By Sam Bailey, Strategic Initiatives Manager
Northern Lakes Economic Alliance (NLEA) is excited to announce the hiring of Abigail Vandeyacht, Thomas Reid, Adelyn Wang, and Lila Bolden as the 2023 NLEA/DTE Energy Foundation Interns. Each summer, NLEA hires college students for the Summer Internship program with funds provided by DTE Energy Foundation. This program enables the NLEA to provide a “real world” opportunity for area college students to work on a meaningful project that benefits the region. The students’ skillsets and courses of study are matched to the project to give them experience working in their field. This year’s team of four interns will design a talent attraction and retention campaign targeted at young adults in an effort to address the region’s labor constraints.
Abigail Vandeyacht was born and raised in the Northern Lower Michigan, graduating for Northern Michigan Christian Academy in Burt Lake. She will return to the area having earned a dual bachelor’s degree in Marketing and Business Management from Grace College in May 2023. Abigail is excited to tackle this summer’s intern project because it is an opportunity, “…to be involved in the community, get to know the owners of local businesses, and share their experiences with others through this opportunity.”
Joining Abigail is Thomas Reid III, a 2022 graduate of East Jordan High School. Thomas is currently attending Grand Rapids Community College where he is studying Marketing and playing baseball. Excited to be returning to the area for the summer, Thomas is, “…looking forward to supporting the Northern Michigan community through this internship program.”
Rounding out the intern team will be two 2023 Petoskey High School graduates, Adelyn Wang and Lila Bolden. While in high school, both Adelyn and Lila were heavily involved with DECA and student leadership. In the fall, Adelyn will begin studying User Experience Design at Purdue University with plans to become a free-lance web-designer. Having grown up in the area, she is, “…thrilled to join the NLEA team play a role in promoting beautiful Northern Lower Michigan!” In the fall, Lila will begin studying Marketing at Northwood University while following their MBA/BBA track. Lila is excited for the opportunity because, “…it will give her a glimpse into her future career path and aid her in building new connections outside of her community.”
With an aging population and shrinking labor force, Northern Lower Michigan needs to attract its next generation of workers to continue to succeed. Interns will work together to create a campaign to market the region’s economic, cultural, and natural assets to young adults. The team will aim to capture stories from local businesses, entrepreneurs, individuals, and events that highlight what makes Northern Lower Michigan a desirable place to live, work, and thrive.