Go! Baraga County is a strategic plan for job creation in Baraga County, Michigan.
UPDATE: In order to allow for coordination of the strategic plan with other community and regional initiatives that have arisen since planning began, the project has been extended through March 2014. A media update will be published at the appropriate time. The most recent public update on the project was an article in the Houghton Daily Mining Gazette published July 18, 2013. The article resulted from a press release that can be downloaded as a PDF.
Go! Baraga County is an effort to move Baraga County forward by creating jobs and assuring this remains a great place to live, work, and play. Residents and community leaders are united in developing a Strategic Plan for economic development. The outcome of the plan will be a small number of strategies and projects that can be implemented through a realistic workplan – one that will not sit on a shelf.
Several similar plans and studies have been done in Baraga County over the last two decades, but results have been hard to come by. Unemployment remains the highest, or nearly so, in Michigan. Based on a countywide survey in late 2012, which received 836 responses (695 from Baraga County residents, constituting 7.8 percent of the population), 58 percent of residents see the County economy as declining, and 76 percent see its current state as negative (between “neutral” and “desperate”). A research summary is available here.
The focus of planning this time has been to identify and recognize the county’s assets in the context of accomplishing projects with community ownership that can be put into place using existing resources. The narrow focus on a few realistic, carefully researched projects will make the plan’s strategies attainable.
The Go! Baraga County Strategic Plan is funded by the United States Department of Commerce Economic Development Administration (EDA), Baraga County, and the Western Upper Peninsula Planning and Development Region (WUPPDR).
Please contact us with comments or for more information.