Providing resources for communities and entrepreneurs to create and retain jobs in Antrim, Charlevoix, Cheboygan & Emmet Counties.

NLEA History

Past NLEA Presidents and Past Board ChairsTimeline of Significant Events:

  • 1984 Charlevoix County Business & Industry Task Force formed
  • 1985 Antrim County joins. New name is Antrim-Charlevoix Growth Alliance 
  • 1988 Emmet County joins. New name is Northern Lakes Economic Alliance
  • 1990 Business Development Center (BDC) opened at NCMC, Petoskey
  • 1992 MSU Extension partnership formalized
  • 1995 NLEA receives 501(c)3 private non-profit status
  • 1997 Northern Homes Community Development Corp. formed in partnership with the Northeast Michigan Council of Governments
  • 2000 Value-Added Agriculture Program initiated
  • 2001 Michigan Economic Development Corp. (MEDC) partnership established
  • 2001 NLEA enters formal partnership with MSU Extension
  • 2001 Partnership formed with the Char-Em ISD
  • 2002 NLEA becomes a satellite Small Business & Technology Development Center (SBTDC)
  • 2005 1st Business Resource Center (BRC) established in the Boyne District Library, Boyne City
  • 2005 NLEA Chamber of Commerce Council organized
  • 2006 Partnership formed with Northwest Michigan Council of Governments
  • 2007 Cheboygan County joins the NLEA
  • 2007 NLEA Entrepreneurial Division formed
  • 2012 Business Resource Center Network grows to 10 locations throughout the four-county region
  • 2013 North Central Michigan College (NCMC) becomes a “Core Partner”
  • 2014 NLEA Celebrates 30th Anniversary
  • 2014 Another site is added to the Business Resource Center Network at North Central Michigan College Library
  • 2014 NLEA, in collaboration with core partners NCMC and MEDC, rolls out first Mobile CNC Fabrication Lab (Fab Lab) in Michigan to train local workforce
  • 2015 NLEA partnered with the City of East Jordan and Cannonball LLC to establish a CRD to redevelop a $3+ million mixed-use facility in downtown East Jordan
  • 2016 NLEA summer interns create 30 career profiles focussing on in-demand “Hot Jobs” in Northwest Michigan
  • 2017 Construction is underway on new $125 million foundry for EJ (East Jordan Iron Works) in Warner Township, Antrim County. Retaining 350 family-supporting base jobs.
  • 2018 Votorantim Cimentos St. Marys Cement plant expansion is complete with a $230 million investment in Charlevoix, MI
  • 2019 Moran Iron Works awarded $564,300 from U.S. Department of Transportation Maritime to expand shipbuilding operation. NLEA, local and state elected officials collaborated.


Core Partners

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