Monday, July 11, 2005
Michael Shore, MEDC
Gains Access to $200,000 in Technical Assistance, Training
State officials joined the leaders and citizens of Ishpeming today to celebrate the city's Cool Cities Main Street designation announced by Governor Jennifer M. Granholm. The award, one of just four given statewide, will give the city access to $200,000 in technical assistance and training as part of a long-term management approach to revitalizing and maintaining a successful downtown. The program is implemented through a partnership between the Michigan Economic Development Corporation and the Michigan State Housing Development Authority.
"It takes both long-term planning and grass-roots action to create a cool city, and Ishpeming has both," Granholm said. "This grant gives Ishpeming a great tool to create jobs and investment downtown."
This is the third year that the MEDC has administered the intensive training program modeled on the four-step approach developed by the Main Street National Trust for Historic Preservation in Washington D.C.
The Main Street approach encompasses promoting long-term design concepts, marketing, community cooperation and organization, and encouraging economic restructuring to strengthen and expand the existing economic base to capitalize on new business opportunities.
"Ishpeming has worked hard to make our downtown the social center of our community," says John Korhonen, Ishpeming City Manager. "Downtown should be the place where people form relationships with one another and reinforce our sense of living and belonging here. We have implemented most of the HyettPalma 1998 Downtown Economic Enhancement Strategy and are ready to ramp up to a higher level of economic and community well-being. Thank you, Governor Granholm for recognizing our past efforts and awarding Ishpeming the Michigan Cool Cities Main Street Community designation."
Ishpeming was chosen, along with Grand Haven, Howell and Midland, to receive the award from an initial pool of 10 applicants.
"Main Street has really made a difference in the communities that have been chosen to receive this outstanding downtown development training," MEDC President and CEO Don Jakeway said. "The competition was fierce. The leaders of Ishpeming should be commended for the diligence and hard work it took to receive this coveted designation."
The Michigan Economic Development Corporation, a partnership between the state and local communities, promotes smart economic growth by developing strategies and providing services to create and retain good jobs and a high quality of life.