Gov. Rick Snyder: Communities thrive when everyone comes together to address challenges, collaborate on solutions

Paw Paw is fourth graduate from Rising Tide, welcomes Albion as Second Round community

Monday, March 5, 2018

PAW PAW, Mich. – The village of Paw Paw now has more and better tools to build a stronger community, and today welcomed Albion as a second phase Rising Tide community, passing the torch and helping to guide the community toward economic stability and growth.

Gov. Rick Snyder created Project Rising Tide to provide technical assistance to communities aspiring to rise so they, together, can build a robust framework for economic success.

“Project Rising Tide was developed as a commitment to ensure Michigan’s economic recovery reaches every corner of our state,” Snyder said. “I commend the partnership and leadership that has led Paw Paw to this positive transformation.”

Rising Tide is led by the Michigan Department of Talent and Economic Development and brings additional technical assistance from the Michigan Economic Development Corporation, the Michigan State Housing Development Authority and the Talent Investment Agency.

“Paw Paw is a shining example of what happens when communities set aside their differences and work together with a determination to transform their community,” Lt. Gov. Brian Calley said. “The Rising Tide program shows that communities who have struggled can thrive when they are connected to resources and tools to make their communities stronger.”  

The program kicked off in 2015, selecting one community from each of the state’s 10 prosperity regions to participate. Technical assistance ranges from connecting residents with employability skills and guiding community leaders through better budgeting processes, to helping craft economic development strategies that attract and retain businesses, residents and visitors.

“Leaders in Paw Paw have an unwavering commitment to making their community stronger and brighter,” said Talent and Economic Development Director Roger Curtis. “Now, they are taking that commitment and the lessons learned along the way and sharing it with other communities in the region, knowing Michigan is stronger when communities rise together.”

As part of the program, Paw Paw, the county seat of Van Buren County, received technical assistance to develop a robust economic development strategy, a housing quality assessment, and capital improvement program, spurring new developments and renovations throughout the village.

Since the start of the program, $570,000 has been invested into the community, leveraging more than $1.1 million in private investments. Paw Paw also was awarded more than $800,000 in Low Income Housing Tax Credits to create a mixed-use facility with more than 40 residential units and 3,000 square feet of commercial space.

“It has been exciting for the village to have been selected for the Project Rising Tide program,” Village President Roman Plaszczak said. “Opportunities have opened up because of the resources that Rising Tide has presented us with to transform our village into an attractive destination and to vastly improve our business climate.”

Paw Paw joins Charlotte, River Rouge and Grayling as graduates. As it passes the torch to Albion, Paw Paw will move into a mentorship role to assist its neighboring community. Located in Calhoun County, Albion leaders said they are ready to roll up their sleeves and get to work, and are honored to be selected as a round two community.

“We’ve seen the amount of work that goes into this program from the community leaders’ perspective, and we’re ready,” Mayor Garrett Brown said. “This program has helped several communities throughout the state and we’re excited to see how we can leverage its assistance to help our community and region grow.”