President & CEO's Message
From Rockin’ the River, to the Tall Ship Celebration, St. Stan’s Festival, and the myriad of concerts and live performances and movies in Wenonah Park, I sure hope you have enjoyed the excitement in our community over the past few months! And as we head into our final full month of summer, there are still plenty of events to attend and reasons to get outdoors and enjoy Bay County!
 
It is in this spirit that we at Bay Future, Inc. highlight the great place Bay County is to live, work, and play. One of our main tactics for success as a part of our strategic action plan is attracting business to Bay County to continue to add jobs and capital investment that bolster our local economy. To do this, we look at the unique attributes we have to offer including: a strategic location with access to rail, water, air, and major highway infrastructure ( Bay County was recognized as a Top 10 Logistics Leader in 2016 ); prime agricultural land; a legacy of manufacturing; and an extremely affordable place to live ( Forbes , CNN , and Realtor.com think so too!). We focus on attracting targeted industries including agribusiness , advanced manufacturing , warehousing/distribution & logistics , medical device manufacturing , and data/call centers/IT .
 
One of the main components in the attraction of business includes site selection which helps a company find the right property or building that best fits their needs. Bay Future, Inc.’s site selection efforts include the utilization, maintenance, and curation of an industrial and commercial database of available properties in Bay County called MIGreatLakesBaySites.com. In tandem with these efforts, we proactively work with private landowners and local units of government to identify properties with development potential. Specifically, we advocate for correct and best practice zoning and ordinance language and implementation, identify grants, low interest loans, or additional funding to facilitate these efforts including infrastructure and utility expansion and investment, and assist in overcoming any additional obstacles to secure private investment and development at the site.
 
We exercise our site selection expertise by identifying and submitting requests for proposals or requests for information submitted to Bay Future, Inc. from sources such as the Michigan Economic Development Corporation, site selectors, or companies specifically soliciting information on properties or buildings in Bay County.  We do that by compiling and disseminating data to those above, through this process, that allows for the business to accurately assess industry clusters, supply chains, and local demographic data, along with coordinating, facilitating, and hosting familiarization and site tours to help relay the story of our community, assets, people, places, and companies in an effort to acclimate and inform a new company as to why Bay County is the best place for their business.
 
In recent years, we have worked to attract businesses such as Conti Corporation , Everbest Organics , ATS Printing, Halla Mechatronics , and more. It is this effort of attracting businesses, along with business retention, expansion, and marketing Bay County, that will allow our community to secure investment, jobs, and talent, all while proving why Bay County and our area is the best place to live, work, play and establish a business.
 
Happy reading,
 
-Trevor Keyes, EDFP
President & CEO
Bay Future, Inc.
Featured Content
Michigan Reconnect and Mi Opportunity
Earlier this Summer, The Bay Area Chamber of Commerce invited Michelle Richard, Deputy to the Senior Advisor to the Governor for Michigan Prosperity, to speak to Bay Area community members as a part of the “Leading the Way” Speaker Series. The Bay Area Chamber of Commerce is supportive of initiatives that positively impact attainment and workforce throughout Michigan.
 
Proposals to close Michigan’s skills gap and lift the education attainment of our workforce were recently introduced into the Michigan House and Senate. Senate Bills 267 and 268 and House Bills 4464 and 4456 would provide last-dollar community college tuition for graduating high school seniors and adults already in the workforce. The proposals' goals are to make sure Michigan businesses can find the skilled workers they need, and that all Michiganders have the opportunity to acquire the education and skills required for a good-paying job.

Here are more details:

Michigan Reconnect
Reconnect offers Michiganders who are at least 25 and have not earned a college degree last-dollar state funding for tuition at any public community college. Reconnect enrollees are held to the same accountability standards as their younger counterparts except that they are only required to enroll half-time given work and family responsibilities. This program, which also was pioneered in Tennessee, provides Michiganders who need more education or skill to rise in their current workplace or to find better jobs in different fields tuition-free access to that education and those skills.

Mi Opportunity—Community College
The Mi Opportunity Community College program provides last-dollar state funding to cover tuition and mandatory fees at any public community college for any graduating high school senior who agrees to meet the following accountability conditions:
  
  • Earn good grades that maintain the student in good academic standing
  • Earn at least 20 credits each school year and complete in no more than 3 years
  • Don’t stop out before completion except for extenuating circumstances

Based on the acclaimed Tennessee Promise and similar programs in 11 other states, Mi Opportunity is designed to significantly increase the number of high school graduates enrolling in post-secondary studies, and to create the critical shared belief that a high school diploma is no longer enough.
 
Mi Opportunity—Four Year
Mi Opportunity-Four Year is designed to help high school graduates with good grades from middle- and lower-income families reduce the debt burden of attending a four-year public or private non-profit college or university. It will offer a $2,500 scholarship for each of the first two years of attendance. Students must have earned at least a 3.0 GPA in high school and come from a family with an income of less than $80,000. Mi Opportunity Four Year should increase college attendance by reducing the crushing debt burden that discourages so many from enrolling. 
Featured Event
Discover Great Lakes Bay Coming Home Networking Mixer
–Register Today!
 
Last year the Great Lakes Bay Region hosted its first ever Coming Home Networking Mixer. The event brought together employers and young professionals in a relaxed atmosphere to encourage young professionals to take a fresh look at the region and the career opportunities that exist here.
 
This year’s Coming Home Networking Mixer is scheduled for October 11th at Mountain Town Station in downtown Mt. Pleasant, MI and you’re invited to participate. Whether you’re a Bay County business that’s looking to fill open positions at your company or someone passionate about your community, this event is for you. 

Businesses that register by August 14th will also be invited to a complimentary pre-event breakfast taking place August 28th where businesses will receive additional information on how to get the most out of the networking mixer and hear from speakers who will help businesses address further talent needs after the event.

Young professionals and individuals interested in attending can register and upload resumes online. Attendees will receive two complimentary drink tickets and enjoy a variety of complimentary appetizers at the event.

We are excited to offer another opportunity for our businesses to network and expand in the Great Lakes Bay region and hope you will join us in making this event a great success.
 
For further information, please visit http://discovergreatlakesbay.com or email the project coordinators at discovergreatlakesbay@gmail.com . 
Investor Spotlight
Bay County REALTOR ® Association

The purpose of the Bay County REALTOR® Association (BCRA) is to provide programs, products, information and services that will enhance the ability of its members to serve the public ethically and competently and succeed in their businesses. The BCRA was chartered in 1946 and currently has 176 Realtor Members and over 40 Affiliate Members.
 
The BCRA is a proud investor in Bay Future, Inc. and is committed to enhancing the quality of life in Bay County. Check out Bay County listings here !
Program Highlights
Make it happen with the  Pitch a Dream  competition. Have an idea, looking to start a business, or maybe you have already started a business, this opportunity could bring you to the next level. Companies will be eligible for investment to further the start-up or growth of their company. Investment levels will range from In-kind services to cash prizes. The program details and competitive process will be administered by Central Michigan University Research Corporation (CMURC).  

Online application Deadline August 11, 2019!
MVAA recognizes employers that commit to military veteran recruitment, training and retention practices by awarding those employers Gold, Silver and Bronze level status as Veteran-Friendly Employers. MVAA’s Veteran-Friendly Employer program helps qualified organizations recruit and retain top veteran talent while providing others a road map to improve their recruitment efforts.

The application process is simple and straightforward. For the Bronze level, we ask for the basics about your organization: how many veterans do you have, what methods do you have in place for hiring veterans, how many veterans do you want to hire in the upcoming year, etc. To qualify for Silver or Gold an organization needs to have programs in place within their company that helps promote a veteran-friendly environment. Some examples are: apprenticeships, internships, mentorship programs, affinity networks and rotational programs. If your organization doesn’t currently have one of these programs, the MVAA can help you put one in place. 

By becoming an MVAA Veteran-Friendly Employer, you are telling veterans that you are committed to helping them gain and retain employment. You are letting them know that you are serious about bridging the gap between civilian and military employment. You’re also advertising to veterans that your organization has taken the time to understand their language and way of life. By doing this, you’ll attract some of the best talent the military has to offer and will be able to keep retain and develop quality candidates.

Apply for certification by visiting www.michiganveterans.com and clicking the “Employer” tab. For additional information call 517-284-5222.   
Get to Know Bay County
City of Auburn

The City of Auburn is a great place to be. Located in the heart of Michigan's beautiful Lower Peninsula, Auburn is just minutes away from wherever you are! Check out the City of Auburn in the news! 

Population: 2,108
Frankenlust Township 

Frankenlust Township is located on the I-75 M-84 intersect. The community is rich in agricultural land and is home to Delta College, one of the nation’s top community colleges. 

Population: 3,507
City of Pinconning

The City of Pinconning-The Cheese Capital of Michigan- is a small community with a big heart. Whether you are just passing through or looking for a new home in a family-friendly town, Pinconning has so much to offer. Located on the shores of the Saginaw Bay on Michigan’s sunrise side, Pinconning, or “place where the wild potatoes grow,” is a community filled with friendly faces and year-round fun.

Population: 1,143