Northern Michigan business news

This week’s collection of condensed business news includes a look at some of the area’s hottest jobs, a new study on the lack of affordable housing, and more.


Housing shortage
Many local governments in Michigan feel they have a shortage of housing in their counties and cities, according to a survey from University of Michigan researchers.
About 40 percent of local officials say they have too little single family housing and nearly half say their county has too little multifamily housing.
“The survey shows that there is a shortage of housing, whether it is entry-level, mid-level or high-end,” said Tom Ivacko, associate director of the Center for Local, State, and Urban Policy (CLOSUP) at U-M’s Ford School of Public Policy.
To deal with the shortage, some local jurisdictions say they are changing policies to boost housing constructions.
“About 30 percent of jurisdictions in southeast Michigan say they are changing policies to try to boost housing construction, compared to the statewide average of 18 percent of jurisdictions doing this,” said Debra Horner, project manager at CLOSUP.
The data come from the Michigan Public Policy Survey, an ongoing poll of Michigan’s 1,856 local governments conducted by CLOSUP. The fall 2017 survey received a 76-percent response rate with results from 1,411 jurisdictions.
Among the survey’s key findings:
• By jurisdiction type, local officials from counties (41 percent) and cities (40 percent) are the most likely to say they have too little single-family housing.
• Nearly half (46 percent) of county officials say their county has too little multifamily housing, and 41 percent of city officials also mentioned the lack of housing.
• Over half (52 percent) of local leaders from all jurisdictions reported that housing stock is out of date and 53 percent report that they have housing stock that suffers from blight.
• When looking by jurisdiction type, half of county leaders say there is too little entry-level housing in their counties; 53 percent of city leaders say there is too little mid-range housing in their cities.
• Relatively few local leaders (17 percent) believe their jurisdictions’ policies are part of the problem with housing shortages. Michigan State University Extension names Adam Koivisto District 14 coordinator

Ext. Director
Michigan State University Extension named Adam Koivisto as the organization’s District 14 coordinator.
District 14 is made up of Alpena, Charlevoix, Cheboygan, Emmet, Montmorency, Otsego and Presque Isle counties.
Koivisto will work with local governments, nonprofits, school systems and neighborhood groups to help identify community challenges and propose and implement successful solutions.
He will also mentor MSU Extension staff members under his leadership in program planning, delivery and evaluation, as well as professional development.
Koivisto has a history of leading organizational initiatives and brings close relationships throughout the organization to his new role.
For more information on MSU Extension in your area, visit

Hot Jobs Report
Northwest Michigan’s growing industries and the jobs they offer are highlighted in a newly revised Hot Jobs Report.
The report includes information about the job creation outlook in the next five years in fields including: advanced manufacturing; energy, transportation and construction; agriculture; health care; information and business services; hospitality; and technology, an industry cluster new to the revised version.
While the previous version of the Hot Jobs Report included entry-level wages, the revised version also includes additional labor market data regarding average wages for that can be expected for an experienced worker.
The hot jobs information was compiled based on labor market data, then vetted through input from local employers.
The report is available at: