MARQUETTE, Mich. (WLUC) - Executives from across the state joined together at the U.P. Leadership Summit to talk about how collaboration between state academia and industry can create economic growth in the Upper Peninsula and beyond.
"For a long time, for too long in my opinion, we have used our rural remote location as sort of a escape goat for the reason we don't participate in the technical economy, but that's not true anymore,” said Global Business Development Strategy Lead, Keith Glendon.
"This discussion is about bringing the Upper Peninsula into the new economy and the ways we can capitalize on technology."
During this day-long event, they held discussions around connectivity, the fiber that is running in the Upper Peninsula and the educational access network created by Northern Michigan University.
In addition, they also spent the majority of their time on cyber security, which Glendon says is central to business growth.
"We covered a lot of focus on cyber security, which was one central theme as a unifying issue that's going to industries not only in the state but on a national level,” said Glendon.
Glendon, along with other executives, say it is important to have both of these groups in the same room in order to get a better understanding of each other's issues and how to move forward in the process.
"Being able to be in the same room, covering those topics, brainstorming... the state to be able to hear the needs and interests of the upper peninsula, and business leaders and academic leaders here in the upper peninsula being able to understand the bigger state plays and how we might fit into that, that's really the value,” said Glendon.
As for the future Glendon says they're already taking immediate action by putting two consortium(s) here in the Upper Peninsula around cyber security and manufacturing for the Michigan Martial Plan for Talent.
"Those consortium(s) are putting forward a set of proposals that will hopefully lead to funding around initiatives that will hopefully lead to funding around initiatives to develop talent for manufacturing, internships, apprenticeships, education and for cyber security," said Glendon.
In the meantime, they are determined to continue having these conversations.