A2S Update, May 2010
The A2Success Strategy was developed by over ninety community leaders and experts who evaluated over 65 of our community’s existing plans to identify our most important long term goals and researched over 50 other successful regions with sustained economic growth and unique quality of place assets. This research led to our vision for the future to be the place where world changing innovation happens!
A2Success is a long term strategy for achieving sustained economic growth and maintaining our high quality of living in the Ann Arbor Region. To achieve this vision, our six Co-Chairs have enlisted champions from many sectors to lead Action Teams. These teams are working diligently to enhance those regional assets needed to succeed in a knowledge-based economy.
The Detroit Region Aerotropolis is an exciting new concept to develop a global logistics hub and stimulate economic development in Michigan. Rolland Sizemore, Washtenaw County Commissioner and Verna McDaniel, Washtenaw County Administrator serve on the Aerotropolis Corporation Board and Executive Committee. Inter-local agreements have been adopted by 9 local governments to participate in the Corporation (Belleville, Taylor, Romulus Ypsilanti, Van Buren Township, Huron Township, Ypsilanti Township, Washtenaw and Wayne Counties). Incentive legislation has passed State House and is currently in Senate Committee and a marketing plan is under development. For more information go to http://www.detroitregionaerotropolis.com.
Debra Power, Power Marketing and Research and Daryl Weinart, UM Business Engagement Center have assembled a team to coordinate marketing and public relations of the Ann Arbor region to achieve optimum results in retaining and attracting talent, businesses, CEOs, site selectors and tourists to the region while enhancing our public image on a global scale. This group is developing a web-based navigational system to link regional business and economic development organizations, educational institutions, arts and culture groups, and nonprofits. They are also developing key messages to market the region, talking points around key assets, and database of photographs and videos to promote the region. For more information, contact Debra Power at email@example.com.
Eastern Michigan University, Ann Arbor/Ypsilanti Regional Chamber, local School Districts and the Washtenaw Intermediate School District have teamed up to increase the number of high school students that earn college credits during high school through the Early College AllianceSM @ Eastern Michigan University This innovative educational program provides southeastern Michigan students the opportunity to earn up to sixty college credits to no cost to the student or parent while in high school. The ECA @ EMU focuses on mastery learning, skill development with an emphasis in science, technology, mathematics and medicine. Participating school districts include Milan, Lincoln, Whitmore Lake, Ypsilanti and Chelsea with Willow Run joining in 2011. In the fall of 2010 the ECA will have 370 students with a goal to enroll 150 new students each year reaching a maximum of 450-500 students in 2012. Grant funding from the Ann Arbor Area Community Foundation was awarded and there is a detailed action plan with milestones.
For more information, please visit www.emich.edu/eca.
Jeff Irwin, Commissioner, Washtenaw County Board of Commissioner and Richard Sheridan, President, Menlo Innovations are supporting an effort to develop a transit system that ensures all County residents and workers can get to jobs, lifeline, and leisure activities via transit service. Working with numerous leaders and agencies, they have formed "Partners for Transit", transit support and advocacy organization, was formed to educate and inform the public (http://www.partnersfortransit.org). AATA is in the process of hiring a consultant to study and plan for transit expansion. For more information, contact action manager Terri Blackmore, Executive Director, Washtenaw Area Transportation Study firstname.lastname@example.org.
GDI Infotech Vice President/CIO David Behen and the Shaffran Companies President Ed Shaffran have assembled a team to identify concrete ways to achieve efficiencies in governments and school systems and redeploy the savings to important community needs. The group has Identified “Best of Class” benchmarking and most likely candidates for shared or regionalized services and conducted 5 "listening tour" meetings with Washtenaw County regional groups to listen and gather their input and ideas. Identifying the appropriate candidates and partners for collaboration is underway and the task force has identified resources to assist in the development and facilitation of a community discussion to finalize and develop and action plan to achieve success in the chosen areas. For more information, contact action manager Kyle Mazurek, Ann Arbor Area Chamber of Commerce, at email@example.com.
Program provides quality after school enrichment experiences including tutoring, academic enrichment, arts experiences and physical fitness three hours a day, four days a week for 32 weeks during the school year and 6 weeks during the summer. Program partners include Eastern Michigan University, Ypsilanti and Willow Run Public Schools, Washtenaw Intermediate School District, University of Michigan School of Education and over 20 additional community partners. EMU Bright Futures is funded by two Michigan Department of Education 21st Century Community Learning Centers grants that serve 10 sites across two counties (Washtenaw and Wayne) and three school districts (Ypsilanti Public Schools, Willow Run Community Schools, Wayne Westland Community Schools). In Washtenaw County we have approximately 100 students in Ypsilanti and 175 students in Willow Run registered to participate in our programs with daily attendance between 30 and 70. For more information, visit http://emubrightfutures.org.
(Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs) was developed in partnership with Eastern Michigan University, the Ypsilanti and Willow Run School Districts, the Second Baptist Church of Ypsilanti and thirty other community partners. The Program is designed to increase the number of students in Ypsilanti and Willow Run schools who attend college, community college or post-secondary vocational training programs. EMU GEAR UP is a federally funded program (US Department of Education) that works with the high school class of 2012 to promote college readiness and awareness. Currently, 288 students in Ypsilanti and 113 students in Willow Run are part of the program cohort. Last year, EMU GEAR UP provided 1,128 hours of tutoring and 6,233 hours of mentoring through a variety of before, during, afterschool, Saturday and summer programs. For more information, visit http://www.emugearup.org.
With assistance from the WISD, $300,000 in grant funding from the Ann Arbor Area Community Foundation and a grant from the State of Michigan, the Ypsilanti School District is opening a New Tech High this fall at Ardis School. New Tech High Schools are small high schools of 400 total students that use technology to facilitate project-based learning for the students they serve with a one-to-one student-to-computer ratio. New Tech High is a national model that focuses on developing science, technology, engineering and mathematics skills. Visit http://www.ypsd.org/schools/newtech/index.html for more information.
Established in March 2009, this high-tech business incubator in downtown Ypsilanti is operated by Ann Arbor SPARK. Reduced rent and business accelerator services are being provided to 10 physical tenants and 4 virtual tenants. Companies range from voice imaging specialist and energy efficiency experts to live video streaming and green clean product production. In March of 2010, Spark East graduated its first company VC Web Design which located in space in downtown Ypsilanti. For more information, visit http://www.annarborusa.org/start-ups/spark-incubator/spark-east-incubator.
Mandy Grewal, Pittsfield Township Supervisor and Dick Carlisle, President of Carlisle-Wortman Associates, Inc. have been champions of an action team to promote economic growth in the region by redeveloping Washtenaw Avenue as a compact, walkable, mixed-use transit corridor providing array of housing types connected to employment and educational centers. This team of over 30 members from local governments, transportation agencies, chambers, developers and other interest groups has adopted a charter and vision summarized in the “Re-Imagining Washtenaw Avenue Report,” viewable at http://a2success.org/action-teams/washtenaw-avenue-talent-center/talent-center-working-documents/ReImagining%20Washtenaw%20Avenue%20Report%20Reduced%20File%20Size.pdf A Joint Technical Committee (formed by resolutions from the City of Ann Arbor, City of Ypsilanti, Pittsfield Township and Ypsilanti Township, Michigan Department of Transportation, AATA, Washtenaw County Road Commission and Washtenaw Area Transportation Study) is developing specific actions to implement the report recommendations. For more information contact Anya Dale, Washtenaw County, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
A community collaborative sponsored by the United Way of Washtenaw County, Washtenaw County Government, the Ann Arbor Area Community Foundation and the Washtenaw Intermediate School District – continues to implement the first year of it’s three year strategic plan. Focused on serving all Washtenaw County families and children as they grow through the first years of life, and enter school ready to succeed, regardless of income, geographic community, language or culture, Washtenaw Success by 6 offers parents support through First Steps Washtenaw, Washtenaw Early On, The Success by 6 Parent Network and a variety of links and materials on its website. In addition the collaborative offers childcare provider training on a variety of topics, facilitation of publicly funded insurance and health care resources for children, outreach and enrollment support for the publicly funded preschools, and support of the entire early childhood community in Washtenaw County. For more information, visit http://www.washtenawsuccessby6.org.
20/20 Communications is currently partnering with Internet 123 to provide wireless internet service throughout Washtenaw County. 20/20 Communications has built three pilots including: Ann Arbor, Saline and the Village of Manchester. The current coverage area encompasses 100 square miles with 500 paying customers and thousands of free users. An estimated $10,000,000 is needed to complete the County build out. For more information, visit http://wireless.ewashtenaw.org.