July 3, 2017

Monday, July 3, 2017

Emergency Response in MI Communities

This week Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) crews will be conducting damage assessments in Bay, Gladwin, Isabella and Midland counties following the recent devastating flooding in the region.

Michigan Radio reported that Governor Rick Snyder made the request for FEMA to review the damage in the four counties, with the next step being a potential “request of a presidential disaster declaration.”

Heavy rain on Thursday, June 22 flooded homes, businesses and created temporary lakes across normally busy roads and intersections.

MLive reported that preliminary damage assessments show damage to public and private properties in Isabella County is near $90 million and $13 million in Midland County.

Midland Area Community Foundation immediately reacted to the flooding, offering help and assistance.

“Our staff and trustees wanted to move quickly to find ways to help those impacted by the recent flooding,” Sharen Mortensen, president and CEO, Midland Area Community Foundation said. “A disaster relief fund has been established and we are working with community partners, including our United Way and our county’s emergency manager, to respond to the crisis.”

The community foundation has shared ongoing updates on social and through its website on the disaster relief fund, volunteer sign-ups and a flood damage assessment to get feedback and understand the needs of local nonprofit organizations and those who they serve.

The Mt. Pleasant Area Community Foundation also responded to community needs, connecting with nonprofits in Isabella County to understand damage they may be facing and what they need. The community foundation also shared updates on social media providing a damage assessment hotline for the community, information on damage assessment teams and warned of potential scammers.

“We have seen an outpouring of support, financial and otherwise, from members of our community,” Amanda Schafer, executive director, Mt. Pleasant Area Community Foundation said. “We will continue to share information and connect those with resources to those in need.”

Schafer said they are also encouraging donations go to the disaster relief fund established at the United Way of Gratiot and Isabella Counties.

Consumers Energy, another CMF member, had crews working on cutting natural gas lines and addressing safety needs for area residents saying, “We’re committed to working with local officials to ensure the safety of those impacted by severe flooding.”

Michigan 2-1-1 urged residents to dial them up and get connected to food, shelter or other help they may need. Michigan 2-1-1 became available to the entire state at the end of 2016.

As CMF reported last fall, the Center for Disaster Philanthropy (CDP) created the Disaster Philanthropy Playbook, which provides an online collection of strategies, collaboration, impact stories and resources that allows you to explore innovative approaches and key takeaways for your organization to consider before, during and in the aftermath of a disaster.

The playbook offers immediate steps for funders to consider when responding to a community crisis, including:

  • Gather partners for a meeting or conference call ASAP

  • Contact your grantees and donors to determine their needs

  • Communicate with your board and donors about what’s happening with the event and how your organization is responding

  • When launching a fund, determine how you will receive online donations, what your administrative fee will be, and how you will remain transparent on your intent and use of funds received

  • Decide who will be your organization’s media spokesperson to handle all inquiries

  • Connect with state and local government to ensure all needs are being met

  • Find ways to better inform the crisis response. Do you have any data from your grantmaking on disparities or issues that would help in this situation?

Want more?

Check out the resources in the Disaster Philanthropy Playbook.





Closing Michigan’s Talent Gap

Our state has unveiled a new plan to strengthen career technical education to address Michigan’s talent gap.

The Michigan Department of Education (MDE) and Talent and Economic Development (TED) partnered with stakeholders to craft recommendations for the Michigan Career Pathway Alliance, demonstrating how our state can best provide opportunities for paths to careers and lifelong learning.

“We all have an important role in making sure every student has the opportunity to explore multiple pathways to find a career that matches their interests and goals,” Governor Rick Snyder said.

As the governor’s office shared, developing Michigan’s talent and improving pathways to skilled trades jobs are priority areas for the state and listed in the recent economy commission’s report.

The Michigan Career Pathway Alliance provided 17 recommendations in six key areas that included student success, curriculum flexibility and career development, to name a few. You can view the full list of recommendations here.

The recommendations call on all sectors and stakeholders to work together at closing our state’s talent gap.

We’re zeroing in on the several of the recommendations that Brian Whiston, state superintendent, MDE, has already signed off on implementing in our Michigan schools.

MDE will implement the following recommendations from the Michigan Career Pathway Alliance:

  • Require career exploration and job readiness education. Schools must submit a plan with a series of milestones for career exposure in elementary, middle, and high school.

  • Keep professional trades instructors on the critical shortage list. MDE will adopt and communicate the policy change that allows for non-teacher certified career and technical education instructors to be authorized for up to 10 years.

  • Allow teachers and counselors to use externships with employers and meaningful job shadow opportunities to qualify as professional development and continuing education credit.

  • Provide technical assistance to local school districts on how to integrate Michigan Merit Curriculum requirements with career programs, MDE uses the examples of carpentry and geometry, and extracurricular activities, such as FIRST Robotics and Square One.

  • Require that state-funded career and technical education programs must have an industry-recognized credential, determined by the state through talks with regional employers.

  • Develop and provide a playbook of best career and technical education practices to schools and support those that need help implementing best practices.

  • Establish technical assistance teams for professional trades programs. Bring education, parents and employers together to identify needs, gaps, and solutions.

MLive reports some of the other recommendations, not signed off on by MDE, would require legislative action or more long-term work to implement.

These action steps show promising work ahead to link students with skilled trade jobs and more opportunities in the rapidly changing workforce.

Want more?

Read the complete list of Michigan Career Pathway recommendations.

Read the directive signed by the state superintendent.






Smitten with the Mitten

This week Michigan beaches, campgrounds, trails and local gems are full of crowds, as prime tourism season in our state is upon us. Tourism is an industry that promotes economic development and vibrant communities with tourists spending about $20 billion a year, supporting our state’s economy.

This summer, a senator from Southwest Michigan is calling attention to the importance of our tourism industry, urging Michiganders to spend their summer vacations in Michigan.

As Pure Michigan, our state’s marketing arm for tourism, shares, we’re home to the nation’s longest freshwater coastline, we have more than 100 public beaches, 103 state parks and recreation areas, 10 shipwreck-diving preserves and much more.

The Upper Peninsula, where tourism is a $1 billion industry, has gained global attention as a must-see destination for tourists, earning a spot as the only U.S. destination featured on Lonely Planet’s Best in Travel 2017 list.

Out of all our state parks, the Ludington State Park had the highest number of camping nights booked in the past five years and is expecting strong numbers this summer.

We’ll get a look at the complete 2017 tourism numbers later this year, when the Pure Michigan campaign shares its annual release.

Just to give you an idea, in 2016 the Pure Michigan’s out-of-state advertising campaign (besides giving us the amazing voice-overs by Tim Allen) resulted in 5 million trips to Michigan, that’s roughly $1.5 billion in tourism dollars.

"People are becoming more aware of Michigan, not only as a place to spend time and vacation, but also perhaps as a place to live and bring a business and develop a work force,” Christian Overland, chair of the Michigan Travel Commission said.

Statewide, CMF members are supporting arts and culture, conservation efforts, water and infrastructure projects, economic development and transportation, to name a few, that all foster vibrant communities that attract tourists.

A few other projects supported by CMF members that are aimed at promoting tourism include:

As for what’s next, MLive reports that we may learn more about the state of our tourism industry soon as evaluation of Michigan’s strategic 5-year tourism plan is currently underway and the findings and recommendations will be shared this fall.






Charles Stewart Mott Foundation marks major milestone in total Flint grantmaking

Content excerpted and adapted from a foundation press release. Read the full release here.

The Charles Stewart Mott Foundation recently announced it had surpassed $1 billion in total grantmaking in Flint since the foundation began more than 90 years ago.

A $3.2 million grant to the Crim Fitness Foundation put the Mott Foundation’s Flint-focused grantmaking over $1 billion.

The grant continues the foundation’s long-time support of community education.

This latest initiative began as a pilot program in 2014 and has since expanded to all 11 schools in the Flint Community Schools District. 

The Crim Fitness Foundation says Flint’s Community Education Initiative is a community-wide support system, establishing “neighborhood hubs” in Flint schools to engage families, improve academic achievement, health and more.

“Community education has never been more important in Flint than it is right now, when the city is working to recover from the water crisis,” Ridgway White, president, Mott Foundation said. “In addition to educating kids, Flint Community Schools are serving as vital hubs for services and places for people to connect with one another.”

In 2016, Mott funding helped transform a closed elementary school in Flint into an early childhood education center that today serves more than 200 children. Earlier this year, the foundation announced its support for the construction of another such center that will serve up to an additional 220 children starting this fall.

The foundation has made more than $3 billion in grants since 1926 for work in Flint and around the world, and nearly a third of its funding each year supports activities in its home community.

“From community education to afterschool programs, and from the city’s public library and arts and cultural institutions to the county parks system, we hope everyone in Flint and Genesee County benefits from the organizations, programs and projects we fund,” William S. White, chairman and CEO of the foundation said. “Flint is our home. We’ve been here for 90 years, and we’ll be here for the next 90.”

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