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Michigan Office of Rural Development will improve U.P. quality of life

This week, InvestUP hosted an introductory roundtable with Sarah Lucas, Office of Rural Development Deputy Director, and Gary McDowell, MDARD Director, to discuss plans for the Michigan Office of Rural Development (ORD). With plans to improve the quality of life in the U.P., the ORD will address some of the region’s key issues, like decreasing population. As the entire U.P. is classified as rural, McDowell believes the ORD will give a voice to those who are often forgotten in state government.

“I think we are facing some real opportunities in terms of being able to bring people back to the U.P. and rural Michigan,” said Lucas. “A lot of that is really dependent on our ability to ensure things like increased rural access to broadband internet, more rural affordable housing options, and making sure overall quality of life is improved.” The ORD is currently working on a master plan with the help of leaders from counties across the U.P., which will help determine what areas of concern to focus on first. Read more here.

As a part of our commitment to the Upper Peninsula, we collaborate with partners to share some of the most compelling stories about business and job growth across the region. Our goal through these stories is to get at the heart of what makes the U.P. unique — and to ensure these stories travel beyond our peninsula and broadly illustrate why the UP is the place to live and work.

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