LANSING — The Lansing Economic Area Partnership and the Lansing Economic Development Corp. Monday announced the signing of a contract for economic development services between the two entities.

Under the terms of the agreement, the LEDC will pay LEAP $350,000 annually in exchange for the economic development services of LEAP’s 10-person team, which will include the hiring of two current LEDC employees along with a third new hire.

Officials said the agreement will strengthen regional and city efforts to create more jobs and assist business startups and business investment, while marketing and branding the Lansing region to the world. This agreement represents a new regional model that ushers in a new era of cooperation for economic development services.

“Over the last few years, the City of Lansing and the Lansing region have been recognized by the nation and world for its outstanding economic development efforts and as an emerging economic powerhouse,” said Bob Trezise, president and CEO of LEAP. “That same world and nation see us as one region full of assets and opportunities, including MSU, downtown Lansing, LCC, DeWitt Township, GM, Emergent BioSolutions, Accident Fund or Niowave. They don’t see borders; they see opportunity. So it’s about time we devised an economic development organizational structure that more accurately reflects why the world and nation are more and more interested in creating jobs and investment in our region, so we can take full advantage of that growth.”

“This historic agreement will help ensure a more prosperous future for us all, as a city and region,” said Lansing Mayor Virg Bernero. “I am proud that Lansing is leading the way on regional collaboration for economic development and I strongly encourage other communities in our region to follow suit. We are all in this together and we will land more jobs and grow more businesses when we act and work together as a region.”

Trezise noted that the Lansing region is unusual in that it has not previously had an agreement like this one in place. Several regions around the state have operated for decades and with great effectiveness under the auspices of regional economic development agencies that also hold individual municipal contracts for services.

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