Launch Manistee is an initiative designed to support the success of students from early childhood through adulthood, and ultimately the economic prosperity of Manistee County. 

Education is a lifelong journey that starts before a child sets foot in a classroom and continues well past a cap-and-gown ceremony.  Education is much more inclusive than what happens in the school building alone and involves the collective energy, investment, and commitment of parents and the community.


Why Launch Manistee?

Launch Manistee was formed to address the following interrelated issues:

  • Less than half (48.2%) of Manistee County 3 and 4 year olds were enrolled in a preschool program
  • Only about one-third (32.8%) of our students had completed a postsecondary college or certificate program.
  • More than one-quarter (25.8%) of Manistee County children ages 0-17 lived in poverty.
  • Nearly 56% of children in the County qualified for free or reduced student lunch.
  • Less than one-third (28.49%) of Manistee County residents between 25 and 64 had two or four year degrees compared to the State average of 37.4% and the National average of 39.4%.
  • Sixty-five percent of U.S. jobs will require some sort of postsecondary education by 2020.
  • Educational attainment is the biggest predictor of success for cities and metro areas today.

View the December 2017 Launch Manistee Dashboard to see our current metrics.

Launch Manistee Dashboard 12-1-17


What is Launch Manistee?

The Purpose of Launch Manistee is to build, coordinate and promote pathways to prepare its residents for school, college and a career. This involves a collective impact framework with the community working together as partners toward the same goals through a coordinated action plan. The role of the Launch Manistee program coordinator is to guide the vision and strategy, support the common activities, establish shared measurement practices, build public good will, advance policy, and mobilize funding. The Leadership Team of Launch Manistee provides the strategic direction and oversight. Launch Manistee is a community leadership initiative of the Manistee County Community Foundation.


Launch Manistee Goals

  • By 2020, all 3 and 4 year old children in Manistee County will have access to a range of options for quality preschool experiences regardless of ability to pay.
  • By 2025, 60 percent of Manistee County residents age 25-64 will have a post-secondary degree or credential.

To do this, Launch Manistee, in collaboration with residents, organizations, businesses and governments, will:

  • Promote the value of life-long learning beginning with early childhood and empower residents to advance themselves and their communities through education.
  • Ensure that Manistee County children will have a high quality preschool experience.
  • Ensure that Manistee County students graduate from high school or obtain a GED and are prepared to begin post-secondary education.
  • Lower educational, financial, social and systemic barriers to post-secondary access and success; ensure that Manistee County students are educated and provided knowledge and access to available options for success.
  • Support students as they complete a college degree or high-quality post-secondary credential and enter the workforce by providing knowledge and access to available resources.
  • Develop a competitive local workforce with local employment opportunities to build a vibrant local economy.

View the updated Launch Manistee Common Agenda December 2017  which outlines the Launch Manistee shared vision for change.

Launch Manistee Common Agenda December 2017