prospects for jobs and economic development tied to the state's enviable water supply.More here.