• Welcome to Sault United!

     Sault United
    We are part of the Michigan Municipal League 21c3 Pilot Project.
    For more information, please contact our Leader:

    Kristen Claus
    Executive Director
    Sault Ste. Marie Economic Development Corporation
    Direct: 906-632-5778 kclaus@saultedc.com

    The Michigan Municipal League contacted Marga Inc. following the conclusion that Sault Ste. Marie is poised to evolve into a true university town. As one of five pilot communities of the Michigan Municipal League's Center for 21st Century Communities (21c3), Sault Ste. Marie will demonstrate the impact of eight assets believed essential for creating vibrant communities in the 21st century economy. These include:

    • Physical Design and Walkability
    • Green Initiatives
    • Cultural Economic Development
    • Entrepreneurship
    • Multiculturalism
    • Messaging and Technology
    • Transit
    • Education K to 16

    Through an extensive assessment process to help local stakeholders comprehend their opportunities and challenges in these eight categories, the Sault Ste. Marie pilot community identified K-16 as an area worthy of deeper strategic thinking and planning. A group of local stakeholders and leaders suggested that Sault Ste. Marie is more of a "town with a university" than a "university town." Aspects of this vision of a university town would include greater engagement between Lake Superior State University students and the community, more active involvement of the community in the university, vastly increased numbers of students residing in the area after graduation, and more direct involvement of the university in the region's long term economic development.

    The Michigan Municipal League's report on Sault Ste. Marie as a 21c3 pilot project highlighted the area's many strengths within the eight assets of 21st century communities. The report highlighted the great potential to enhance Sault Ste. Marie in all eight areas, by a comprehensive focus on transitioning the area into a vibrant university town. Agreement to move forward with this direction led to the involvement of Marga Inc. 

    Marga provides strategic advice and research in order to create and/or strengthen community partnerships. This role positions Marga as outside and informed eyes that can gather relevant information and facilitate processes helping local stakeholders collaboratively design strategies and structures for their partnership. Marga's methodology was intentionally designed to assist cross sector, multi-stakeholder partnerships in creating and maintaining joint agendas. In order to add value to Sault Ste. Marie's desire to evolve into a university town, the Michigan Municipal League and Sault Ste. Marie leaders requested a process that would:

    • Develop a scope of services along with local stakeholders that would form a vision and strategic plan that would lead to a university town;
    • Research information and perspectives from local sources that would inform what it would actually take in order to develop a true university town environment;
    • Facilitate a strategic meeting among local leaders that would create a plan of action and governance structure to make the plan a reality;
    • Compose and submit a report with the dimensions of the plan and recommended steps to launch a long-term process.
Last Modified on September 23, 2015