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Wastewater Infrastructure Fund & Economic Development Analyst
Jennifer Weitzel is the Wastewater Infrastructure Fund/Economic Development Analyst at the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development. In this role, she is the primary contact for the State’s new Wastewater Infrastructure Fund Program focused on supporting food and agriculture processors moving toward climate-smart practices that will protect the environment and public health. She also serves in an Economic Development role assisting food and agriculture businesses in Southwest Michigan (Region 8) with accessing resources for sustainability and growth.
Jennifer’s career has centered on economic access and relationship building that contributes to community growth and vitality. This includes past work supporting organizations focused on providing financial access, community resources, and business development throughout the United States. Before her tenure at MDARD, she raised over $88 million in federal grants for organizations to accelerate community impact through agriculture, small business, housing, and consumer lending. Additionally, she has assisted organizations with federal certification and federal compliance requirements. She has also provided training and technical assistance to business owners, collaborating with them on business plans, financial projections, licensing, and financing applications.
Jennifer has resided in a small town in Southwest Michigan for the last five years. She is currently a volunteer member of the United Way of Southwest Michigan’s Investment Team. She has previously served on the Lutheran Child and Family Services' Ways to Work Loan Committee and as a board member for the Organizing Neighborhoods for Equality: Northside (ONE Northside).
She received her undergraduate degree in Education and Social Policy from Northwestern University and holds a Masters of Public Administration from the University of Illinois at Chicago.