Scott Gest, a research analyst for Networks Northwest, joined the Club today to share a bit about the work being done by his organization to support quality of life in our area. 
Networks Northwest delivers programs and services for the 10 counties of Northwest Michigan.  Their primary service categories are: workforce development; business & economic development; and community development.  Their mission is to build stronger communities and enhance the quality of life in Northwest Michigan. 
Scott shared with the Club a new website that was developed ( that provides data and context regarding population growth and change.  The website contains information such as population mix, per capita income and education.  Scott shared certain aspects of our population that are evaluated on a regular bases.  Of the areas evaluated, one area of concern that is being addressed is the decrease in the percentage of millennials in Northwest Michigan since 2000.  More needs to be done to attract and retain millennials in Northwest Michigan.  Another area of concern that is being addressed is the lack of affordable housing near places of work. 
Scott shared that Networks Northwest is largely funded through grants from the Federal Government related to job training.