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Tri-County Welcomes Emma Gilbert as New Economic Development Planner

Lansing, Mich. – The Tri-County Regional Planning Commission (Tri-County) is pleased to introduce their newest addition to the team, Emma Gilbert, as the agency’s part-time economic development planner. In this role, Gilbert will support the development and implementation of the region’s Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy (CEDS) and help identify priority economic development programming and planning initiatives. She will also be assisting local communities and organizations in navigating federal grant opportunities, cultivating cross-sector regional partnerships, and providing various technical and administrative support for the agency’s community development program.

Originally from Plymouth, MI, Gilbert has lived in East Lansing for the past five years while attending Michigan State University (MSU). She graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Social Relations & Policy and a Bachelor of Science in Urban & Regional Planning in 2022 and plans to graduate with a Master of Science in Urban & Regional Planning this coming May. For over two years, Gilbert has worked as a Senior Research Assistant and Co-Program Coordinator at MSU’s Center for Community and Economic Development, which administers the U.S. Economic Development Administration’s (EDA) University Center for Regional Economic Innovation. She brings a wealth of knowledge and experience regarding EDA funding structures, the CEDS process, regional planning in the state of Michigan, and general grant writing and project management. Also during her time at MSU, Gilbert served as the president of Spartan Global Development Fund, which inspired her enthusiasm for the community and economic development profession.

“As a resident, student, and employee of this community for the past several years, I am passionate about being involved in the continued growth and vitality of our region,” said Emma Gilbert. “Tri-County’s regional focus creates a myriad of opportunities to leverage resources and expertise in a collaborative and cohesive manner, setting our partners and the larger community up for success. I am an ardent believer in the value of the CEDS and regional planning as a vehicle for driving continued shared prosperity in the Greater Lansing region.”

“Emma’s passion for and knowledge of regional planning and the CEDS will bring fresh excitement and perspective to our program’s initiatives and visioning process,” said Executive Director Jim Snell. “We are excited to have her join the Tri-County team and support our local communities’ economic needs through strategic and meaningful community development, especially in areas related to housing, infrastructure, the workforce, and economic diversity.”

Learn more about Tri-County’s programs and staff at


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