Column: Important parts of the community

ESCANABA — When I was given this opportunity to write about my experiences of being a student intern at the Delta County Commerce Center and working for the Delta County EDA, I did not know where to start. There are so many things to talk about, I could tell stories about all of the amazing people who work there and all of the hard work they do to keep these organizations running, but that is not really an experience that is personal to me. That is more of an observation. I could write about all of the lovely tourists who stop in for information. I think the most important thing I could talk about is that most people do not know that much about the Commerce Center and the EDA, and they do a lot for our community.

About three years ago, before I was employed as an intern at the EDA, I was tasked with writing a sample article about what economic development and the EDA meant to me. As a high school senior who had no interest in economics and/or the way it affects communities, I remember that it was hard to come up with something, but what I did eventually come up with I feel still rings to the sentiment that I want to write about in this article. A quote I will pull from my old article that I want to try to relate to this article is, ” [The] recent development in the county makes Escanaba feel like a bigger city. I believe this is vital in getting our younger people to recognize the benefits of staying in (or returning to) Delta County rather than leaving for a larger metro area to search for a career after high school or college”

Working for the Delta County EDA, has given me a lot of experience and insight into how businesses come to and develop in our area. One of the many projects that I have worked on over the three years that I have interned here was the commercial properties database Zoom Prospector. This database lists all of the commercial properties that are for sale in Delta County. It is a very user-friendly database that I believe is very important for the development and future of our community. Being able to work on this project that the EDA handles gives important insight to some clues as to how the community expands.

By helping companies and other businesses find locations for their ventures, the EDA is helping make Escanaba, Gladstone, and even all of Delta County feel like a more urbanized place. This is important for the prosperity of our community because with a larger city feel students like myself might stay in here instead of leaving to go find jobs in other areas.

As this is my third summer being an intern at the Commerce Center and the EDA there is certainly something that draws me back. Whether it be the awesome events that the commerce center puts on that bring people to the area or the amazing help that the organizations bring to the phenomenal business that stay in our area, there is always something to do in Delta County, whether it be walking through the incredible trails, sunbathing on our wonderful beaches or just walking through town to browse through all of the wonderful local businesses that we have to offer.

Working in such a rewarding environment is a big push to continue to work at the commerce center. I look forward to making more memories that I can cherish for a lifetime and being able to help the community grow and prosper.

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Morgan Wastell is an intern at the Delta County EDA. Her position is made possible by a grant that supports economic development capacity expansion from Governor Snyder’s Regional Prosperity Initiative, administered by CUPPAD. Morgan returns to the University of Michigan in August where she is studying political science and international studies with a minor in digital studies.