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Grayling Main Street Manager Becomes a Main Street America Revitalization Professional


The professional field of “downtown and commercial district management” requires a very distinct set of skills and expertise. Today’s professionals must be subject matter experts, with skills and knowledge directly relevant to the multitude of challenges confronting 21st century commercial districts. They must also be outstanding leaders, with the ability to engage their community, build consensus among diverse stakeholders, and manage complex revitalization projects.

The Main Street America Institute (MSAI) supports professionals in realizing these roles through a comprehensive set of learning opportunities that provide the tools and strategies needed to lead results-oriented revitalization efforts. As the Grayling Main Street Manager, Rae Gosling needed to develop a deeper understanding of preservation-based community transformation and leadership development to be successful and help guide her community to revitalization and growth.

With the help of Michigan Works!, Grayling Main Street was able to secure Going PRO Talent Funds of $1,375 to train one staff member in the Main Street Four Points Approach, with training provided by the Main Street America Institute. Concepts learned included how to market the Main Street district to attract new business and tourists, and how to form co-working spaces to provide opportunities for their local community and for those individuals who are seasonal and looking to relocate to the Grayling community. Grayling Main Street now has expanded knowledge and expertise in branding their district, and their program has increased by one employee who is a VISTA worker.

“Becoming certified as a Main Street America Revitalization Professional is an asset to myself, as a developing professional, and the community I presently serve,” says Rae Gosling, Main Street Manager. “The training and education required to become certified enables me to take this program to the next level, and makes me an attractive candidate for other Main Street communities across the state, and nation. New Main Street communities join our ranks in Michigan every year, and having experienced, certified professionals to build them up is paramount to their success.”

In addition to assisting Grayling Main Street with acquiring this Going PRO Talent Fund award, Michigan Works! was instrumental in the Project Rising Tide Initiative and numerous city projects and collaborations.

Created on Monday, February 10, 2020