Great Lakes Region: Growth and Renewal
Council Agenda: Meeting the High Performance Challenge
Vision for the Future
Great Lakes Region: Growth and Renewal
The Great Lakes
region has undergone a vast number of changes that have altered
both its industrial and environmental landscape. The Great Lakes
region, once the center of the North American mass production economy,
is now a world leader in building a region based on high performance
principles and practices.
Production and High Performance Principles
college and vocational tracks
learning for al workers "knowledge, not college"
education and job training systems
ties between classroom and workplace
geared toward bulk shipments
geared toward just-in-time delivery
and control environmental regulations
effects dealt with at end-of-pipe
prevention integrated into production process
treated as a utility
information services are a component of production
geared to the domestic market
harmonized with global standards to encourage exports
tied to inventories
markets support low-inventory production
From the late
1960s through the mid 1980s, the Great Lakes economy and environment
were in severe distress. Many "experts" predicted that
the lakes and the regional economy would never recover; that the
economy was permanently de-industrialized and the lakes permanently
By the late
1980s, the Great Lakes economy was well on the road to recovery
and, once again, the region was a world economic leader. This recovery
was not driven by the mass production strategies that built the
regional economy, but led by regional companies using 21st century
high performance principles. These principles emphasize flexible
production, low cost, high quality and waste reduction in manufacturing.
They also stress advanced technology, greater participation from
workers, and environmental protection as primary goals in changing
thought that this renewed growth in manufacturing would exact a
serious toll on the environment, but the high performance revolution
occurred in a time of unprecedented renewal of the regional environment.
High performance strategies are very compatible with environmental
protection. Companies now integrate environmental goals into organizational
designs and production processes as they work to increase their
Council of Great Lakes Governors:
Supporting a High Performance Region
world has shrunk so dramatically over the past ten years that
we can't look at what's happening in northwest Ohio. We have to
look at what happens around the globe. .... As I walk through
my factories, I know that it is my responsibility to keep my people
employed, and to keep them competitive. We can't outwork other
countries: our backs, legs and arms aren't any stronger. So we
have to out think them."
Norton, President and CEO, Norton Manufacturing, Fostoria, Ohio.
of Great Lakes Governors was formed in 1983. In 1991, the Great
Lakes Governors transformed how the Council of Great Lakes Governors
worked because they wanted to ensure that the region kept pace with
high performance changes. It was a transformation based upon changing
needs of people, technology and environmental protection and linking
the three more closely. The Governors are leading the way in building
cooperative efforts that concentrate on developing and implementing
projects on issues that have an impact on improving the region's
economy and environment.
selected were those that support the developing high performance
economy. The Governors led the development of private/public partnerships
that enhance workforce development, capitalize on the promise of
telecommunications, encourage pollution prevention, and support
the development of a recycled product industry.
As these projects
develop, they spin off new related projects. The telecommunications
initiative led directly to two projects. In 1992, the Governors
added Pioneering Partners, a partnership with GTE that supported
teams of educators in advancing the use of educational technology.
In 1994, the Governors initiated the Great Lakes Science and Technology
Partnership, to organize and coordinate public/private efforts to
increase the use of advanced technology by regional companies.
As new regional
needs are identified, the Council develops new projects to meet
them. The Governors began a project in 1995 to address pollution
whose source cannot be easily identified, and are now beginning
to identify ways to encourage the reuse of contaminated industrial
sites, or brownfields. This process will continue as new challenges
arise for the region so that the Great Lakes region continues its
leadership in environmental protection and economic growth.
Council Agenda: Meeting the High Performance Challenge
Pollution Before It Starts:
The Pollution Prevention Challenge
the generation of pollutants is often cheaper than controlling
or disposing of them after they are produced.
prevention is part of total quality management: process changes
that prevent pollution also increase quality. Successful pollution
prevention spawns high performance, quality-oriented work organizations.
Prevention leads to cleaner production, that can create a competitive
advantage in an increasingly environmentally-conscious world.
From the Great Lakes Pollution Prevention Challenge, April 29,
In April 1991,
the Governors, with the then-U.S. EPA Administrator, issued a challenge
to industry to prevent pollution in their manufacturing processes.
Pollution prevention is a major component of high performance. In
a mass production economy, pollution control means "catching"
pollution at the end of the process. In high performance, pollution
prevention becomes an integral practice throughout the production
committed the states to identify and remove barriers to prevention,
create a framework for specific public/private initiatives, and
promote prevention within government. The Challenge is not only
for industry. It is also for government to work with industry to
identify more effective means of achieving environmental protection.
The current environmental regulatory structure was created for a
mass production economy. The challenge facing government is modifying
how it does business so that it does not subsidize older, inefficient
and dirty producers by not eliminating barriers for companies that
want to reduce emissions though pollution prevention or by investing
in new process technology.
is moving forward through two projects: the Great Printers Project
and the Auto Project.
Competitive, Clean Industries:
The Auto Project
Achieved a production normalized 15 percent reduction in
the release of the 65 persistent toxic substances. This
reduction is even greater, increasing to 55 percent, if
releases of zinc at two foundries are excluded.
Completed agreement on mission statement and operating guidelines
for the expanded U.S. Auto Project.
Provided participation in technology transfer and assistance
forums, e.g. the October 20, 1995 North American Auto Supplier
Environmental Workshop held for over 300 suppliers in Toronto.
Utilized higher education summer interns on in-depth joint
pollution prevention projects.
The Great Printers Project
The Great Printers
Project, a partnership between the Governors, the Printing Industries
of America (PIA), and the Environmental Defense Fund (EDF), provides
a model for the integration of competitiveness and environmental
protection. The goal is to make pollution prevention the primary
choice of the Great Lakes states' printing industry in meeting and
exceeding its environmental and human health responsibilities.
from government, industry, labor, environmental groups and the general
public developed recommendations on how printers can reduce pollution
and become more competitive. Since 1994, the state affiliates of
PIA in Illinois, Michigan, Minnesota and Wisconsin and governmental
and environmental partners are working to put those recommendations
To build a
truly competitive and environmentally sound region, smaller companies,
like those that make up the printing industry (80 percent of printers
employ fewer than 20 people) need to adopt pollution prevention
practices. However, they do not always have the resources or the
technical expertise to do this. Printing facilities tend to produce
significant pollution relative to their size.
he Great Printers
Project encourages government and private programs to provide technical
assistance to help printers change to state of the art technology
and use more environmentally friendly raw materials. Just as important
are the training programs and occupational credentials that provide
the underlying support for new printing practices. If government
assistance programs and regulations do not keep pace with changes
in the industry, printers may be discouraged from making the change
to more efficient, cost-effective and environmentally sound technologies.
Pollution in One Sector:
Great Printers Project
The Printer's Role: Continuous effort in Great Printing
- Seek out information on the print shop's environmental performance,
and the environmental impacts to buyers;
- Perform environmental compliance and pollution prevention assessments,
and correct any compliance problems;
- Measure pollution prevention progress.
The Buyer's Role: Building Markets for Great Printing
- Work with printers to specify their requirements in ways that
produce quality jobs that do not compromise the environment;
- Ask questions about the environmental impacts of a job: Are
the inks safe? Is the paper recycled? Is the paper bleached using
The Government's Role: Creating a Pollution Prevention Friendly
- Avoid redundancy and confusion with reporting and permitting;
- Make sure requirements are conducive to pollution prevention;
- Give incentives to companies to go beyond simply complying with
The Auto Project
or reducing pollution at a single facility is a start to protecting
the environment, but it is only a beginning. A truly effective pollution
prevention strategy reaches throughout a sector and into their suppliers
so that a finished item has produced as little pollution as possible.
The Great Lakes Automotive Pollution Prevention Project (Auto Project)
strives to do this.
in 1991 under the Pollution Prevention Challenge, the Auto Project
is the Council's first voluntary public/private partnership. Led
by the state of Michigan, the Big Three auto companies, Chrysler
Corporation, Ford Motor Company and General Motors Corporation,
and their trade association, the American Automobile Manufacturers
Association (AAMA), the Auto Project seeks to advance pollution
prevention throughout the auto industry, and addresses regulatory
barriers that inhibit pollution prevention actions.
The Auto Project
originally focused on reducing pollution from a targeted list of
sixty-five Great Lakes persistent toxins that occur in the manufacturing
process of cars and light trucks. This focus was addressed, in part,
through working with suppliers to ensure that they understand and
are encouraged to achieve industry-wide pollution prevention objectives.
Two progress reports, detailing accomplishments and future direction,
have been released.
will continue to have a broader impact on the nation as a whole
as it has been expanded from a Great Lakes-specific project to a
national project: the U.S. Auto Project.
High Performance Regulatory Vision:
|Accomplishments: The Auto
Achieved a production normalized
15 percent reduction in the release of the 65 persistent
toxic substances. This reduction is even greater, increasing
to 55 percent, if releases of zinc at two foundries are
Completed agreement on mission
statement and operating guidelines for the expanded U.S.
Provided participation in technology
transfer and assistance forums, e.g. the October 20, 1995
North American Auto Supplier Environmental Workshop held
for over 300 suppliers in Toronto.
Utilized higher education summer
interns on in-depth joint pollution prevention projects.
The Great Lakes Initiative
often in public policy-making, the question, "Can we afford..."
to undertake some laudable goal is the most important question
posed. ...this can easily obscure the fact that, while we might
indeed be able to afford a particular remedy, it may be much less
effective than many other alternatives. ...a consistent policy
of adopting environmental remedies -- each of which "we can
afford" -- that are not the most effective will eventually
leave us short on our overall goal of a cleaner environment and
out of resources to tackle the next societal challenge. In other
words, if we fail to emphasize the question of cost-effectiveness,
ultimately, we will "NOT be able to afford" the goal
of a cleaner Great Lakes region."
Report: The Great Lakes Water Quality Initiative: Cost Effective
Measures to Enhance Environmental Quality and Regional Competitiveness,
and government support assist the development of new industries
that link economy and environment in production processes, but current
regulatory structures can be barriers to companies achieving peak
economic and environmental performance. The Great Lakes Governors
are working to redefine government's role as regulator within the
context of high performance.
It was the
Great Lakes Governors who initiated the effort to create a consistent
level of environmental protection for the Great Lakes Basin because
of their commitment to an ecosystem approach and to prevent competition
among the states based on environmental standards. The Governors'
goal in implementing the basin-wide water quality regulatory system,
the Great Lakes Initiative (GLI) remains geared toward constructing
a comprehensive, high performance, basinwide framework for environmental
regulation that allows flexibility and innovation in achieving cost
effective reduction of toxics.
To ensure that
the GLI is an effective instrument, the Governors contracted twice
with DRI/McGraw-Hill to assess the proposed water quality guidance
issued by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency: first, in 1993,
to identify potential cost drivers in the draft guidance that did
not effectively promote environmental protection; and second, in
1995, to determine if the Governors' concerns on the draft were
addressed in the final guidance.
released a Statement of Principles in early 1996 that outlines their
vision for creating a consistent level of environmental protection
that achieves maximum environmental benefit, while leveraging investment
in improved economic competitiveness. With limited resources for
both government and business, it is important to target investments
where they are most effective, both environmentally and economically.
Money that is spent for virtually no environmental benefit shifts
investment away from pollution prevention and other more effective
environmental undertakings. The statement also affirmed their intent
to be the primary implementors of GLI and co-regulators with U.S.
EPA. As they move forward with this important effort, the Governors
will try to maximize environmental protection and support the economy,
just as they do with their voluntary partnerships.
Hard to Trace Pollution:
The Great Lakes Watershed Initiative
need to encourage state and local partnerships to implement new
solutions (to nonpoint source pollution). We need to supplement
regulatory approaches with educational programs, voluntary initiatives,
and economic incentives. The framework for our actions needs to
be watersheds rather than political jurisdictions."
Engler, Governor of Michigan, Chairman, Council of Great Lakes
The Great Lakes
Water Quality Initiative and pollution prevention efforts generally
address point source pollution. Preventing nonpoint source pollution,
which is not as easily traced as is pollution from point sources
such as factories and other polluting facilities, requires creativity.
Nonpoint source pollution needs to be addressed directly for the
Great Lakes to become cleaner and better protected.
in partnership with The Conservation Fund and the National Geographic
Society, are creating a network of urban nonpoint pollution prevention
projects under the Great Lakes Watershed Initiative. At each site,
the Governors and the Premiers of Ontario and Quebec will implement
recommendations of the National Forum on Nonpoint Source Pollution,
chaired by Michigan Governor John Engler in 1993-1995. The goals
of the project are to identify and implement innovative, high performance,
non-regulatory solutions to nonpoint pollution based on economic
incentives, voluntary initiatives, and education.
are taking a broader look at pollution prevention, not on an industry-
or sector-wide basis, but at the watershed level. The project reflects
the reality of nonpoint pollution because there is no single solution
to the problems it poses. Each project is different, highlighting
the multiple types of nonpoint pollution that exist and offering
viable solutions that can be applied to other areas around the basin
New High Performance Industries:
Initiative: Demonstration Projects to Date
Illinois: Waukegan River Watershed: Wetland Restoration
for Stormwater Management
Indiana: Grand Calumet River Watershed: Urban Runoff from
Michigan: Huron River Watershed: Point/Nonpoint Source Water
Minnesota: Miller Creek Watershed: Stream Restoration and
Ohio: Black River Watershed: Economic Incentives for Reducing
Pennsylvania: Mill Creek Watershed: Protection of Headwaters
Wisconsin: Jordon Creek Watershed: Toxic Contamination Prevention
Great Lakes Recycle
The multi-state purchases of recycled copy paper annually:
- saved the region's taxpayers more than a million dollars
per year; - diverted over three million pounds of waste
paper from disposal, preserving the equivalent of at least
130,000 trees, saving the energy equivalent of 771,000 gallons
Great Lakes Recycle received a 1992 Citation from the President's
Environment and Conservation Challenge Award for environmental
In 1996, The Governors appointed an eight member Great Lakes
Recycle Board to oversee the project. To date the Board
has: - designed a Great Lakes Recycle logo. - developed
a Great Lakes Recycle Project home page that is now featured
on the internet. - created a Great Lakes Recycle public
display highlighting products made from recycled materials
produced in each of the eight Great Lakes states.
Under the high
performance revolution, new industries developed that did not exist
just a few years ago, such as the recycling industry. The Great
Lakes Recycle project was created in 1992 because the Governors
identified the recycling industry as one of these new industries
that would benefit from market-based assistance from the states.
The industry showed great promise for the future, but was having
difficulty taking off.
signed the Great Lakes Recycle Agreement, pledging to cooperate
in purchasing recycled products that meet common specifications.
It was hoped that this would send a strong market signal to producers.
They also established a Great Lakes Recycle Board that would identify
other mechanisms that the states could use to spur the development
of recycled product markets.
The first product
chosen for joint purchase was one that governments use in large
quantity--copy paper. The state purchasing directors put out a single
call for bid on each state's individual paper contracts that listed
the same product specifications. Wisconsin, under a grant from U.S.
EPA, tested potential suppliers' paper to ensure quality standards.
testing had the intended impact. First, states received paper that
met their specifications. The states were vigilant in monitoring
quality standards, and, in fact, Michigan canceled its contract
with its paper distributor because the quality did not remain constant.
Second, several companies whose paper did not pre-qualify for bid
during the first year, came back the next year with paper that was
of higher quality. In addition, several paper mills began capital
investment plans to produce more copy paper with more post-consumer
content shortly after the first Council initiated state purchase.
have increased the number of products that they work together to
purchase: envelopes, soft paper products, motor oil, retread tires,
traffic cones, and computer forms.
In 1996, the
Governors appointed an eight member Great Lakes Recycle Board to
provide a broader strategic framework for multi-state purchases
and in the development of a healthy, high performance recycling
industry. The Board has two primary goals, first to expand and stabilize
markets for recycled products by continuing to use state purchasing
power to send signals to the marketplace, and second, to expand
the region's recycling infrastructure and integrate the recycling
industry more closely into the regional economic fabric. Developing
that infrastructure gives the region a competitive advantage over
other regions that do not intelligently develop an extensive, closed-loop
recycling infrastructure that "exports" products to other
regions of the country.
to the Center for the Biology of Natural Systems which analyzed
the impact of the paper purchase on the recycling industry, "The
Council's joint purchase was one of the major signals that demand
for recycled copy paper was serious and would be a long-term trend."
Brownfield Clean-Up and Re-Use
a regional strategy devoted to industrial sites reuse, the legacy
of thousands of vacant and under-used industrial sites throughout
the Great Lakes region can be our advantage, not our curse."
Ridge, Governor of Pennsylvania, Chairman, Council of Great Lakes
properties, or brownfields, are one of the legacies of the environmental
pollution generated during the era of mass production when environmental
effects were not considered in production processes. While brownfields
present a special problem, they also offer enormous potential as
sites for industrial redevelopment. Rather than being viewed as
wastelands, many people see them as places with tremendous capacity
for creating jobs while cleaning the environment.
The Great Lakes
states share similar problems with brownfield redevelopment. Because
of the density of mass production facilities in the region, there
are more sites in this region. But, like the lakes themselves, brownfield
sites can be cleaned and revitalized so that they are a positive
element of the regional economic and environmental makeup. This
is particularly important in some urban areas where high performance
has not taken root. The states need to work with community groups
and local and federal governments to identify common policy threads.
These policies must be implemented with flexibility by states and
local communities based upon local needs.
As they begin
work in leading regional brownfield redevelopment projects, the
Governors recognize that there are several barriers to redevelopment,
just as there are barriers in other policy areas. First, businesses
tend to have a greater interest in sites that are ready immediately,
as opposed to some
sites where cleanup may take two years. Second, there needs to be
an assessment of current environmental and liability policies that
impact the transfer of mildly contaminated properties. Additionally,
there is a need for greater coordination between all levels of government
to ensure that the array of regulations that affect brownfield sites
is less confusing and policy implementation is more coordinated.
policy can only go so far. Governments cannot provide financing
to redevelop sites. There needs to be closer coordination with the
private sector, site owners, potential site users as well as financial
institutions to build a firm and clean foundation for new brownfield
a Competitive Workforce:
brownfields to productive use retains and creates jobs--jobs that
are especially valuable to the distressed communities where brownfields
are commonly located."
Report and Action Plan: Chicago Brownfields Forum, October 1995.
The Great Lakes Workforce Quality Initiative
Workforce Quality Initiative
The metalworking industry developed skill standards for
Machining, Metalforming, and Machine Building. The standards
for Tool and Die, Moldmaking and Machine Maintenance are
at various stages of completion. Tests have been developed
for the Machining skills and are under development for the
The printing industry completed three sets of skill standards:
Press, Pre-press/Imaging, and Finishing and Distribution
Norton Manufacturing in Fostoria, Ohio, is the first company
to use and certify its employees as having mastered the
Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio, Pennsylvania,
and Wisconsin are implementing the skills standards through
state, local and/or company led programs.
companies need people with up-to-date skills: skills that will make
both the person and the company more competitive in the marketplace.
Industry-designed skill standards are needed to build productivity
in a constantly changing workplace, ensure that education and training
programsare accountable and tied to measurable outcomes, and help
increase people's motivation and achievement.
Under the Great
Lakes Workforce Quality Initiative, the National Tooling and Machining
Association developed new sets of skills standards for the metalworking
industry, and the Printing Industries of America developed skills
standards for the printing industry to help companies within each
industry identify the types of skills that workers need to possess.
The Great Lakes states, in turn, work with the associations to guarantee
that the standards are used in training programs around the state,
whether state-, local- or company-sponsored.
A key component
of this project is that it will provide a guarantee that a worker
certified as having attained the skill level in one state will have
that skill recognized in all Great Lakes states. It guarantees people
that their skills are up-to-date and gives them the flexibility
to move to another state where
there may be
new opportunities for advancement, while giving employers a guarantee
that the workers they hire who are certified have the skills required
by a globally competitive company.
Performance Technology Base:
standards will be used to:
evaluate job applicants fairly
identify training needs
prepare, train and retrain workers
assess skills and proficiency
recognize and reward employee ability and achievement
encourage career development and advancement
standards are needed to:
build productivity through increased skills in a changing workplace
make sure that education and training programs are accountable
and tied to measurable, observable outcomes
drive student and worker motivation and achievement
The Science and Technology Partnership
sure that Great Lakes industries stay ahead of world competition
demands the most efficient use of our region's rich technology
base. The partnership will create a variety of resources from
which we can further develop our already strong base."
V. Voinovich, Governor of Ohio, Chairman, Council of Great Lakes
The Council's 1994 report,
North America's High Performance Heartland, describes an emerging,
closely interconnected, advanced manufacturing economy that requires
rapid technology development and adoption. Inspired by the report,
the Governors established the Great Lakes Science and
that is creating technology links between the Great Lakes states,
and between the public and private sectors. The Governors' goal
is to create a regional technology agenda to advance the Great Lakes
high performance economy.
There is a wealth of
science and technology resources within the individual states, but
there are few mechanisms through which the states coordinate science
and technology resources in the region. The Council of Great Lakes
Governors and the Partnership, working with the states and their
industries, perform an important role in organizing and coordinating
these activities within the region.
and their industries have sought assistance from federal departments,
agencies and laboratories. The states, because of their sensitivity
to local industry needs and the problems of modernization, have
had some success in linking federal research and development to
private sector needs. However, this relationship is very likely
to change as the shape and size of federal science and technology
programs and resources decrease.
To prepare for this eventuality,
the Council has engaged in partnerships with the automotive and
plastics industries (Great Lakes Alliance and Great Lakes Composites,
respectively), as well as projects intended to improve the Great
Lakes information infrastructure serving manufacturers
(Great Lakes Manufacturing
Network). The Council also is a partner in developing a curriculum
for advanced manufacturing education. There is tremendous potential
for additional projects in other industries that improve technology
transfer and facilitate the conversion of defense dependent firms
that will improve the region's overall competitiveness and productivity.
Students to Technology & the Future:
Science and Technology Partnership
Two federally funded, industry pilot projects are underway
for the Great Lakes Alliance involving companies from four
In June 1996, companies, federal labs, and universities
from five Great Lakes states cooperated in a symposium to
showcase emerging applications for composites.
More than 50 organizations in the eight Great Lakes states
are participating in the Great Lakes Manufacturing Network,
working in small teams on proposals and projects, sharing
information and developing tools and techniques that will
have a significant impact on regional manufacturing. The
information will be linked through differing technologies,
including the world wide web.
The Council is a member of the National Visiting Committee
advising on the development of an advanced manufacturing
process of dissemination itself is broad and far-reaching. Not
only is there more technology, but more time is being spent with
technology. Not only are there more teachers employing educational
technologies in the classroom as a result of this project, but
the sophistication of these technologies is at a higher level
than it has ever been."
Central Regional Educational Laboratory report on Pioneering Partners.
and educational change are major challenges facing every Governor
in the 1990s. In 1991, GTE and the Great Lakes Governors began a
partnership to enhance the use of educational
in Great Lakes classrooms, Pioneering Partners for Educational Technology.
This partnership provides support to teams of educators, encouraging
the most effective use of technology in classrooms and helping these
educators spread their knowledge to their colleagues.
over $3 million in developing Pioneering Partners. Nearly 100 teams
of teachers, administrators, and community officials, who demonstrated
the ability to use technology to improve educational attainment,
participated in the project. The project focuses on recognizing
best practices in educational technology, professional development
at a summer partnership summit, coalition building across local
areas and regions, and disseminating skills through workshops and
the internet. The driving force for Pioneering Partners is dissemination.
Funded teams must demonstrate that they will make their knowledge
accessible to other teachers, students, schools, businesses and
experienced on a regional level will be tested at the national level.
Pioneering Partners is now an independent organization: the Pioneering
Partners Foundation. It will continue the efforts begun by GTE and
the Governors on the national stage so that more students will have
the opportunity to learn from teachers who know how to use technology
as a powerful tool for learning while, at the same time, becoming
more familiar with the technology that they will face in the years
Electronic Erie Canal:
Great Lakes has a proud tradition of leading the way in new technology
and infrastructure development beginning with the opening of the
Erie Canal in 1825; a feat that linked us to the rest of the world.
The Great Lakes states have stayed ahead of the game, building
roads, railroads and highways. We became leaders in transportation
and education. Each new development moved us along the road to
greater trade within the region, throughout the nation, and now
in our global economy."
Tommy G. Thompson, Chairman, Council of Great Lakes Governors,
Partners and the Science and Technology Partnership arose out of
the Great Lakes Telecommunications Initiative which was intended
to outline the region's opportunities in harnessing the power of
In 1991, the
Governors convened a major conference of regional and national telecommunications
experts and practitioners with the knowledge that telecommunications
infrastructure can interconnect different sectors of the region's
economy, allowing all segments to move forward at similar paces.
This is part
of a long tradition of regional infrastructure development: whether
canals, national roads, railroads, highways or interstates, which
began with the opening of the Erie Canal in 1825. The conference
led to the development of a series of recommendations that the public
and private sectors need to implement for the region to compete
globally. Many of these recommendations moved forward, led by the
private sector, but the Council helped play a role in raising the
level of awareness of the need for a regional perspective on telecommunications.
the World to the Great Lakes:
Great Lakes of North America Tourism
International tourism supports 6.3 million direct jobs and another
8 million indirect jobs in the United States These are expected
to double in the next decade.
Travel and tourism generates $58 million per year in federal,
state and local taxes, creating a $22 billion trade surplus each
Over one-third of the international visitors to the United States
are European, who also represent the fastest growing overseas
source of visitors.
The Great Lakes regions boast over 600 state parks, over 4500
golf courses, and attract over 4 million anglers per year.
A central tenet of the
Governors' agenda has not only been creating linkages within the
region, but linking the region to the rest of the world. To do this,
the Governors have worked to create a unifying identity for the
To most Americans and
the world, the Great Lakes region is seen as the "rustbelt."
However, that image no longer fits. The Governors created the Great
Lakes of North America (GLNA) project, which is geared toward projecting
a new high performance image of the Great Lakes region to prospective
tourists in Germany and the United Kingdom.
The five lakes and the
urban and rural recreational resources represent a common marketable
product for international visitors. GLNA partners with industries
that led the high performance movement to promote an international
image of a region that reflects the high performance reality: vibrant
cities, unspoiled wilderness, and thousands of miles of spectacular
Great Lakes coastline.
GLNA's purpose is to
attract an increased number of international tourists to the Great
Lakes region. Tourism is the second largest industry in the region.
Revenues from international visitors are a growing part of the region's
exports. In 1994, the Great Lakes states saw international tourism
grow at almost double the rate of the rest of the U.S.
The Governors recognize
that a regional tourism campaign could pay additional dividends
in foreign investment and trade. It would also help strengthen the
region's environment by building recognition of the lakes as an
economic asset and fostering investment in clean-up and preservation.
Great Lakes of North America
GLNA opened European offices in London, England and Wiesbaden,
Germany in November, 1995.
The GLNA product is offered by eighteen domestic receptive
tour operators in our region and nationwide and by nine
U.K. tour operator brochures and ten German tour operator
brochures. This represents over eight million copies of
brochures featuring GLNA tours.
A promotional video was developed in for use in Europe.
GLNA coordinated sales missions to England and Germany.
Travel industry throughout the region participated with
GLNA exhibits at major travel trade shows such as World
Travel Market in London, ITB in Berlin and Pow Wow in Los
GLNA hosts familiarization tours for travel agents, tour
operators and media, resulting in new tours and stories
written about the region in magazines, newspapers and guidebooks.
for the Future
As the Great
Lakes economy and environment have changed, so too must our views
of how government interacts with them. The transformation of both
the regional economy and environment necessitates this change.
The Great Lakes
Governors recognize the importance of joint action in meeting the
new high performance challenge that faces each state individually.
The refocusing of the Council of Great Lakes Governors' efforts
since 1991 is a reflection of these increased interconnections,
not only of economy and environment, but of the states within the
Great Lakes ecosystem.
A major lesson
of the transformation of the regional economy and environment is
that change is constant, but ever-quickening in pace. Increased
global competition and the need for faster planning and response
requires increased flexibility to address the problems that we face
now and that will face us in the future. The Governors will move
to meet the new high performance changes and challenges as they
occur. The projects that they choose to work on together will continue
to be geared toward this reality. Over time, the projects will change,
but the focus on cooperation and linkages will remain.