Sponsored by: St. Clair County Community College

Story Written By: Karly Hurley

If there was one thing the audience took away from the Crain’s NEXT Breakfast Event today, it’s this: The Blue Water Area has a plethora of opportunity when it comes to attracting tourists & outsiders and the area is thriving because of the culture of collaboration.
More than 250 people gathered at the Blue Water Area Convention Center to hear from Crain’s Detroit Business and several local representatives on the brand of the region and the talent gap many industries are facing. Through paneled discussions, participants brought different perspectives and ideas to the table that shed light on that collaboration and opportunity that, as Kathy Vertin, Marine City entrepreneur said is, “finally bubbling to the surface.”
“13 years ago today if you would have come to St. Clair County, you would never have thought we would be where we are today,” said Jeff Bohm, St. Clair County Commissioner. “Out of the economic downturn we had to come together to figure out how to revive the area and come back and that’s when the collaboration started.
Donna Russell-Kuhr, President of PTM Corporation, echoed those same words. “It takes tragedy [for the Blue Water Area-economic recession]. It was pretty awesome to see everyone come together from every walk of life. It was a great collaboration and I think that out of tragedy, look at how wonderful things have become. This area is a jewel. We are a jewel.”
While there was no clear step forward that came out of the discussions about the talent gap or the Blue Water Area’s brand, there was the common celebration that collaboration has brought the region to where it is today: on the verge of something big.

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