Gov. Rick Snyder: River Rouge is a stronger city as Rising Tide connects community with resources, training and guidance to grow and prosper

River Rouge is second community to graduate program, become mentor 

Thursday, Dec. 21, 2017

RIVER ROUGE, Mich. – River Rouge is growing stronger through connected resources, training and guidance as part of the Rising Tide program, Gov. Rick Snyder said today, celebrating the second city to graduate from the state’s program designed to help communities help themselves.

River Rouge, in Wayne County, joins Charlotte as a graduating member of the Rising Tide inaugural class and will move into a mentor role to guide future program participants toward sustained success.

“It’s exciting to see these communities working together to make a positive change in their hometowns and regions,” Snyder said. “I applaud the leadership and partnerships that took place in River Rouge to reach this graduation milestone, and I look forward to watching this community continue to grow and thrive long into the future.”

Rising Tide is guided by the Department of Talent and Economic Development, tapping expertise from the Michigan Economic Development Corporation, the Michigan State Housing Development Authority and the Talent Investment Agency.

Communities participating in the program were selected in Sept. 2015.  In addition to River Rouge and Charlotte, the inaugural group includes Newberry, Central Lake, Grayling, Evart, Harrison, Sandusky, Paw Paw and Hillsdale.

As part of Rising Tide, River Rouge received technical assistance in developing a community master plan, a communications plan, a downtown revitalization strategy, a target market analysis and a new city branding campaign.

Beyond the technical support, River Rouge leveraged state connections and resources to grow talent. The local Michigan Works! partnered with River Rouge High School for a Jobs for Michigan’s Graduates program. In 2016, 54 students participated, with a 100-percent graduation rate. The program provides at-risk students with extra resources to prepare them for life after graduation through hands-on learning and career exposure.

“The benefits of the Rising Tide program have a lasting impact on the participating communities and empower the region to continue its pursuit of continued prosperity,” Talent and Economic Development Director Roger Curtis said. “River Rouge now has a strong foundation it can build upon, improving the quality of life and sparking economic growth that leads to good jobs.”

A key highlight of the Rising Tide program is enhanced collaboration among local leaders. River Rouge’s success in the program was helped by the collaboration between local schools, businesses and leaders, and providing the community with state resources that helped guide them along the way.

“From the very beginning, we embraced the program and the valuable support it provided,” Mayor Michael Bowdler said. “We’re excited to continue our work and bring another community up with us. We all rise together – that’s the spirit of the program and it’s how our region and state continue to move forward.”