Ten Michigan Communities Selected to Host a Community Development Fellow

May 20, 2021

Contact: Madeleine March-Meenagh
Interim Program Manager, CEDAM
517.485.3588 ext. 1943

Fellows will expand organizational capacity, increase local collaboration, and remove barriers to development. 

Lansing, MI— The Community Economic Development Association of Michigan (CEDAM) is excited to announce the ten communities chosen to host a community development fellow for the 2021-22 program year: Hancock, Kalkaska, Cheboygan, Big Rapids, Bridgeport Charter Township, Flint, Lansing, Coldwater, Tecumseh, and Ferndale. 

This is the third cohort of CEDAM’s Community Development Fellowship, made possible with funding and partnership with the Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC). The fellowship was created to help address a common challenge Michigan’s diverse communities face: a lack of sufficient capacity to achieve their economic development potential. Fellows work directly with existing municipalities or organizations in these communities for 15-months on projects that expand organizational capacity, increase local collaboration, and remove barriers to development. 

“Last year’s fellows made a significant impact, supporting vibrant, diverse, and resilient communities across Michigan. We are excited for ten new municipalities, participating in the Redevelopment Ready Communities (RRC) program, to benefit from the fellowship,” said Michelle Parkkonen, managing director of technical assistance programs at MEDC.

Previous fellow projects include the creation of a Façade Grant Program, selecting and marketing sites for redevelopment, planning interactive events for community engagement, and much more. Between June – December 2020, the last cohort helped secure more than $368,000 in funding for communities.

“In addition to adding needed capacity for local municipalities, this program strengthens the pipeline of leaders in the community economic development field,” said Luke Forrest, executive director at CEDAM. “We’re excited to invest in emerging community builders through training, networking, and hands-on professional development opportunities.” 

Interested in applying to be a fellow? Recruitment kicks off in June. Visit cedamichigan.org/fellowship for more information.

CEDAM is a state-wide membership association for community economic development. We support and advocate for vibrant neighborhoods, economic opportunity, equitable development, and housing security.