Snyder VisitGovernor Rick Snyder made it abundantly clear during a brief visit with a handful of community and business leaders Thursday, Oct. 6 that he is interested in Charlotte’s success. Snyder, who was in town as part of a tour of all 10 Rising Tide communities, listened intently to the many success stories created locally through Project Rising Tide and the #CharlotteRising initiative. He was equally interested, however, in some of the challenges the community still faces and how focused resources available at the state level could help tackle those issues.
“It’s important to be here from my perspective,” Snyder told a gathering of close to 20 city and school officials, local business owners and community leaders. “I want to come listen and see what’s on your mind … we’re to help you with the things that are the challenges, the things that aren’t going so well. And, to be open, you need to be honest about that and recognize that every community has challenges, and we can be successful, hopefully addressing some of those.”
Snyder said Rising Tide was created to make sure all areas of the state received the same kind of attention as its urban centers, such as Detroit, which has received much attention from the Capitol.
“This project is about how could we find communities in each one of the 10 regions to help them help themselves,” Snyder said. “This isn’t about big dollars and big government coming in, this is about how do we bring focused resources to supplement really good people that want to do good things.”
Matt Rush, President and CEO of Hayes Green Beach Memorial Hospital said Project Rising Tide came at the right time for the Charlotte community.
“One of our challenges is I’ve seen our engagement wax and wane over the years,” Rush told Snyder. “I think we’re on the precipice of a breakthrough. We’ve got to get that last piece of push, and I think Project Rising Tide could be the tipping point.”
Rush added that keeping momentum and enthusiasm going is key to Project Rising Tide’s overall success in Charlotte.
“We know how to meet, we know how to plan, we know how to vision, but now it’s time to do,” said Jason Vanderstelt, co-founder of Dutch Brothers Development Group. “Your initiative came at a perfect time. This community wants to be proud of itself again, it wants a reason to be positive and excited and happy, and to love itself.”
Snyder also learned about the many successful programs currently offered at Charlotte Public Schools, offering ways to connect to tech security industry in Battle Creek. He heard of the many projects that are currently underway through #CharlotteRising, heard of the shortfalls the community faces in attracting millenials, and of the collaborative efforts of the many organizations in the community working together to ensure a successful community revival.
“The longer-term goal is to hopefully have you sort of graduate,” Snyder said. “You’ll keep doing great things, but we want to go help other communities, too. We hope we get to the point where you’re being successful enough that you’ll actually come with us and be a role model for another community in your region.”