Regional Innovation Award

The Regional Innovation Award recognizes organizations and alliances that are committed to building strong and vibrant communities through groundbreaking collaboration and program development. These organizations are pioneers within their region, focusing their efforts on the four principles of regional stewardship: an innovative economy, livable communities, social inclusion, and a collaborative style of governance.  

Applications for the 2016 Regional Innovation Award open June 1, 2016. This year, the Regional Innovation Award committee is specifically encouraging applications from regional initiatives that are boosting economic competitiveness by investing in health and wellness  - building sustainable efforts that support the health of children, the health of the workplace, or the health of the broader community.  

2015 Regional Innovation Award Finalists:

  • Aviation Triad, submitted by the Greensboro Partnership (N.C.)
    Aviation Triad, a coalition of partners in the Piedmont Triad region, developed a multi-dimensional marketing initiative to grow the skilled workforce and create a sustaining support system for aviation and advanced manufacturing companies in the region. The campaign targets teens and recent high school graduates deciding their future, and current workers looking to advance their skills. It seeks to showcase the opportunities that technical aviation jobs can provide, connect the potential pool of talent to the education and workforce development initiatives already underway, and promote the Piedmont Triad’s aviation cluster through a compelling branding campaign.
  • WINNER! The Great Start Collaborative of Traverse Bay, submitted by Venture North/Traverse City Area Chamber Foundation (Mich.)
    The Great Start Collaborative of Traverse Bay (GSC) is jointly sponsored by the Traverse City Area Chamber Foundation/Venture North and the Traverse Bay Area Intermediate School District. This partnership was the first of its kind in Michigan and is unique in its focus on early childhood as a driver of regional economic development. GSC convenes leaders in all community sectors, along with parents and caregivers, to promote collaboration in local early childhood systems that support family health, childcare expansion, and early literacy projects.
  • Fix North I-25 Business Alliance, submitted by the Fort Collins Area Chamber of Commerce
    The Fix North I-25 Alliance was created through the Northern Colorado Legislative Alliance (NCLA), a joint public policy advocacy arm of the Fort Collins, Greeley and Loveland Chambers of Commerce, Upstate Colorado Economic Development Corporation and the Northern Colorado Economic Development Corporation. The Alliance represents the business perspective on issues impacting the mobility of the North I-25 corridor between Highway 14 and Highway 66. It  works with government at all levels to secure funding for expanding North I-25 to three lanes, communicates the economic importance of a functional I-25 corridor, and empowers businesses and the public to get involved.
  • Flint & Genesee Chamber of Commerce (Mich.)
    TeenQuest and the Summer Youth Initiative (SYI) are companion programs to improve the employment prospects for teens. TeenQuest is a free afterschool pre-employment and leadership training program that teaches area teens important skills that employers demand. Teens that successfully complete TeenQuest are eligible to participate in the SYI Job Fair and obtain summer employment. In addition to a paycheck, students gain experience, learn valuable social skills, and make connections that may result in future opportunities.


Past Winners:


Contact for more information on the 2016 Regional Innovation Award. 

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