Dave Mengebier is the CEO of the Grand Traverse Regional Community Foundation. Today he spoke about the Community Development Coalition of Northwest Michigan.
The vision of the Community Development Coalition is to tap into the power of working together to achieve transformational change for Northwest Michigan.  The role of the Community Foundation is not to create a new organization but to serve as connective tissue between "islands of excellence" that already exist. Dave compared the Community Foundation to Switzerland--not directly involved but providing collaborative leadership.
The Community Foundation helps people make long-term investments that are sustainable for generations. It also grants awards and scholarships to make life better in our region. Through the Coalition it provides collaborative leadership, partnering across sectors throughout our region to make the community more vibrant.
The Coalition has analyzed current needs across our region. Only 34% of residents have post-secondary credentials to meet workforce needs.  Approximately 65% of area kids start school not prepared to succeed, and 55% of residents are overburdened by the cost of housing and transportation.
To address these needs the Coalition is coordinating resources and support among coalition member organizations and others.  The Coalition will track its progress on these issues on a Community Scorecard that will analyze the Coalition's efforts with respect to its Economic, Societal and Environmental Visions.

Learn more about the Coalition through its website.