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      How to boost local economy

      The Upper Peninsula Economic Development Alliance is looking for ways to improve the local economy.

      At Thursday's meeting, guest speaker John Austin said investment in the health and vitality of the Great Lakes Region needs to be addressed. Austin's main focus is finding out what people care about and what they're willing to invest in. In recent studies, he concludes investments in roadways, national parks, and universities are the keys for attracting business.

      "What's most important to create jobs: is it cutting taxes on individuals and business or is it investing in good schools, good parks, good public services in our community, good roads and transportation, and 65 percent say that's what matters most to the economy," said Austin.

      Austin will be conducting focus groups with U.P. residents to gauge their values this coming spring.