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A New Way to Look at Vacant Spaces in Metro Detroit

Placemaking and land-banking are all the rage these days but neither are easy to measure with any accuracy. So, how do you get the biggest bang for your economic development buck? Enter Nigel G. Griswol, an economic development consultant who has crunched the numbers.

Guest Blogger: Marianne Dorais

It's common knowledge that arts programs are among the first to get the axe when K-12 budgets are cut. The ripple effect: with fewer artists, regions lose their creative and intellectual vibe. Marianne Dorais, executive director of Michigan Youth Arts, makes a case for for creative peoplemaking.

Trade Missions Bring Foreign Markets to Metro Detroit

It's not uncommon to hear about government officials and business leaders going on international trade missions on behalf of metro Detroit. But what exactly does that mean? Metromode's Dennis Archambault demystifies the processes and practices of opening up foreign markets to local companies.

Distilling the Greatness of Michigan-Made Spirits

With all the enthusiasm for locally sourced products, micro-brew culture, and craft cocktails, it seemed inevitable that micro distilleries would be the next big thing. And with recent changes to Michigan's liquor laws it has. Nicole Rupersburg drinks in metro Detroit's growing (and award-winning) spirits industry.

Global Talent, Local Benefits

Local businesses are hiring... but struggle to find the employees they need. Enter Athena Trentin, director of the Global Talent Retention Initiative, who wants to see the international students who graduate from our universities stay here to work. And it says something that she's convinced her pro-union dad that what she's doing is good for Michigan's economy.

Guest Blogger: Regina Bell

Of interns offered full-time employment, nearly 90% of them are still on the job after one year, according to the National Association of Colleges and Employers. Regina Bell, executive director of Intern in Michigan, discusses why internships are a proven way to keep Michigan young.

From Bath City to Tech City: Mt. Clemens

When an old firehouse becomes the new home of eyeWyre Software Studios, you know things are evolving. That's the story of downtown Mt. Clemens, which is increasingly becoming a cool, affordable waterfront downtown for high-tech firms.

Guest Blogger: Tim Ruggles

The flipside of economic development and gentrification is escalating housing prices, where those making moderate incomes can't afford to live in the communities they serve. It is often up to nonprofits to ensure that communities maintain this rich cultural and work ethic. Tim Ruggles, CEO and executive director of Habitat for Humanity of Oakland County, fills us in on the housing struggle in one of the nation's wealthiest regions.

Building a World of Glass

From restoration to creation to innovation, Rocky Martina's life is centered around glass. If you've been to the Fox Theatre, you've seen his stained glass work. And like many self-made entrepreneurs, this Oakland County artisan is expanding his interests by helping to launch a new masonry coating start-up.

Metromode Takes an End of Summer Break

We're giving our hardworking staff a well-deserved break as summer winds down and back-to-school efforts begin. We will return with more inspired Metromode stories and events on September 12. See you then!

From Freeway to Busway? The Call for Bus Rapid Transit

From Cleveland to Chicago, Denver to New Jersey, bus rapid transit has become the mass transit solution of choice for many cities, with systems either in place or under development. If things go according to plan metro Detroit could join that list and be on its way toward finally developing a regional transportation system.

The Case For Regional Mass Transit: A Q&A with John Hertel

Last year, after 24 times at bat, proponents for a regional transit plan for metro Detroit finally got the legislature to support their efforts. Last week John Hertel, the head of SMART, was selected to be CEO of the newly formed Regional Transit Authority (RTA). Metromode gets the skinny on why he thinks bus rapid transit is the solution we've been waiting for and how he'll make the case to taxpayers to fund it.

Guest Blogger: Tom Woiwode

Metro Detroit is inching ever closer to being criss-crossed not just by roads, but a network of trails, or greenways. The Community Foundation of Southeast Michigan has made over 150 grants to this end. Greenways Initiative Director Tom Woiwode maps out the where and why of this greenway network.

Getting to School on Their Own Two Feet

Suburban sprawl has led to a new generation of children being driven to school instead of walking or biking. But with Michigan's Safe Routes to Schools program funding sidewalks and other infrastructure, walking and biking are the new educational path. 

Edmund Lewis: Doing Good, Looking Good

There's been a lot of discussion about the fates and fashions of young African American males. For Edmund Lewis, however, the topic has been his life focus. Only 27 years old, he has found a way to connect a masters degreee in social work, a fashion consulting business, and his mentorship non-profit, Minority Males for Higher Education, into an impressive campaign for change.
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