By MATTHEW HALL
Capital News Service
LANSING – Access to better economic opportunities depends largely on your Michigan ZIP code, according to Opportunity Nation, a Washington-D.C.-based coalition that researches economic issues. A band of lower-opportunity counties stretches from Muskegon County by Lake Michigan northeast to Oscoda County, along with islands of higher-opportunity ones in the Southeast and Northwest Michigan. “Communities really matter, geography matters and for far too many people, where you are born has way too much input in how high you can climb in life,” said Russell Krumnow, the managing director of Opportunity Nation. The group’s Opportunity Index grades counties on their local economies, quality of education and community life. “Generally, opportunity is closely tied to things like unemployment rate and the income of an area,” said Carsten Hohnke, vice president for strategy and policy at the Michigan Economic Development Corp.