State and local leaders gathered in Ionia to talk about challenges and opportunities as the community charts its course as the state's newest city to join Project Rising Tide.
"The success of this program we built nearly three years ago has come full circle," Snyder said. "It's important that just as our bigger communities grow and thrive, our smaller communities do, too. We must keep our foot on the gas to help all communities in our state rise together."
Ionia is the eleventh and final community to join the second cohort of communities in Project Rising Tide. It joins Adrian, Albion, Beaverton and Gladwin, Eaton Rapids, Hamtramck, Manistee, Marlette, Ontonagon and West Branch. Ionia will soon gain expertise and guidance from its Rising Tide graduate neighbor to the north, Evart.
"The most important aspect of Project Rising Tide is the collaboration among local leaders," Talent and Economic Development Department of Michigan Interim Director Jeremy Hendges said. "But more than that, it's about ensuring even our smallest and most rural communities have the tools needed for long-term economic success. Ionia has a great foundation and is headed in the right direction and we hope to build on that with this program."
Project Rising Tide kicked off in 2015 and started with one community from each of the state's prosperity regions. Led by TED, the program connects communities with technical assistance and expertise from the department's agencies: Michigan Economic Development Corporation, Michigan State Housing Development Authority and Talent Investment Agency.
"Ionia is full of history and we're proud of it," City of Ionia Mayor Daniel Balice said. "But we want to grow that history - create new stories and new successes. And we're confident Project Rising Tide can help us with that. This new challenge ahead of us will create lasting economic improvements and we're excited to get to work establishing an even brighter community that is fully prepared to have more residents and businesses call home."