Phase Six

Phase VI priorities were selected via individual votes cast by business/community participants at the Blue Meets Green Planning retreat in March, 2021. Due to COVID-19, this year's retreat was held via Zoom conferencing and individual votes cast electronically.

Phase VI Priorities - Established 2021

  • Marine City Marina

  • Countywide Broadband Strategic Plan

  • Expanded Training/ Workforce Training Center

  • COVID-19 Vaccine Planning

  • Increasing Child Care Options

Marine City Marina

Marine City, Michigan, is a destination place for thousands of tourists every year. However, Marine City is bypassed by boaters due to the lack of boat docking and amenities for people traveling via the river. Lack of fuel, shore power, pump out facilities, potable water and maintenance services missing hinders tourism. This project will help put the Marine back in Marine City by helping us create a Marina on the Belle River. There is currently a 16-mile nautical gap between St. Clair and Algonac. This Marina project would add another safe harbor for boaters needing services and give our river communities a way to connect. The proposed first phase would include 1,000" of seawall docking for transient and overnight boats (25 boats).

Countywide Broadband Strategic Plan

Develop a countywide broadband strategic action plan. The county has a technology action plan that was developed in 2013, this 8-year old plan is outdated. We need a roadmap to establish the infrastructure needed to push broadband forward in St. Clair County. A vertical asset inventory will help identify gaps and opportunities in our built environment to help us pursue funding opportunities and public/private partnerships. In order to pursue the right funding opportunities, we need a modern plan in place. The Metropolitan Planning Commission will lead the planning process with a Target completion date of Spring 2022. This project will result in a comprehensive countywide inventory of free, high-speed Wi-Fi hot spots to understand where access opportunities and current gaps exist.

Expanded Training/ Workforce Training Center

The workforce training facilities at St. Clair County Community College and RESA require expansion. This would allow for new or expanded programs, equipment, and the capacity to increase student enrollment. The goal is to increase the number of people with credentials including degrees, advanced degrees, certifications or completed apprenticeships. SC4, RESA and other partners plan to seek funding to improve the facilities at SC4’s Technical Center and identify other real estate for future expansion. The project also involves fundraising for this effort. Through a public/ private partnership this effort will prepare the next generation of workers for St. Clair County's jobs of the future. It is estimated that by 2030 there will be 400-800 million jobs displaced globally due to Industry 4.0. It is also estimated that 555-890 million new jobs will be created by this disruption.

COVID-19 Vaccine Planning

The COVID-19 vaccine distribution process / community vaccination initiatives will not be successful without the robust support and participation by our entire business community and community leadership. COVID-19 vaccines are a pathway to ending this pandemic. This effort requires advocacy, public and business communications and messaging. There has never been a vaccination project that has required this type of coordination, communications and surveillance. There has been no vaccination project that has had the same degree of urgency. There is no vaccination project that will have the same level of impact on the economy, education, and quality
of life.

Increasing Child Care Options

Prior to the pandemic, many area residents were struggling with finding available child care options. This issue has exploded since the pandemic. Without additional child care options, more St. Clair County residents will be forced to leave the workforce, creating an even tighter labor market for the county. This project proposed to work with the Washtenaw Community College’s early childhood program to bring their new pilot program to St. Clair County that offers a child development certificate program to help individuals gain employment credentials at no cost to the individual. This pilot program will expand the number of child care options for St. Clair County residents and provide training for those residents who are looking for employment or a career in this growth and needed industry.