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Region 7 Education Seminar Highlights
The Region 7 Education Seminar, held June 3-5 in Calumet, welcomed a full house of local officials from across the Upper Peninsula for some active days of learning and networking. Officials received the latest information on transportation reauthorization, nominated the City of Marquette to represent the region in the Community Excellence Awards Race for the Cup, learned about the Michigan Green Community Challenge, learned how Calumet translates its valuable history into economic development, and participated in a lively Q&A with state legislators, the governor’s U.P. representative, and federal legislative staff.
On June 3, the Vertin Gallery welcome reception provided an appropriate kick-off to the event in a historically significant building that thrives with new economic purpose. Over the next couple days, attendees learned of Calumet’s unparalleled history that creates a special “sense of place” from MTU Professor Larry Lankton; heard from Keweenaw National Historical Parks Management Assistant Tom Baker on the development of cultural tourism; and participated in mobile workshops in this unique village, which is both a Michigan Main Street community and a national historic park.
League Executive Director and CEO Dan Gilmartin provided an overall update on items of interest to League members. Staff presented on the latest news regarding transportation funding in Michigan and on the federal level; provided an update on the League’s exciting 21c3 program that provides resources to members on eight key topics for community development; and offered a walk through of the new League website, emphasizing the ability to register online.
Jeff Spencer, Green Communities Coordinator for the Department of Energy, Labor and Economic Growth, gave a comprehensive review of opportunities available for communities to apply for grants and implement energy efficiencies. Happily, this is one area on which communities may focus efforts over the next few years with a predictable rate of return.
State Representatives Lahti and Lindberg were joined by the governor’s U.P. representative Ann Jousma Miller, and representatives from the offices of Senators Stabenow and Levin and Congressman Stupak.