With the presence of multiple educational, cultural and health care institutions, Kalamazoo has maintained its economic strength as a major employment and activity center, despite today’s glum fiscal outlook. The diversity of the city’s economy has helped mitigate volatile economic swings.

In part to fortify Kalamazoo’s economic standing, a group of anonymous local philanthropists have made an enormous commitment to the community to fund higher education. The Kalamazoo Promise provides scholarships to Kalamazoo Public Schools grads that pursue continued education at one of Michigan’s public colleges or universities. Early indicators credit The Kalamazoo Promise with a rise in housing prices within the school district, increased interest from developers, growth in enrollment in Kalamazoo Public Schools and an increase in graduates that go on to attend college. This program gives Kalamazoo an enviable advantage over other communities by not only promoting an educated population to fill area employment needs, but also stimulating reinvestment in the core city.