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      How can the U.P. economy grow?

      Tourism and mining still remain the strongest forms of revenue in the U.P., and according to the Michigan Economic Development Corporation, we're excelling in all the right places.

      "In terms of natural resources, you have a lot of opportunities for recreation. You also have mines, and many of them are closed but considered being reopened because of the technology and the world's market prices are there. You have a tremendous set of natural resources," said Michigan Economic Development Corporation Vice President, Doug Smith.

      Other areas mentioned for revenue development: utilizing timber and biomass materials.

      But the MEDC says the U.P. needs to work on collaborating among counties.

      "I think in working together in the Upper Peninsula, you have a much more dynamic voice in Lansing in order to get the resources that we need to put up here to help with the economic growth of your communities," Smith added.

      To work together, an HD video conference system was demonstrated. It has the capability to link all 15 U.P. counties to Lansing, making statewide meetings easier.

      "We need to figure out how to do business smarter, or business is going to go the other way. I used to travel to Lansing quite often because that's where the resources are. I can't do that anymore, so how else can I keep in touch with our Capital that's 10 hours away?" said Western U.P. Planning Executive Director Kim Stoker.

      To learn more about the proposed idea, click here.