Join Renew Donate Gift It
Site Search Show Navigation

The New Economy project — a collaboration between the Groundwork Center for Resilient Communities and Stone Hut Studios — is a multimedia storytelling series that highlights talented millennials in the Traverse City region, and raises awareness about their contributions to the local economy and community. This is a series about northern Michigan attracting and retaining young talent; it's a series about the workforce of tomorrow; thriving downtowns, local food and farmers markets, restaurants and brewpubs, Internet bandwidth, bike lanes and creative spaces. And it’s a series about young people who took risks and left the big city because they felt a calling in this place. They seized the opportunity to grow roots in the Traverse City region. Now they make their impact on this booming big town.

What's needed in Traverse City?
* Required Field
something like a zip it car rental company, better mass transit including but not limited to having a regular bus run to and from say Walmart parking lot or another big lot to discourage so many cars in downtown area to prevent bottlenecks around downtown area, water taxis ( during tourist season) from downtown to old mission peninsula, a carshare/car cooperative, free bus passes for folks who live or work downtown(it works in Ann Arbor), A trauma informed healing and training center and a holistic daycare and youth fosterhome. I am sure there is more because there is always room for improvement.
-anna maniex
Private investment in private enterprise that serves customer markets beyond our region, employs talented people who choose to work and contribute their best efforts, connects the kind of forward stewardship we have come to expect in the region, and drives strategic and economic value through the design, development, production, delivery and support of great products and services. Otherwise known as the Natural Goals of Business.
-Daniel Wolf
This old boomer keeps returning to TC (now with 9 offspring) because the calling of nature, intelligent (mostly) vision of citizens, support of diversity in food, drink, cultures. What we need more of is non fossil fuel transit opportunities.
-Christina Riddle
More alternative energy use -- a big push is needed on this. Very Big carbon free electricity for EVs and electricity use should be moved forward faster and bigger than just a 15% goal that the state has set. This should be a top priority, not just a goal among other goals.
-marcia curran
When we are speaking about creating a NEW and resilient economy, more specifically in relation to locally grown food, there is a project I think Traverse City and the northwestern Michigan region could benefit from greatly. A northwestern Michigan growers owned and operated cooperative that can provide fresh and local food to everyone in the community, while supporting local growers and allowing farmers to distribute, serve the community, and create a larger and more accessible distribution network, and maintain profits. It will help keep the food dollar in the local community and help return it back in the farmer’s hands, and finally bridging the divide between small farmers and access to distribution networks. In order to meet the goal of Taste the Local Difference and provide “20% of all food sold in Michigan come from Michigan and food businesses by 2020” we need a grower’s cooperative that provides fresh, local, and quality produce from farms in Northwestern Michigan. By pr
-Bailey Samp
I wish there was a decent sidewalk along South Airport for walkers. I know this is not in TC.
-Polly Barnes
Get Lansing to reduce automobile insurance rates. Affording housing would be much easier if it did not require a month's earnings to insure a vehicle.
-Michael Peters
Affordable housing for local residents and living wages.
-Jeannine Ransom
Restoration of native plants that replace lawn. I am astonished at the amount of lawn associated with the majority of homes in the TVC area. Firms that can turn lawn in to beautiful native Michigan and other upper Midwest plants should be able to thrive. I now live in NM (but will retire in MI), and have no lawn (never had a lawn at any of the homes I've owned)--just native vegetation. No fuss, no watering, and now mowing, plus it protects groundwater from nitrates and other nasties. Alternatively, replace lawn with veggies gardens. Lawn monocultures are throwbacks to the mid-20th century when we didn't know better. Let's offer and use some alternatives
-kathy Freas
Prodents like this. Look forward to seeing this unfold
-Randy Mielnik
Don't blow off retirees! I've been an environmental activist for decades, and bring a lot of experience to the table. Sierra Club: national, state, and local positions. Working with neighborhood, city, and county governments as the "green" rep. I now live in Kansas, but hope to retire in TC. I would have lots of time for volunteer work! I too want a slower, simpler, more local lifestyle in your beautiful community. Older folks have a lot to offer.
-Diane Stewart
Protecting the environment should always be the guiding principle behind anything we do, but providing quality affordable housing in the Traverse City area should really top the list of goals to achieve in the region. Beyond that, there should be a focus on diversifying our local economy away from being primarily driven by tourism and the service industry.
-Evan Dalley
Need more non-violent ways of promoting peace.
-Peter-Sharon Moller
Huge question but I'll take a stab. I originally moved here for the natural beauty and ability to have immediate adventure, quickly realizing there is no economy. Traverse city doesn't make car parts, has no vibrant technology community or the like. TC celebrates cherries which I find hysterical and outwardly racist. We have beautiful land we use for the cultivation of fruit, use the rest for multi million dollar property truck in immigrants to pick it and throw a trashy festival. Meanwhile we have fusion restaurants downtown that bus in kitchen help from outside areas to cook for people who live and work in their $600 condo lifestyle all the while being patrolled by police who are in between KKK rallies. Absolutely ridiculous and insulated. TC needs to make things and invest in NMC. One merit is Muncin, talent attracts talent. We have talented drone people in the area, develop a program for NMC make it a powerhouse. Invest in the tiny but talented poplulation of computer and audio vis
-Ryan Tiderington
I would like to see Groundwork to re engage and lead TC participation in the BIONEERS. Support initiatives on rain gardens, solar installation, biodynamic gardening, Salons for discussions of like minded people, efforts to look/teach rocket stoves, greenhouses/hoops, Victory Garden resurgence; especially in visible Old Town area.
-Val Lincoln
Great video, I'd like to learn more about what could make Traverse City better. What's the start up scene like there?
-Ivan
Top priority should be on protecting environmental resources - water, forests, farmland, beaches. Smart growth principles for biking, transit, & development. Stuff like investment in bata to be able to get those of us who bike by choice everywhere easily to both the grocery store & to outlying beaches & outdoor activities. Encourage development around the river - towns that have rivers usually have restaurants facing them so you can enjoy them - we just have parking lots. Diversity is SO important. Not sure how to make that happen, but we need more of it! And AMBITION! We need to do something amazing like make TC the greenest small town in America (go full on with clean energy, and recycling/composting) - or make it the biggest volunteer city in America (good start already with the film festival), or the small town tech capital (free wifi expanded)... Those are some some thoughts! Thanks for doing this!
-Elysha Davila
Affordable housing and or rentals seems to be one of the biggest challenges that needs to be solved. I just lost a very capable assistant at work in part because of high housing costs here.
-Carolyn Faught
This project is a wonderful idea. As a small business owner, someone who took the leap to come back to my hometown, I know the struggles and hurdles that someone looking to run their own show faces. I believe this region needs a space or program that helps connect these small businesses better and with more ease. Maybe this would be a formal networking group or a space that is open to the public for meetings Large and small. Or a list of people, their skill sets, what they are looking for and how they are tackling their current projects, dreams or ideas. Cross pollination and business-to-business collaborations will keep resources local and build a stronger community. These programs will draw more people to the regions
-Nathan Griswold
Bravo to Groundwork for developing this project. In my work for the NY Times over the past decade or so I've reported extensively on the catalytic projects that American cities produce to enhance their competitiveness. Almost every project is founded in Smart Growth principles. Every successful city I've reported from understands that elevating ecological and economic principles to the same level of priority is essential to attracting young and talented people. Traverse City is among the small cities executing this idea well, something I discussed a few years ago here on ModeShift: http://modeshift.org/419/traverse-citys-next-generation-brand/. Let me know how I can help. One point of guidance is to not allow room for polemicists on the left or right to direct this work with doctrinaire ideology. Onward.
-Keith Schneider
Preservation of existing farm lands, especially those close to town. The closer to town food can be produced the cheaper and fresher it can be consumed. The subdivision sprawl is threatening this. This is not just about produce either. Hay fields pastures and grain field are needed to raise meat as well especially in our climate where forage and feed are needed for a significant amount of the year.
-Scott
This is a great project. I feel strongly that if we are to encourage and support emerging small businesses we need to develop a strong, local, medical support network to keep these entrepreneurs healthy. The biggest risk facing small business today is the fact that one accident or one severe illness can not only put people out of business, but also impoverish them. Please consider the development of a medical coop, supported by local doctors and the medical system as a integral part of making this work.
-Bill Queen
Keep me informed. I'm a vendor at the Mercado Market on Saturdays (the wheatgrass guy).
-Paul murray
More ethnic diversity. Diverse, better-paying job opportunities. More diverse housing options. Density. Better public transportation. More public art. A park in the middle of downtown. Streets more conducive to commuting by bike. Significant movement of our economy, policies and marketing beyond tourists and rich retirees. Boardman Lake and River better integrated/highlighted in city. Open Space redesign to create a world-class park/gathering place. Continued conservation and integration of natural spaces. Intensive movement toward renewable energy. More bike/walking paths in city. More diverse dining options (ethnic food). Cheaper produce at farmers markets. Attract more progressive, socially conscious businesses to area. Better incubation of local businesses. Effectively change culture of NIMBY in Traverse City. Better sell public on change, why it's necessary and how it can be positive.
-Taylor Nash

The New Economy project — a collaboration between the Groundwork Center for Resilient Communities and Stone Hut Studios — is a multimedia storytelling series that highlights talented millennials in the Traverse City region, and raises awareness about their contributions to the local economy and community. This is a series about northern Michigan attracting and retaining young talent; it's a series about the workforce of tomorrow; thriving downtowns, local food and farmers markets, restaurants and brewpubs, Internet bandwidth, bike lanes and creative spaces. And it’s a series about young people who took risks and left the big city because they felt a calling in this place. They seized the opportunity to grow roots in the Traverse City region. Now they make their impact on this booming big town.