As a junior in college at Davenport University, I knew that I needed to try and land a summer internship. Where? Previously, I had planned to attend Michigan State University after Lansing Community College for their education program. Things changed, and now I sat scrolling through pages of potential internships for someone works on the Bachelor of Business Administration. Never did the words “insurance industry” come to mind. Yet, as I scrolled, Auto-Owners Insurance Company continued to slide onto the radar. In a leap of faith, I sent a resume and cover letter to the human resources department and waited.
A few weeks later, I was called in for a stage one interview, then a stage two, and then an offer. Little did I know what embarking on an internship with a company the size of Auto-Owners that was nearly right in my very own backyard would mean. It meant volunteer information and opportunities, chances to donate to charities, talks from speakers that are waist deep in community contribution. Landing my feet in the door at Auto-Owners also re-opened my eyes to what it meant to be a citizen of Lansing, Michigan.
When you live somewhere for your whole life, it’s easy to get complacent and forget how great it is in mid-Michigan. It’s a portion of the state that doesn’t quite get the recognition it deserves. It’s not the natural, lush lakes and woods of northern Michigan, it’s not the bleeding heart of Detroit, and it’s not the bustling highways of Grand Rapids. Lansing is its very own vibrant, electric city. Beer and music festivals, baseball games, soccer games (go Lansing Ignite!), lively breweries, beautiful walking trails, rivers for kayaking and fishing, the zoo, and the capitol building. Quite nearly, it’s impossible to be bored.
That’s not even to mention the opportunities for work. As noted before, the words “insurance industry” don’t exactly come to mind for many young people who may be wanting to live and work in the capital area. However, the industry is full of career paths that can be taken, and there’s something for nearly everyone. Once I was in Auto-Owners, I realized how many potential careers I could have, all with the same company. It’s been a dream come true to work somewhere that provides opportunity to grow, as well as benefits me the chance to continue to keep exploring and growing with the Lansing community that only seems to keep getting bigger and better.
Wheat fields, a vibrant college campus, and plenty of diversity await newcomers in Lansing. The state capital of Michigan ranks as one of the Best Places to Liveby U.S. News with plenty of events and entertainment. There are also many job opportunities here, and unemployment has significantly dropped in recent years. Still not sure about living here? Allow us to show you the top five reasons to move to Lansing.
1. Lower Cost of Living
Low housing prices translate to a lower cost of living compared to the national average. As with many areas of the Midwest, you can find a home for less than $100,000. The average Lansing home has a large yard which is great for families who want to spend more time outdoors. Rent prices are also lower, at around $800 per month, compared to other areas of the state. As a state surrounded on by lakes on three sides, Lansing can see humid summers that may drive up the power bill to keep the air conditioner running.
2. Strong Job Market
As with many capital cities, the top employer in Lansingis the state government, which employs nearly 15,000 people. Michigan State University is also one of the leading employers with an impressive 10,000 employees. Other top employers include Sparrow Health System and General Motors. Many newcomers transfer to the area to work at one of these top companies. Unemployment has dropped, and it's possible to find a wide range of jobs and work schedules.
3. Sports Galore
People in Lansing are avid sports fans., cheering on Michigan State University, home of the Spartans and part of the Big 10 Conference. The local baseball team, the Lansing Lugnuts, is just as popular. Soccer fans won’t miss out on the action as the Lansing United is a National Premier Soccer League team. Community sports teams are also available and a great way to meet others when new to the area.
4. Enjoy the Outdoors
Getting out into nature is a priority for people here. You’ll find cultivated trails that are great for running, walking, or taking a bike ride with the family. The Lansing River Trail, which is part of Crego Park, features over 13 miles of paths. Winter is also a favorite time to get outdoors as many cross-country skiers enjoy the 4-mile Anderson Park Trail. There's plenty of green space for people of all ages, from retirees, active adults, children, and even the family pooch. There’s also no shortage of lakes. Lake Lansing, Park Lake, Duck Lake, and Narrow Lake are all excellent for fishing and kayaking.
5. Vibrant Art Community
There's no shortage ofconcerts and eventsinside and outside the Lansing Center. Michigan State hosts many activities, and the music program is a local favorite, offering recitals throughout the year. Summertime is the best chance to catch one of the many festivals and outdoor art fairs that pop up all over the city.
These are just the top five reasons to love Lansing. The food trucks, Lake Lansing, great public transportation system, vibrant downtown area, and family-friendly communities also make Lansing a great place to call home.
Karen Squire is a freelance journalist and photographer who enjoys traveling. When she’s not taking pictures of her kids, you’ll find her photographing wildlife and national monuments around the country.
Michigan 'boldly goes where no state has gone before' in hunt to fill employers' talent pipeline gap
Lansing 5:01 is joining recruiters with some of Michigan’s largest and most innovative high-tech and creative companies at the South by Southwest Music, Film, and Interactive Conference and Festival (SXSW) this March in Austin, Texas – but not to listen to music at the heralded concert scene.
This collaborative is looking to hire “new collar” millennials and skilled-talent workers from across the country who will attend SXSW March 8-12, as well as change perceptions of Michigan as a place to live and make a living. The term “new collar” is a play on “blue-collar job” that originated with IBM CEO Ginni Rometty, relating to the company's efforts to increase the number of people qualified for technology careers.
“When deciding on their career path, millennials want to know more than just job opportunities – they want to explore all of their options to live, work and play before making any commitments to an employer,” said Stephanie Beckhorn, Talent and Economic Development Department of Michigan acting director. “We’re excited to see statewide talent attraction partners and businesses teaming up to highlight the many reasons why Michigan offers the best of both worlds.”
It’s the fifth consecutive year that Michigan House has represented at SXSW, and the 2019 itinerary is the most ambitious yet, organizers say. Several municipalities and even some foreign nations stage programs similar to Michigan House during SXSW, but Michigan is the first and only state with such a robust presence.
“Attraction and retention are hot-button priorities for businesses of all size throughout Michigan,” said Ted Velie, a co-founder of Michigan House, a public-private partnership that serves as an experiential embassy at the SXSW conference by promoting Michigan’s career and lifestyle opportunities featuring the state’s premier attractions.
“SXSW provides a unique pathway to connect with a highly sought-after demographic, and our Michigan House activities offer an ideal environment designed to make a great first impression of everything our state has to offer,” Velie said. “Michigan has to boldly go where no other state has gone before because we recognize the critical importance of helping employers dispel the myth that Michigan is still a ‘Rust Belt’ state.”
In addition to Lansing 5:01, the membership-based talent recruitment agencies Let’s Detroit, Hello West Michigan, Ann Arbor Spark and Southwest Michigan First provide marketing and consulting support toward the effort, including sharing information about job openings, candidate information and resumes. This focus is on a specific SXSW demographic: 43 percent of festival-goers are between ages 21 and 34 and 27 percent have careers in management, followed by 23 percent in creative development, 17 percent in “something else,” 15 percent in sales and marketing, 10 percent in business development and 8 percent in communications and public relations.
The full Michigan House schedule at SXSW is available at http://www.michiganhouse.org or by following @michiganhouse on Instagram and @michigan_house on Twitter.
Lansing has so much to give to its residents in the 5:01 – here is an opportunity for you to give back to Lansing at the most memorable, unique, and entertaining fundraising event you’ve ever seen! Habitat for Humanity Capital Region is hosting its signature fundraising event of the year – The Ultimate House Party! This event will raise awareness, support, and funds to help realize HfHCR’s mission of empowering people through accessible home-ownership. By being a part of the Ultimate House Party, you are ultimately helping HfHCR serve even more families in the Capital Region.
This is no ordinary fundraiser: Enjoy a taco bar, flying pancake bar, 2 bar bars, 2 banging bands: Avon Bomb and The Insiders, a silent auction, signature lounges, ax throwing, pool playing, and storytelling.
A one- of-a kind party location is being created with volunteer and community support, to host you (and a couple hundred of your closest friends) at the Meridian Mall after hours, in the former Younkers Department Store. For anyone interested in learning more about Habitat, lending their support to a great cause and a great community, or who just want to find out what all the buzz is about-- get your tickets today! Plan to be a part the Ultimate event of the year!
Show your #lovelansing spirit and turn out to turn up on a Saturday night and support the community you love.
Purchase DISCOUNTED Tickets
Promo Code: YoungProfessionals
In 2012 I moved from Brighton, MI to East Lansing to finish my undergraduate degree in Industrial/Organizational Psychology and Human Capital at Michigan State University. After graduation in December 2014, I had absolutely no idea what I wanted to do or where I wanted to live. I continued working at my internship, managing a business incubator in East Lansing, and loved every minute of it. The only downfall was there was not a full-time position open for me. For months I battled with what city I wanted to be in, especially because my significant other, Kevin, was living in Pennsylvania finishing his degree.
August 2014, I took a full-time job in Lansing but was still questioning if it was the right path for me. In late 2015, I felt that I had plateaued at my job and kept feeling that I was stuck in a rut. Now seemed like a better time than ever to pick up and start a new life in Pennsylvania with Kevin.
Right before I was about to quit my job and move two states away, I got a call from a former colleague asking if I would like to work at the business incubator, where I did my internship, full-time. He told me that he was not going to let great talent slip away to another state and possibly never return to Lansing. I was so incredibly happy and thankful, and I took the job.
Two and half years later, I am still managing the business incubator for the MSU Foundation and Spartan Innovations and assisting with economic development, entrepreneurship, venture creation, and real-estate. There is never a dual moment with the type of position I have, which makes every day unique and exciting.
In mid-2017, Kevin was finishing up school and was preparing to move back to Michigan. At this point I was living in a one-bedroom apartment in Lansing that would become very cramped once Kevin moved back. As I started to look for a larger place to live, it became obvious that I was ready to own a home, instead of renting. The first house I put an offer on was in Lansing and it ended up becoming a blessing that we were outbid. We felt a little discouraged but kept look and that’s when we found Lake Lansing in Haslett. As soon as we found the lake we knew that Haslett was the place for us. Not only did Haslett have a lake, but it also had great schools, great housing prices, and was a close commute to work.
October 2017, I purchased my first home in Haslett, three blocks from Lake Lansing and five miles from my office. Kevin moved back to Michigan in December 2017 and is working in as welder in Lansing. We are so happy we chose to stay in Michigan and plant our roots in the Lansing area with our two fur children. I am excited to see the continuing urban development of the Greater Lansing area and honored to be a part of some of those changes.
I moved from Long Island, New York to Michigan’s Capital Region to pursue a career in the arts. I guess sometimes you are drawn to a place, even if you’ve never lived there before. I assume the same thing happened with my great great great grandparents. They came to Mid-Michigan from England in the early 1830's when Michigan was still a territory, and considered part of the American Frontier. From the 1830's to the 1960's, all of my ancestors on my father’s side of the family lived, worked, created, and played, in Mid-Michigan.
The first time that my wife & I ever lived in Michigan was when we moved to Lansing in 2017. The same thing that brought my ancestors to Mid-Michigan in the 1830’s is what brought my wife and I here 185 years later… opportunity. For my ancestors, it was agricultural opportunity, for my wife and I, it’s artistic opportunity.
In larger, “arts cities” like New York & Chicago, where the cost of living has skyrocketed, it has become increasingly more difficult to live there to pursue a career as an emerging artist, or establish an arts organization. It’s just too expensive. Individuals graduating every year with degrees in the arts are going to have to find new places where they can pursue their artistic endeavors.
The Capital Region has a strong and dedicated arts community that still has room to grow. It is a place where emerging artists can live, work, still have time to create, and pursue their careers. Living in the Capital Region allows artists the opportunity to not only work here, but quickly travel to other cities in close proximity like Grand Rapids, Ann Arbor, Detroit, Kalamazoo, & Chicago to present their artistic work there as well. Combine that with the Capital Region’s affordability, and you have the potential to see an influx of artists move to the area over the next decade, not just from around Michigan, but from around the country.
I followed my ancestors back to Mid-Michigan, and like them, I’ve come here to help create something new, and build something that lasts, a place that future generations can enjoy and thrive in. The Capital Region, and to a greater extent Michigan, has become the Artistic Frontier. It is a place where artists, and people who work in the arts, who are willing to invest their time, labor, and creativity, can not only improve their own lives, but improve the Capital Region, making it an even better place to live, work, create, and play.
Where can you feast on delicacies from some of your favorite rolling kitchens? And sample what the region's best food trucks have to offer?
Whatever food you're craving — whether paella, burgers, crepes, curry, barbecue, tacos or something else — chances are you'll find it at the Lansing Food Truck Mash-Up, hosted by the USA TODAY NETWORK and Lansing State Journal.
You can enjoy the family-friendly community food truck event, which celebrates summer and features a variety of food trucks on the field at Cooley Law School Stadium, on Aug. 25 from 3-11 p.m.
Cooley Law School Stadium will sell a variety of beverages, including alcohol, to enjoy with the various flavors and a local DJ will provide music throughout the event.
And Lansing 5:01 participants get a discount! Use the promo code LANSING5:01 for $5 off early access and $2 off general admission.
Everyone is encouraged to vote for their favorite food truck at the event. The winning truck will receive a plaque, recognition and, of course, bragging rights.
"We’ve brought in trucks from Detroit and all over the state who are coming to participate in this event," said T.H. Waldman, senior manager of events marketing for USA TODAY NETWORK events.
The cost for early access is $20 and is only available online in advance. It includes two hours of early entry plus $5 in mash-up cash to spend at the event. General admission starts at 5 p.m. and is only $5.
For a full list of food trucks participating, click here!
For discounted tickets, visit tickets.lansingstatejournal.com
promo code: LANSING5:01
For quite some time, we at Fusion Shows have kept the idea of throwing a brand new Lansing music festival on our radar. While events like BLED FEST, Mo Pop, and the many club shows we produce throughout the year hold a very special place in our hearts, we (perhaps at the sacrifice of our personal schedules) wanted to create something fresh in honor of the city that gave us our start. We had four years of experience working with Common Ground Music Festival under our belts, helping to host acts like 311, Big Sean, and AWOLNATION, but we felt the urge to produce a hometown event truest to us, with some of the artists our team holds near and dear. What we had trouble finalizing were the details: the right name, the right time, the right place. Alas, the festival dream was continuously put on hold.
However, things finally clicked once we relocated our offices to REO Town last summer. From the minute we moved into the neighborhood, we couldn’t help but recognize the tight-knit community, the creativity, and drive REO Town offers to visitors and residents alike. Soon enough, the answers just seemed so obvious - why not develop our new festival in the heart of the neighborhood, right outside our front door!
From then on, things fell right into place. The name? How about “Three Stacks”, paying respect to the iconic smokestacks of the Eckert Power Plant that dominate the skyline outside our office window. The time? Early summer, when the colorful, art-filled landscape of REO Town is brightest and buzzing with visitors.
The rest is history. Therefore, with the help of the REO Town Commercial Association and the neighborhood’s incredibly friendly community of small businesses, we’re so excited to present the inaugural Three Stacks Music Festival!
About the Festival
Three Stacks Music Festival takes place on June 23, 2018 with two stages of live music mixed with fun throughout the community. The first ever Three Stacks Music Festival lineup contains a diverse set of acts within the alternative realm, including politically-charged punk luminaries Against Me!, celebrated alt-country outfit Murder By Death, and high-energy rising punk quartet, PUP. Rounding out the bill are progressive post-hardcore icons mewithoutYou, New Jersey post-punkers Screaming Females, Aussie trio Camp Cope (making their Michigan debut), indie songstress Petal, longtime Lansing punk rockers City Mouse, and Brooklyn-based pop project Oceanator.
A second stage in the adjacent and intimate Robin Theatre features a foursome of Michigan’s finest up-and-coming alternative acts: Lansing emo/punk veterans Worn Spirit, MSU grad and Detroit area folk/emo songwriter Stefanie Haapala, buzzy Detroit act Ness Lake, and Grand Rapids based indie rockers Secret Forte. Following Against Me’s performance on the main stage, longtime Lansing area record label GTG Records will help present an after-party with San Diego punk veteran Davey Tiltwheel sandwiched between GTG labelmates The Plurals (Lansing power pop) and Bong Mountain (Grand Rapids punk rock) at the nearby REO Town Marketplace. Both the Robin Theatre sets and the after-party will be free for festival passholders, and $10 at the door for the general public.
Food will be available from Lansing area culinary favorites Saddleback Barbecue, Good Truckin’ Diner, Green Dot Stables, Fire and Rice Food Truck, Picnic, and Shove It Pizza, in addition to Michigan-made beverages from Shorts Brewing Company, American Fifth Spirits, Faygo, and Blue Owl Coffee!
Throughout the day, shade and local wares will be available at the Three Stacks Pop-Up Market in the REO Town Marketplace, featuring locally made art, vintage clothing, a bar with cold specialty drinks, music memorabilia, and more. Just outside the festival gates, independent record store The Record Lounge will have specials on vinyl records from acts on the bill, along with many other musical favorites.
Doors for Three Stacks Music Festival open at 2:00 pm and tickets are available for $30 in advance, $35 day of show. Additional information can be found online at www.threestacksfest.com. Follow along on social media at @ThreeStacksFest!
The 5:01 is looking for guest bloggers to share their experiences on the benefits of living, working and playing in the greater Lansing area.