Mayor Reflects on First Year in Office

By: John Tramontana Email
By: John Tramontana Email

"Lansing is open for business," Mayor Virg Bernero said.

And it's that invitation that has brought economic development, thousands of jobs, and new life to Michigan's capital city. Mayor Virg Bernero has been in office for one year now and he says he's excited about the changes.

"The key was getting that good start," Bernero said "Being able to hit the ground running. We did that and we just dove right in."

That fast start has led to a size able increase in jobs and private investment. In 2006, more than two thousand jobs were created in the city, compared to just 522 in 2005. Jobs retained are also on the rise, 1,047 this year compared to just 460 in 2005.

"We said from the beginning it's about jobs, it's about growing this economy. You can see we've quadrupled the number of investment in the city. We've doubled the amount of economic projects we've got going."

One of the reason's for Lansing's economic surge has been the boost in the entertainment industry. Here on Washington Square numerous new businesses have helped the downtown region to flourish.

New hang outs like the Firm and Tavern on the Square have people coming out for a night on the town.

"Saturday nights in downtown Lansing on Washington Square, it's streaming with people," Bernero said. "People of all ages too, 20 somethings, 30 somethings, 40 somethings. Lansing is getting to be the place where you go to be entertained."

As for next year, Bernero says he hopes to create even more jobs, focusing on the information technology industry. He says there are plenty of jobs available right now and that the key to 2007 is working with local universities to keep graduates in town and attract new corporations.


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