A new campaign is gearing up to bring people here not to visit, but to stay. Aimed at luring Chicago-area talent, the “Find Your Reason” campaign promotes West Michigan as a wonderful place to live and work.
Compared with the Windy City, West Michigan has a lot to offer.
The cost of living is generally lower; and, in many cases, the quality of living is much more desirable.
That’s not to paint Chicago in a bad light. As one of America’s largest cities, Chicago has plenty to offer, especially when it comes to culture, restaurants and entertainment. Nothing in West Michigan can compare.
But we’re making strides. Grand Rapids has become a cultural hotbed, with the upcoming ArtPrize competition leading the way. Craft breweries continue to pop up at a rapid pace, leading to Grand Rapids being voted Beer City USA in 2013.
Our schools are, for the most part, exemplary. And there’s plenty of opportunity for higher learning, from Grand Valley State University in Allendale to several satellite campuses for universities from across the state in Grand Rapids.
Great things are happening in West Michigan.
But to take a page out of a professional sports team’s playbook — to be the best, you need to attract the best talent, and that’s been a problem. People who grow up in the quiet communities along the Lakeshore often head off to college, get caught up in the bright lights of the big cities and never come back.
Adding more bright, up-and-coming people to the workforce makes this area even more attractive for businesses looking to expand.
Many people from Chicago vacation in West Michigan, relishing the chance to get away from the big city, if just for a weekend.
If the new “Find Your Reason” campaign has the desired effect, perhaps they’ll stick around a bit longer.
Our Views reflects the majority opinion of the members of the Grand Haven Tribune editorial board: Kevin Hook, Cheryl Welch, Matt DeYoung, Alex Doty and Fred VandenBrand. What do you think? E-mail us a letter to the editor to firstname.lastname@example.org or log-in to our website and leave a comment below.