A brief history of the RPI

HOUGHTON – As the state of Michigan created regions and service areas for dozens of state agencies over the years, consideration was seldom given to how they could most effectively and efficiently interact, according to the Western Upper Peninsula Planning Region (WUPPDR) website.

While many agencies have had mutual goals within any given region, there has been little or no collaboration between agencies or regions on how to best achieve goals.

To encourage collaboration in an effort to resolve many problems, the State of Michigan developed the Regional Prosperity Initiative, which began operating in early 2014 when WUPPDR received funding through a voluntary competitive grant process that was open only to designated planning regions and metropolitan planning organizations.

For key objectives of the RPI are listed on the website. These are:

To organize contrasting service areas of multiple agencies and organizations; reduce duplication of services, eliminate conflicting goals and reduce overlapping responsibilities; and enhance private-public nonprofit cooperation and align activities for the greatest impact.

Collaboration, says the WUPPDR website, makes it possible to eliminate duplicate and overlapping services and over the long term, more difficult problems.

Problems and difficulties can be resolved in small groups or in a one-on-one environment. Agreements can be worked out to address differences in similarities, ultimately creating a coordinating system of service delivery.