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Symposium & Showcase - Less Than 30 Days Away!
Brian Kelly MEDC
The 2023 Northern Lakes Economic Symposium and Showcase is on Monday May 22 at Boyne Mountain Resort! To support the businesses and communities across the region that are confronting the challenge of attracting talent, this year’s theme is Talent Attraction and Retention.

The NLEA is excited to announce our second keynote speaker will be Brian Calley (pictured) President and CEO of the Small Business Association of Michigan. Mr. Calley is a collaborative leader who combines the skills from an accomplished private sector career with an extensive record of public service with a passion for Michigan’s small businesses. Calley had the honor of serving as Michigan’s 63rd Lieutenant Governor from 2011-2018.

Dr. Ana Gonzalez will speak at a unique breakout session that examines what strengths family-owned have in attracting and retaining talent. Breakout session panelists Yarrow Brown, Jessica Lovay, and Emily Doerr will cover recent state policy changes to support housing and new tools available to communities and developers. The “Leveraging Technology in an Era of Labor Constraints” breakout session will feature Dustin Stabile of Mackinaw Trail Winery & Brewery and Richard Wolin of the Michigan Manufacturing Technology Center.
Don't Miss these Symposium Breakouts
Through breakout session options, attendees have the opportunity to examine talent challenges through global, community, industry cluster, and business lenses. Check out the line up and click below to see the agenda and all the details.

1. Talent Attraction and Retention in the Craft Beverage Industry

2. Connecting with Talent as a Family-Owned Business

3. Building Desirable Communities to Attract Talent

4. Leveraging Technology in an Era of Labor Constraints

5. Developing a Regional Talent Engagement Strategy

6. One Question With…Rehmann Advisors on Discovering Your Greatest Advantage

7. Responding to Shifting Workforce Demographics

8. Supporting Community Development Initiatives for Housing and Talent Attraction
NLEA Update: County Deliverables
By Sam Bailey, NLEA Strategic Initiatives Manager
In the first few months of 2023, the NLEA has been making progress on its deliverables to its county partners. Under the new contract agreements between the NLEA and each county, the NLEA will provide an annual report to each board of commissioners detailing its activities in their county. So far, the NLEA has presented this report to Charlevoix, Cheboygan, and Emmet Counties. The Antrim County Commissioners will be the last board to receive their report on Thursday, May 4.

Under the same contractual agreements, the NLEA is delivering an annual Economic and Community Development Training session to elected and appointed officials in each county. So far, Antrim and Cheboygan Counties have received their training and Emmet County’s trainin is scheduled for Thursday, June 22. A date for the Charlevoix County Training has not been set yet.

The first iteration of these trainings is aimed at elected and appointed officials at the county level, but in coming years the NLEA plans to open these sessions to all local unit of government officials.
Thanks & Farewell to Eric Grandstaff
Eric Grandstaff, NLEA Broadband Consortium Staff Specialist and Consultant on Broadband, has stepped away from the organization to embrace retirement more fully. Eric joined the NLEA in 2019 as a volunteer, bringing more than 40 years of information technology and
broadband experience.

NLEA President David Emmel stated, “Eric's depth of technical knowledge, across all domains, has benefited our region on what we all recognize is a herculean goal of internet for all. Laying the foundation for internet expansion has positioned the region for our future. And for that effort, we are grateful for his counsel and wish him well in his retirement, travels, and the additional time he will now devote to his family.”

From everyone at the NLEA, thank you Eric.
Hello Interns!
The NLEA is excited to announce the hiring of four 2023 NLEA/DTE Energy Foundation Interns. Each summer, NLEA hires college students for the Summer Internship program with funds provided by DTE Energy Foundation. This program enables the NLEA to provide a “real world” opportunity for area college students to work on a meaningful project that benefits the region.

Welcome Abigail Vandeyacht, Thomas Reid, Adelyn Wang, and Lila Bolden.

This year’s team of four interns will design a talent attraction and retention campaign targeted at young adults in an effort to address the region’s labor constraints.
Broadband Listening Tour in East Jordan
The Michigan High-Speed Internet Office (MIHI) is traveling all over Michigan to hear from YOU about the barriers keeping you from the internet. All events will be in-person and have no cost. Please register to reserve your spot and you will receive information regarding location specific details.

Don't hesitate to share this link with your family and friends!

East Jordan: May 2, 2023 : 4:00PM - 6:00PM : The Boathouse, 204 Water St, East Jordan, MI 49727
Grants for Energy Efficient Projects
The Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy (EGLE), Energy Services is offering matching grants for projects that improve the efficiency of processes for small manufacturing companies physically located in Michigan.

A minimum of $75,000 in funding is expected to be available, and the maximum funding amount per applicant is $25,000. All applicants must provide a minimum 50 percent (1:1) match of the total requested grant funds.

Applications accepted until all funds are committed, or May 31, 2023, whichever comes first.
Sponsor the Symposium & Showcase
With less than a month until Symposium & Showcase sponsorship opportunities are disappearing quickly! A special thank you to the organizations that have made investments in this exciting event so far:
Boyne Mountain Resort – Location Sponsor
Consumers Energy – Premier Sponsor
Rehmann – Platinum Sponsor
DTE Energy – our first Breakout Sponsor
ITC Holdings – our first Award Sponsor

The NLEA would also like to extend our thank you to Table Sponsors:

EJ, Citizens National Bank, MSU Extension, North Central Michigan College, Networks Northwest, Awakon Federal Credit Union and Odawa Economic Affairs Holding Corporation.

Your sponsorship supports the Alliance’s work to foster engaging conversation around economic and community development in Northern Lower Michigan. Sponsors like you allow us to secure highly sought-after speakers to inform important local discussions around economic and community development.

This event offers a unique venue for sponsors to reach an audience of community leaders from across the region. We anticipate 300+ business, community, and
nonprofit leaders in addition to local, state, and federal officials from across the region and beyond. Contact Sam Bailey to learn more and secure your sponsorship today.
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