I have agreed to write a monthly blog for the online edition of the Grand Rapids Business Journal. I’m excited about the opportunity. You can find my initial post here.

The topics will be the same as I write about here. But obviously with a focus on the West Michigan economy. To us that is the seven county Grand Rapids, Holland, Muskegon region. As we have explored many times in the past, what happens in the Grand Rapids metro is very important to the future health of the Michigan economy. Successful big regional economies are what make a state prosperous. So for Michigan to return to prosperity metro Detroit matters most, but metro Grand Rapids and Lansing are real important too. As the three of them go, so goes Michigan.

And all three are facing many of the same challenges. Despite all the talk of how different the regions are, the data indicate that they are all in the same boat. Too concentrated in the economy of the past, rather than the knowledge-based economy that is the core of successful regional economies; undereducated and without a vibrant central city that is essential to retaining and attracting mobil young talent.

So I will explore in my blog where metro Grand Rapids is today, where it needs to go in the future to be prosperous and what it needs to do to get there.

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