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Our Work

Economic Revitalization

Public Policy Associates has been at the center of efforts to create and improve public policies in order to foster economic revitalization.

PPA's work with public and private clients has included a nationally recognized Small Business Barometer that gathered data from hundreds of small businesses, which was used to better understand the business climate and help shape policy.  PPA has also provided leadership and research skills to rethink economic development strategies, expand opportunities for young people of color and develop strategies for creating vital regions and communities where people want to live, work and do business.  The work is led by PPA Board Chair Jeffrey D. Padden, who served as deputy director of the Michigan Department of Commerce and director of the Governor’s Human Investment Project.  The firm's policy research and development made a substantial contribution to Michigan's current focus on economic gardening.

Here are selected projects we've worked on to help strengthen states and communities:


  • Michigan Department of Environmental Quality

    Client: Michigan Department of Environmental Quality

    In connection with a series of good government initiatives among Michigan’s state agencies to eliminate bureaucratic barriers to job creation and economic growth, the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ) has placed an increased focus on excellent customer service. In 2014, the agency retained Public Policy Associates, Inc. (PPA) to compare its environmental permitting processes with similar processes in other Midwest states and map and assess current process-improvement initiatives within MDEQ.

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  • Students of Color in Michigan's New Economy

    Client: W.K. Kellogg Foundation

    The W.K. Kellogg Foundation recognized the need for a diverse and competitive workforce skilled in technical fields. It asked PPA to identify opportunities for young students of color to obtain the educational credentials needed for jobs in the new knowledge-based economy.

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  • Michigan Sense of Place Council

    Client: Michigan State Housing Development Authority

    The Michigan Sense of Place Council was created to improve the state's quality of life and economic competitiveness by creating vibrant regions, downtowns, and neighborhoods where people want to live, work, and open businesses. The Council retained Public Policy Associates, Inc. to help it realign its goals and set a direction for future activities.

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  • Economic Gardening in Michigan

    Client: Small Business Association of Michigan

    With Michigan at an economic and political crossroads, the Small Business Association of Michigan (SBAM) retained PPA to undertake a policy-building process surrounding the need to implement a new economic development strategy: economic gardening.

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