The Council of the Great Lakes Region and the Northeast-Midwest Institute announced a collaboration agreement between the two organizations. Signed on July 7, the agreement launches an effort by CGLR and NEMWI to strengthen the bilateral relationship between the United States and Canada by undertaking joint policy research on a variety of economic, social and environmental policy issues facing the Great Lakes region, as well as outreach to federal, state-provincial and local legislators and policymakers in both countries.
The overarching goals of the new partnership include:
- Conducting high quality research and policy analysis on issues affecting the broader Great Lakes region;
- Expanding the range and impact of policy solutions designed to protect the Great Lakes and spur economic growth by adding a bi-national perspective to legislative debates;
- Convening diverse perspectives and interests at conferences, roundtables and legislative briefings,
- Shaping opinions about the region’s long-term competitiveness and sustainability; and
- Acting as a strong voice for the bi-national Great Lakes Region.
Michael Goff, president and CEO of the Northeast-Midwest Institute, noted the critical importance of the cross-border perspective and collaboration, which the new agreement will facilitate.
“This new collaboration will enhance our impact by bringing a bi-national perspective that will broaden the Great Lakes policy agenda and ensure that we respond more fully to the challenges and opportunities ahead,” he said. “For sure, this bi-national perspective is essential for our continued progress protecting and restoring the Great Lakes and enhancing regional economic growth.”
“This new partnership presents a tremendous opportunity for CGLR and the Northeast-Midwest Institute to leverage each organization’s policy resources and outreach efforts in raising awareness about the world’s most successful bilateral relationship and how we can make it even better in a vital cross-border region like the Great Lakes, said Mark Fisher, president and CEO of the Council of the Great Lakes Region. “Ultimately, this ambitious collaboration will also help us develop better economic, social and environmental policy solutions for the bi-national Great Lakes, as well as a level of organizational effectiveness and efficiency that our funders and donors demand in today’s financially constrained nonprofit sector."
The Great Lakes region spans the states of New York, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Michigan, Indiana, Illinois, Wisconsin, Minnesota and the Canadian provinces of Ontario and Quebec. With economic activity valued at $5.8 trillion in 2015, the region accounts for 30 percent of combined Canadian and U.S. economic activity and 51 million jobs or 31 percent of both countries workforce. It is responsible for roughly 50 percent of the total value of cross-border trade between the U.S. and Canada, and if taken as a separate economic unit, the region’s economy would represent the third largest economy in the world.