Kalkaska Township skews younger than much of the rest of Northwest Michigan, with nearly 30% of the 4,799 residents under the age of 25 and another 25% of the population in the prime working, 25-44 year old range—a sign of a robust workforce and family-based community. Kalkaska Public Schools, which includes Crawford School, Kalkaska Alternative Program, Birch Street Elementary School, Cherry Street Intermediate School, Kalkaska Middle School, and Kalkaska High School, have an 82.7% graduation rate. The Traverse Bay Area Career-Tech Center serves juniors and seniors in the Kalkaska Public School system. The center offers training in 23 career fields utilizing the latest technology and state-of-the-art equipment. *Evaluating Redevelopment Ready Community status.
Kalkaska is home to a robust selection of housing options with 2,637 housing units. Seasonal housing comprises only 13.4% of housing units in the community, compared to 36% for the county at large. The Kalkaska region has a diversity of housing units, with 10% built before 1940 and 36% built in the past 40 years. Kalkaska’s median home value, $97400, and median monthly rent, $646, both fall below the county as a whole. A stable population with a 68% home ownership rate means a solid, affordable housing stock that matches housing demand.
Active freight lines running through town mean ample opportunity for shipping bulk commodity goods, and Kalkaska is in pursuit of developing intermodal transport stations to make these lines more responsive to modern industrial needs. Busy M-72 which runs through the township is a 30 minute connection to I-75 and straight shot to Detroit, while another major highway, US-131, brings drivers from Kalkaska to Chicago in a matter of hours.
Kalkaska is applying its strengths in transport and logistics to grow the emerging and expanding regional cannabis industry. With a testing center and licensed transport facility, many growers from around the region ship cannabis product to Kalkaska for distribution across the state.
Over 15% of the county is employed in the Healthcare and Social Services industry, and the Kalkaska Memorial Health Center alone employs over 600 people. Administrative and Support and Waste Management and Remediation, along with Construction, and Manufacturing, make up 34% of all jobs in the County. The public schools and local government administration are also major employers. Of the 2,399 workers living in the Kalkaska Township community, 61% work locally in Kalkaska County.
Visitors are quick to notice the Trout Fountain in downtown Kalkaska, which at nearly 20 feet tall commemorates the official state fish, the brook trout. The National Trout Festival has been running for over 80 years and brings thousands of visitors to Kalkaska every spring. The Kalkaska Historical Museum is another local gem, featuring relics of the area’s past history in logging, agriculture, and manufacturing, nestled in the Train Depot building in the historical downtown district, which dates back to the early 1900s.
The Kalkaska County Library in the Township serves as a community resource, and the Kaliseum Recreation Center provides ample opportunity for community sports and fitness programs.
Traverse Connect is the lead economic development organization for the Grand Traverse region, which supports area businesses through a combination of business attraction and retention strategies, talent development efforts, and strategic coordination among partner agencies. Traverse Connect now serves the region as one organization supporting business growth and development, alongside partner organization Venture North Funding and Development.
- Warren Call, President | CEO—(231) 995-7108
Kalkaska County is part of the growing Grand Traverse region, located in the lower Peninsula of Michigan and surrounded by rail, highway, airport and trails. Its county seat, the village of Kalkaska, is not too far from Northern Michigan’s beautiful forests and fields and boasts unique regional assets and employers, including a hospital, high-quality schools and historic downtown.
Planned Public Works Projects
Business service: 1-800-805-0490
Region 2 Economic Development Representative
Business service: 1-888-485-2537
Natural Gas Provider(s):
Business service: 1-855-383-4249
Business service: 1- 855-226-3557
Village of Kalkaska Municipal Water
Featured Talent Development Resources
With healthcare and social assistance as one of Kalkaska’s leading employers, Northwestern Michigan College (NMC) and Munson Regional EMS have partnered to offer an Associate in Applied Science Degree (AAS) with a Paramedic focus. All general education classes are offered at NMC. All paramedic classes are offered through Munson Regional EMS. It is designed so students can transfer 43 paramedic credits from Munson Regional EMS to NMC. Once an additional 18 or more general education credits are completed as identified in the NMC program map, the student will earn an AAS – Paramedic.
Economic Development Ecosystem Map
This map shows some of the many organizations in this county providing economic development related services, such as workforce training, development finance, or technical advising for businesses. Use the dropdown in the upper left hand corner to filter by People, Investment, and Place.
“People” covers organizations that focus on early childhood care, workforce training, equity and diversity, and talent recruitment and retention.
“Investment” includes organizations that focus on industry cluster support, small business investment and technical assistance, innovation and technology development, and real estate and commercial development.
“Place”-focused organizations include tourism, arts and culture, and recreation organizations, planning and development entities, infrastructure and utility providers, and housing organizations.
Director, Kalkaska Downtown
Traverse Connect continues the legacy and the leadership of the Traverse City Area Chamber of Commerce, strengthening its focus on serving all businesses with a comprehensive suite of programs and services.