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Networks Northwest Receives National Award for US-131 Corridor Development Strategy

Networks Northwest has received a 2016 Innovation Award from the National Association of Development Organizations (NADO). Networks Northwest received the award for the Framework for Growth and Development on US-131: A Regional Economic Development Strategy for the US-131 Corridor. Networks Northwest was one of just two organizations from Michigan to receive the recognition. The award was formally presented at NADO’s Annual Conference in San Antonio, Texas.

A Framework for Growth and Development on US-131: A Regional Economic Development Strategy for the US-131 Corridor is a collaborative economic development initiative that builds on local and regional strengths to address the important economic needs of communities along the northwestern portion US-131. Networks Northwest led the project and brought communities along US-131 together to develop a regional economic plan for the corridor. The plan includes an in-depth discussion of local and regional assets, challenges, and strategies related to infrastructure; business and industry; placemaking (downtown redevelopment and community improvements); workforce; housing; recreation and trails; marketing and promotion; and governance and capacity. By identifying economic development strategies that are aligned across government boundaries, the Framework helps US-131 communities identify and build opportunities to create competitive advantages in the new economy.

NADO is a Washington, DC-based association that promotes programs and policies that strengthen local governments, communities, and economies through regional cooperation, program delivery, and comprehensive strategies. The association’s Innovation Awards program recognizes regional development organizations and their partners for improving the economic and community competitiveness of our nation’s regions and local communities.  

Our Township greatly benefits from Network Northwest's experience, depth of knowledge and understanding. Because they work with so many diverse communities in our ten-county region they understand the local land-use issues and are already working on solutions by the time we realize we need some help.
- Susan Odom, Chair, Suttons Bay Township Planning Commission