Chamber, GLIMA partner to attract technology companies

TRAVERSE CITY – If you haven't heard of GLIMA, you will soon enough.

Last month, the Traverse City Area Chamber of Commerce announced a partnership agreement with GLIMA Northwest, a chapter of the statewide GLIMA organization. Their goal is working together to improve the technology image and potential of this region.

"It's a brand new partnership, just announced in February," said Doug Luciani, president of the Chamber.

The Chamber will be a Platinum Sponsor of GLIMA for $10,000, renewable annually, and will be recognized as a Platinum Sponsor at GLIMA events. GLIMA will serve as the technology component of the Chamber and the resource for Chamber members for technology-related issues and needs.

The Chamber will have up to two seats on GLIMA's Board of Directors and GLIMA will have one seat on the Chamber Economic Development Advisory Board.

The Chamber will draw expertise from GLIMA and its members in support of technology-related programs and services.

"We need a technology program within the Chamber and the TBEDC," Luciani pointed out. "So, we could either try to start something ourselves and spend months and years and thousands of dollars trying to create a technology network…or we could partner with this existing organization."

GLIMA and the Chamber will be working on technology-related projects together, lending logistics, publicity, facilities and manpower in support to each other. There is also a membership reciprocation between the partners.

"Businesses will be working from here because they can, not because they have to," added Chris Barber, one of GLIMANorthwest's founders.

Businesses, such as Oneupweb near Suttons Bay.

Not long ago, Oneupweb had five job openings posted on GLIMA's Job Board. A nationally-recognized technology company whose services include search engine optimization, Oneupweb is constantly growing. They're able to increase the size of their company, despite being in a small town, because the area in itself is a "huge recruiting bonus for us," said Anne Rix, Human Resources Manager.

"Many people dream of being able to work here. There is a large population of very creative and talented, hard working people in the area already, so that is also a huge bonus for us."

Forty percent of Oneupweb's talent comes from outside the Traverse City region. Most of the technology personnel from outside the area, having either family here or vacationed here, are in the process of deciding to live in the area anyway.

A job offer may just speed things up for them. BN