January Success Stories
We're your neighborhood economic and community development organization-ready to help you make 2019 your best year yet!

We want your projects, goals, and businesses to succeed and we hope to inspire you with the stories of people making their visions happen in our four-county region (Antrim, Charlevoix, Cheboygan & Emmet).

Check out these helpful tips, programs, and projects on the horizon this year.
18 Companies are "Going Pro!"

Buck Love, Business Retention & Growth

Training employees so your business stays competitive can be costly. Thanks to the  Going Pro Talent Fund , 18 companies from the NLEA’s four-county region received awards to train 359 of their incumbent workforce. Formerly known as the Skilled Trades Training Fund Grant, the Going Pro Talent Fund program is designed to enhance and promote employee skills training statewide and across all sectors of the workforce. Some of these sectors are agriculture, manufacturing, hospitality, IT and healthcare.

“It’s a great program. It allows us to bring a higher degree of expertise into the building in a relatively short period of time,” said Betsy Schnell, HR. Manager of Van Dam Boat Works / Boyne Boat Yard in Boyne City, MI. Ms. Schnell added that “the program documentation is quite reasonable.”
Recreational Marijuana: Can it be an Economic Catalyst?

Janet Koch, Community Development

In November 2018, a majority of Michigan voters approved a recreational marijuana initiative. The initiative is now known as the Michigan Regulation and Taxation of Marijuana Act , or MRTMA.

Many municipalities have already passed ordinances to opt-out of allowing recreational marijuana, but others are still debating their decision. One common topic is how recreational marijuana might or might not impact the municipality’s economy. Solid data, however, is difficult to find. 

Intrapreneurship in the Workplace

Hannah Sanderson, Business Attraction & Growth

What is it, who is it, and why do we need it?

They say the definition of insanity is doing the same thing repeatedly and expecting different results which, for a business, can be a death sentence. But what if the answer to your desired change was hidden in one of your current employees? When it comes to the ever changing economy and business world, it is important for businesses to have an intrapreneur on staff.
Goal for 2019: Start Setting Goals
Amanda Baker, Downtown Development Coordinator
Kick your new year off right with a goal setting session to use as a blueprint for productivity.

With the new year upon us it is time to begin planning 2019. Has your community decided its priorities and chosen where to focus its efforts?

Taking the time to set priorities allows focus to be placed onto the specific project you most want to see done.

  1. Start by hosting a goal setting session to determine what projects are priorities for your group.
  2. Choose a few goals of varying size and set your plan to achieve them.
Get Equipped: Training for 2019

Carly Bortz, Administrative/Communications Assistant

It’s a new year, which means it’s the perfect time to start fresh with new goals, and finding professional development tools to help you achieve your goals. Learn a new skill, discover new information, and brush up on skills in your field to start 2019 out with confidence.
Check out this list of free webinars, lectures, & training opportunities available this year:
DNR Grant Workshop

Jessica Lovay, Office Manager/Grant Administrator

This month the Michigan Department of Natural Resources is hosting a workshop that will cover program updates and application guidance for three of their programs: Michigan Natural Resources Trust Fund, Land and Water Conservation Fund, and Recreation Passport Grant Program.

Communities interested in applying for one of the programs are encouraged to attend. Eligible applicants include state and local government and regional recreation authorities. There is no pre-registration necessary and there is no cost to attend the workshop.
NLEA Seeks Superstar Summer Interns
Andy Hayes, NLEA President
The DTE Energy Foundation will once again provide funding for our NLEA Summer Interns program. This will be the fifth year of the program, which enables the NLEA to provide a “real world” opportunity for area college students on a meaningful project. Past projects have included: developing an   entrepreneur toolkit broadband  fiber project, marketing videos highlighting  hot jobs in the area , and marketing photos/materials for the up-north trails project.