As stated in A Framework for the U.P.’s Economic Development Strategy:
“The basis for development in the U.P. is the energy and skill of its people. They provide the workforce, the entrepreneurs, the business managers, and the public administrators. And they are elected officials who must manage the complex and often conflicting process of growth. A successful development strategy, therefore, must be designed and implemented by local people—the individuals, businesses, employees, and public agencies with the greatest stake in the future of the U.P. Its effectiveness will depend on teamwork: local enterprises and entrepreneurs will create the jobs, people will invest in the necessary human capital, the state will provide a secure fiscal and legal framework, and local development organizations—including universities, cities, and development corporations—will act collectively for the U.P.”
Therefore, Northern Michigan University, the School of Technology and Applied Sciences, and NMU’s industry and community development staff are working to meet the following goals in conjunction with the above strategies:
I. To prepare U.P. employees for tomorrow’s economic opportunities.
Educational institutions will have to give their graduates strong cognitive and occupational skills; will have to retrain more people when skills become obsolete; and will have to adapt curricula quickly as the demands of the workplace change. Because of the increasing importance of international trade and the speed of technological change, employers need better educated and trained employees.
II. To support U.P. residents when they create new businesses.
New economic opportunities will be created, in large part, by the birth and expansion of new business—a process accelerated by the decentralization allowed by new communications technologies. The U.P. must support entrepreneurship.
III. To raise workforce participation among low income people.
The shrinking supply of new labor and the dwindling number of jobs for unskilled people mean that the U.P. must bring more economically disadvantaged people into the workforce.