There has been a great deal of discussion and effort in defining a movement to a New Economy and "reinventing Michigan" in the past few years. The Michigan State University Land Policy Institute identified six Pillars of Prosperity for the New Economy.
1. Attractive communities and neighborhoods
2. Thriving agriculture
3. Strong life-long learning
4. Emerging knowledge-based technologies
5. Natural resources for recreation and job creation
6. Inclusive and entrepreneurial culture
The Newaygo County Community Collaborative began an endeavor during this time to develop a Prosperity Index, an assessment of the state of Newaygo County at a point in time wih comparisons to other similar communities. The assessment will allow for reassessment on an annual basis for trending purposes to see where improvements are being made or where more work needs to be done. Comparisons with other similar communities may indicate where Newaygo County excels or where more effort needs to be placed to assist all community members to lead a more productive and satisfying life.
For example, many Newaygo County residents commute to neighboring counties for work. Is that negative or positive? While these residents may have a lengthy commute, they may be making more money elsewhere and bringing it back to the community to spend.
As can be seen in the Prosperity Index, the level of out of county commuters is commensurate with the comparison counties. Likewise, other local counties that surround Newaygo County, have similar commute rates according to the most recent census.
Newaygo County - 46% Ionia County - 51%
Mecosta County - 48% Barry County - 61%
"In our every deliberation, we must consider the impact of our decisions on the next seven generations." The Great Law of the Iroquois