Southwest Michigan

Southwest Michigan is the ideal location for those who love to experience a combination of culture, fine eateries and outdoor activities—all within a short driving distance. Learn more about what this region has to offer by exploring the tabs below.

Region 8 information


  • What’s it like to live in Southwest Michigan?


    • 5 community colleges, 3 private colleges and universities and 1 research university all call this region home.
    • Western Michigan University, one of the largest universities in the U.S., consistently ranks among the top national universities.
    • The Kalamazoo Promise and the Legacy Scholars Program offer high school graduates the opportunity to attend post-secondary education—on up to a 100% covered tuition scholarship.

    Interesting facts

    • CNN Money named Kalamazoo County as one of the top 25 counties in the country for “Where the Jobs Are.”
    • Home to more than 40 miles of Lake Michigan shoreline, outstanding wineries, craft breweries and distilleries, four-season activities, and world-class golf.
    • Some of the best beaches in the country are along the “fresh coast” of Lake Michigan.
    • As part of the 1,000-acre Grand Mere State Park, Grand Mere Nature Area is a favorite spot for birders—offering a variety of settings for studying the outdoors.
    • On the shores of Lake Michigan, the Golf Club at Harbor Shores is a Jack Nicklaus Signature Golf Course and home to the 2016 Senior PGA Championship.

  • Where do people work in Southwest Michigan?

    Southwest Michigan offers plenty of opportunities in a wide variety of occupations.

    Top employers

    • Meijer Companies, Ltd.
    • U.S. Security Associates, Inc.
    • Wal-Mart Stores, Inc.
    • Lakeland Hospitals At Niles and St. Joseph, Inc.
    • Whirlpool Corporation
    • Government of The United States
    • State of Michigan
    • Kellogg Company
    • Bronson Health Care Group, Inc. 

    Top industries

    • Transportation Equipment Manufacturing

    Search for jobs

  • What do people do for fun in Southwest Michigan?

    Full of quaint beach towns, local U-pick farms, wineries, and a host of museums, outdoor activities and sporting events, there’s always something to do in Southwest Michigan.

    Places to see, things to do


    • Feed the giraffes and spend the day exploring the animals of Wild Africa at the Binder Park Zoo in Battle Creek.
    • Experience live Broadway productions, comedy acts and music performances by checking out one of the region’s many theater and performance venues.
    • The Kalamazoo Air Zoo features more than 50 rare and historic aircraft, amusement park-style rides, and full motion flight simulators.
    • Michigan’s No. 1 historic auto site, the Gilmore Car Museum, features more than 300 extraordinary cars and motorcycles.

Learn more about the Southwest Michigan and what it’s like to live, work and play in the area.  Also, visit our Resources page for State of Michigan Prosperity Region 8 Field Team contacts.