“Michigan’s Eastern Upper Peninsula will be a region in the world attractive to enterprise, students, tourists, and residents alike: where one can be immersed in a natural setting yet access 21st-century amenities; and where opportunity prevails through the application of modern techniques, collaboration, and mindful allocation of resources.”

The 2017 CEDS update is in progress, check out a complete draft here!

Eastern Upper Peninsula Transportation-Logistics Strategy MEDC CDBG Grant Application

2016 CEDS Performance Report

This is where one will find information about the Eastern Upper Peninsula’s Economic Development Administration-funded Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy (CEDS) as well as the State of Michigan-funded Regional Prosperity Initiative (RPI). In 2015, EUPRPDC merged the two initiatives into Elevating the Eastern Upper Peninsula, a plan that outlines the region’s economic development direction over the next five years. Until now, two separate web pages existed on EUPRPDC’s website; but going forward, all CEDS and RPI–as well as related materials such as those pertaining to the Regional Economic Development Advisory Collaborative (REDAC)–will be here, in one spot.

Please contact Eric Wedesky at EUPRPDC by phone, 906.635.1581 x 5, or by email, ewedesky@eup-planning.org, with any questions you have.

Please note: If you seek the Project Submission Form or the Completed Project Form–or links to the online versions–they can be found under the Materials tab along with agendas, meeting materials, and old plans.

Artwork by local artist, Katie Eberts.

EUPRPDC receives a planning grant from the U.S. Department of Commerce, Economic Development Administration (EDA) to help local units of government and other eligible entities like non-profits, tribal governments, and universities obtain federal funding to pursue projects which strengthen the Eastern Upper Peninsula’s through the creation of environments likely to yield new and retain existing private-sector employment. As the EDA-recognized Economic Development District for the counties of Chippewa, Luce, and Mackinac, EUPRPDC affects this process by preparing what is called a Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy–or CEDS.

As described on the EDA’s website:

A CEDS is a strategy-driven plan for regional economic development. A CEDS is the result of a regionally-owned planning process designed to build capacity and guide the economic prosperity and resiliency of an area or region. It is a key component in establishing and maintaining a robust economic ecosystem by helping to build regional capacity (through hard and soft infrastructure) that contributes to individual, firm, and community success. The CEDS provides a vehicle for individuals, organizations, local governments, institutes of learning, and private industry to engage in a meaningful conversation and debate about what capacity building efforts would best serve economic development in the region.  The CEDS should take into account and, where appropriate, integrate or leverage other regional planning efforts, including the use of other available federal funds, private sector resources, and state support which can advance a region’s CEDS goals and objectives.  Regions must update their CEDS at least every five years to qualify for EDA assistance under its Public Works and Economic Adjustment Assistance programs.

EUPRPDC developed a unique strategy in 2015 that merged the requirements of the EDA CEDS process with the Michigan Department of Technology, Management and Budget’s Regional Prosperity Initiative (RPI) process to create a plan which is both more efficient and robust.

To learn about the stakeholders currently involved in the process, check out the REDAC tab above. To learn which stakeholders helped developed the plan in 2015, check out the document itself, which can be found under the Plan tab above.

EDA manages a variety of Investment Programs. Below a three that EUPRPDC believes are very appropriate for projects in the Eastern Upper Peninsula.

Public Works

EDA’s Public Works program helps distressed communities revitalize, expand, and upgrade their physical infrastructure. This program enables communities to attract new industry; encourage business expansion; diversify local economies; and generate or retain long-term, private-sector jobs and investment through the acquisition or development of land and infrastructure improvements needed for the successful establishment or expansion of industrial or commercial enterprises.

Follow this link to learn more specifically about the types of projects EDA’s Public Works Program funds and the criteria used to judge applicant’s proposals.

Economic Adjustment Assitance

The EAA program provides a wide range of technical, planning, and public works and infrastructure assistance in regions experiencing adverse economic changes that may occur suddenly or over time. These adverse economic impacts may result from a steep decline in manufacturing employment following a plant closure, changing trade patterns, catastrophic natural disaster, a military base closure, or environmental changes and regulations.

The EAA program is EDA’s most flexible program. Under the EAA program, EDA can fund market and environmental studies, planning or construction grants, and capitalize or recapitalize revolving loan funds (RLFs) to help provide small businesses with the capital they need to grow.

Follow this link to learn more specifically about the types of projects EDA’s Economic Adjustment Assistance Program funds and the criteria used to judge applicant’s proposals.

Local Technical Assistance

The Local Technical Assistance program helps analyze the feasibility of potential economic development projects, such as an industrial park or a high-technology business incubator. Feasibility studies are an effective tool for determining whether the market will support a particular activity or site. Local Technical Assistance can prevent costly mistakes and misguided investments, such as costly infrastructure improvements to support obsolete industries. Targeted market feasibility studies can help communities overcome these hurdles and identify tomorrow’s higher-wage employers. Because of these feasibility studies, many communities have subsequently received funding under EDA’s Public Works or Economic Development Assistance programs, or other federal and state programs, to implement those projects.

Follow this link to learn more specifically about the types of projects EDA’s Local Technical Assistance Program funds and the criteria used to judge applicant’s proposals.

In order to ensure that applicants are judge consistently, EDA has published a list of 6 priorities that each application is looked at in consideration of:

-Collaborative Regional Innovation
-Public/Private Partnerships
-National Strategic Partnerships
-National Strategic Priorities
-Global Competitiveness
-Environmentally-Sustainable Development
-Under-Served Communities

As the District Organization of the Eastern Upper Peninsula Economic Development District, EUPRPDC is responsible for developing a revised CEDS every 5 years, providing an annual performance report on the CEDS, convening the Regional Economic Development Advisory Collaborative who oversees the CEDS (and RPI) process and development, and surveying local units of government and other eligible entities to inquire as to which projects they have in the works that are appropriate for EDA-funding.

  • The CEDS can be viewed by going to the Plan tab and dropping down the Document toggle.
  • The most recent performance report can be viewed by going to the Plan tab and dropping down the Performance Report toggle.
  • To learn the specifics about the REDAC, head to the REDAC tab above.

Below are several pictures: the most recent Priority Project List, which EUPRPDC compiled in 2015 and submitted to EDA–no applications in 2015; EDA-fund projects in Chippewa County; EDA-funded projects in Luce County; and EDA-funded projects in Mackinac County. Note: These figures to not depict EDA planning grants awarded to EUPRPDC or the Inter-Tribal Council of Michigan.


Empowering Locals to Drive Economic Prosperity

Michigan has earned the title of America’s comeback state. It’s an economic success story that would not be possible without collaboration by the public, private and nonprofit sectors. Our shared accomplishments during the past two years underscore the need to work in partnership toward a common vision of economic prosperity. That’s the goal of Gov. Rick Snyder’s Regional Prosperity Initiative.

The Basics:

What is the Regional Prosperity Initiative?

The Regional Prosperity Initiative is a voluntary competitive grant process that is included in the Governor’s FY 2014 Executive Budget Recommendation to encourage local private, public and non-profit partners to create vibrant regional economies. The legislature approved the recommended process and the Regional Prosperity Initiative was signed into law as a part of the FY 2014 budget (59 PA 2013).

Who is eligible to apply for grants under the Regional Prosperity Initiative?

Existing State Designated Planning Regions and Metropolitan Planning Organizations are eligible to apply for grants from the Regional Prosperity Initiative. However, they will not qualify for any funding at any level unless they are collaborating with business and non-profit representatives as well as representatives from local and regional economic development organizations, workforce boards, adult education providers and the higher education community.

Why do we need a formal mechanism for regional collaboration? Why is it important?

As it stands today, many of Michigan’s regions and their various public planning and service delivery entities have overlapping responsibilities yet competing visions for their economic priorities. The absence of a broad based regional vision and coordination of services create both redundancies and gaps. This creates confusion for local, state, federal, private and non-profit partners seeking to invest in a region’s success. Formalizing a collaborative relationship among local and regional partners will allow the state, as well as private and non-profit stakeholders, to recognize local efforts and work in closer collaboration with local and regional decision makers throughout the state to support their efforts for economic prosperity.

Details for Regions:

Is the Regional Prosperity Initiative a state mandate?

No. The proposed Regional Prosperity Initiative is voluntary. We all benefit when local and regional partners work in close collaboration toward a shared vision of economic prosperity. The Regional Prosperity Initiative is intended to provide resources to regions to empower and encourage them to do just that.

Does the Regional Prosperity Initiative require the structure for collaboration to be uniform across regions? Will all regions receive the same funding?

No. The Regional Prosperity Initiative seeks to recognize the unique needs and assets of all of our regions and avoids a “one-size fits all” approach. Regions that choose to participate in the Regional Prosperity Initiative have three options for participation with different accompanying funding levels (outlined in the chart below):

For additional information, check out the Department of Technology, Management and Budget’s webpage.

2014 was the inaugural year of Michigan’s Regional Prosperity Initiative and we were thrilled to be part of this great opportunity for regionalism. After applying for and receiving a grant award from the Department of Technology, Management and Budget as a Regional Prosperity Collaborative, work began on developing our 5-year Prosperity Plan and implementing the objectives and projects outlined in our grant application. One can see how the award was broken down in the table below.

The Eastern Upper Peninsula–comprised of Chippewa County, Luce County and Mackinac County–is a sub-region of Prosperity Region 1, which encompasses the entire Upper Peninsula.

To read about the Eastern Upper Peninsula’s Regional Prosperity Initiative in the news (March 24th, 2014), click here.

2014 Line Items Budget
Consulting $46,000
Community and Economic Development Assistance Strategy $30,000
Staff Time $21,000
Legal Fees; Office Relocation and Space Costs; Technology $20,000
Videoconferencing Infrastructure $19,830
Travel and Per Diem $9,000
Marketing and Branding $6,000
Regional Prosperity Website and Dashboard $3,500
Total Grant Award $155,330

EUP Regional Planning again received a grant award as a Regional Prosperity Collaborative in early 2015. This grant award will be critical as we move from the planning phase to getting essential regional projects underway. Furthermore, EUP Regional Planning intends to take what was developed and educate those throughout the three-county region who did not participate in the plan development so that it continues to gains traction and citizens of the region are aware of where they can help elevate the Eastern Upper Peninsula.

To read about the Eastern Upper Peninsula’s Regional Prosperity Initiative in the news (May 13th, 2015), click here.

2015 Line Items Budget
Technology Modernization $52,000
Staff Time $50,000
Regional Recreation $30,000
Expand Broadband and Wireless Access in Region $15,000
Regional Target Market Analysis $11,500
Workforce Development Transitional Strategy $10,000
Implementation of the Economic Development Assistance Strategy $9,000
Event and Travel for Collaborative Meetings $7,000
Website and Dashboard Maintenance $6,000
Marketing and Branding $5,500
Career Technical Education Asset Mapping $4,000
Total Grant Award $200,000

EUPRPDC has applied for RPI funding for 2016 but await word from the Department of Management, Technology and Budget concerning their grant application. This portion of the webpage will be updated once EUPRPDC is provided feedback on its grant application.

Below are a list of projects which EUPRPDC works or collaborates on using RPI funding. Once project information becomes available online, this is where one will be able to find links to the various projects.

Elevating the Eastern Upper Peninsula is the 2015-2019 Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy and the 2015-19 Regional Prosperity Initiative plan for the Michigan counties of Chippewa, Luce and Mackinac. This plan is not only a declaration of where those affecting economic development across various fields intend to see the region be by 2019, but it is a living document putting forth the first steps we will take towards a prosperous future.

Development of Elevating the Eastern Upper Peninsula began in late-July of 2014 with a meeting of the Stakeholder Committee where regional assets and needs were identified and focus areas for this plan were established. Six focus areas were deemed priorities for developing this plan: education, economic and workforce development, health care, tourism and natural resources, agriculture and local food systems, and infrastructure. Since then, the Stakeholder Committee met twice more, the Regional Economic Development Advisory Committee—a smaller committee, which has been in place for the development of previous economic development plans—met five times (twice in conjunction with the Stakeholder Committee), and six focus-group meetings were held—one for each focus area.

“Michigan’s Eastern Upper Peninsula will be a region in the world attractive to enterprise, students, tourists, and residents alike: where one can be immersed in a natural setting yet access 21st-century amenities; and where opportunity prevails through the application of modern techniques, collaboration, and mindful allocation of resources.” 

In the full document (pages 59-71), one will be able to find action items as well as suggested action partners for every strategy.


Goal: Region-wide access to educational opportunities that support learning, career-preparedness and self-efficacy.

Strategies to achieve the goal:

  • Strengthen and, where feasible, expand career-technical education opportunities.
  • Promote the utilization of opportunities provided by enhanced-enrollment programs.
  • Expand LSSU’s scope both in terms of target market and educational opportunities offered.

Economic and Workforce Development

Goal: A business environment where one can create, grow, or relocate a business knowing one will be able to access the labor, infrastructure and amenities necessary to thrive sustainably and profitably.

Strategies to achieve the goal:

  • Build reputation as a desirable location to conduct business through steadfast attention to the growth and sustainability of businesses located within the region.
  • Use regional branding to change mindsets from remote location to desired destination.
  • Use strategic placemaking in a manner that is unique, exciting, sustainable, and conducive to commercial activity.
  • Improve customer service.
  • Increase visibility and proactivity of workforce development agencies.

Health Care

Goal: A health care system focused on the community with active collaboration amongst providers, agencies and coalitions.

Strategies to achieve the goal:

  • Continue, build upon and increase collaborative efforts.
  • Retain physicians within the region.
  • Continue to develop capacities necessary to train and develop health-care workforce within the region.
  • Open cross-border access to health care.
  • Establish a long-term care facility for Department of Corrections.

Tourism and Natural Resources

Goal: Increased engagement of local residents around tourism and recreational use of our natural resources to promote quality of life and desirability of our region for family and business.

Strategies to achieve the goal:

  • Promote existing outdoor activities as well as further develop the range of outdoor activities available within the region.
  • Update recreation plans to be able to access funding opportunities.
  • Use regional branding to convey the range of unique recreational activities available in the region.

Agriculture and Local Food Systems

Goal: An agriculture and food sector able to increase production, add value to products, and reach new markets through collaborative efforts and development of aggregation, processing, storage and distribution infrastructure.

Strategies to achieve the goal:

  • Educate consumers about eating locally produced food.
  • Obtain necessary infrastructure to aggregate, process, store and distribute products within the region.
  • Maintain support systems for farmers.
  • Create a protocol for developing new farmers.


Goal: Maintain functionality of existing infrastructure and implement sustainable improvements where funding permits.

Strategies to achieve the goal:

  • Sustain and expand public transportation options.
  • Maintain roads, bridges and key infrastructure.
  • Improve broadband access throughout the region.
  • Increase stock of attractive, affordable housing in the region.

The Eastern Upper Peninsula Prosperity Dashboard is a work in progress. As we continue to accumulate appropriate data, we will work with Munetrix to add additional variables displaying information relevant to the Eastern Upper Peninsula.

The Regional Economic Development Advisory Collaborative, or REDAC,  will oversee and contribute to the development of the CEDS for the Economic Development District comprising the Michigan counties of Chippewa, Luce, and Mackinac, as recognized by the EDA. This includes, but is not limited to, reviewing and providing guidance to the annual performance report on the CEDS and the 5-year revision, as well as recommending action on approval or disapproval to EUPRPDC’s governing board.

The REDAC will be a forum for educational and networking opportunities concerning economic development in the Eastern Upper Peninsula. Educational and networking opportunities will stem from projects and initiatives being led by EUPRPDC, REDAC members, and guests invited to speak at meetings on topics considered to be regionally significant by EUPRPDC or the REDAC. As such, REDAC members should convey the economic development news and updates to colleagues and/or constituents to ensure Eastern Upper Peninsula-wide awareness and support.

The REDAC will be comprised of a collection of experts from throughout the region whose combined knowledge and experience will be used to address and identify viable solutions for various community and economic issues facing the Eastern Upper Peninsula—and the counties and municipalities within.

The REDAC will act as the steering committee for other economic development planning efforts of the Eastern Upper Peninsula led by EUPRPDC. This includes, but is not limited to, Michigan’s Regional Prosperity Initiative. Furthermore, the REDAC will assist EUPRDPC in identifying projects that could be pursued by EUPRPDC under the Regional Prosperity Initiative—and other similar programs—that would help the Eastern Upper Peninsula carry out strategies identified in the economic development blueprint of Elevating the Eastern Upper Peninsula.

The REDAC’s meeting schedule is posted under the Upcoming tab above. Meetings are open to the public.

EDA and DTMB require certain groups and organizations to be involved as these plans are developed. To ensure requirements are met, EUPRPDC simply adjusted the REDAC so that it incorporates those whom EDA and DTMB require: economic developers, public officials, community leaders, private individuals, workforce developers, adult educators, post-secondary educators, K-12 educators, minority group representatives, transportation officials, private sector employers, and labor group representatives. Below, one cane see who has participated in the process since the two groups were merged into one.

EUPRPDC reaches out to representatives from every group above. EUPRPDC will update the graphic below after each meeting.

REDAC Attendance

NOTE: The 2016/17 Meeting dates have been altered.  All meetings are scheduled for the 2nd Friday, monthly from 9am-11am as described below.

The following meeting schedule has been established for 2016-2017:

September 9, 2016 | REDAC meeting | SmartZone, 2345 Meridian St., SSM, MI 49783 | Annual Organizational Meeting

October 14, 2016 | REDAC meeting | SmartZone, 2345 Meridian St., SSM, MI 49783 | RPI 2017 and RPI 2017 Steering

November 10, 2016 | REDAC meeting | CANCELED

December 9, 2016 | REDAC meeting | SmartZone, 2345 Meridian St., SSM, MI 49783 | State Panel Discussion

January 13, 2017 | REDAC meeting | SmartZone, 2345 Meridian St., SSM, MI 49783 | EDA Update (tentative) CANCELED

February 10, 2017 | REDAC meeting | SmartZone, 2345 Meridian St., SSM, MI 49783 | Health Care Sector Discussion (tentative) CANCELED

March 17, 2017 | REDAC meeting | SmartZone, 2345 Meridian St., SSM, MI 49783 | CEDS Priority Project Ranking

April 14, 2017 | REDAC meeting | SmartZone, 2345 Meridian St., SSM, MI 49783 | CEDS Performance Report Review

May 12, 2017 | REDAC meeting | SmartZone, 2345 Meridian St., SSM, MI 49783 | Tourism in the EUP


All meetings will be held from 9am to 11am, on the 2nd Friday of the month as described above. All meetings are open to the public.

2017 Call for Projects Memo

EDA Grant Primer

2017 Project Scoring Criteria

2016 Call for Projects Forms and Links:

Project Submission Form:

Downloadable PDF

Link to online form | https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/psform

Completed Project Form:

Downloadable PDF

Link to online form | https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/cpform