The Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC) made important advances this year in its historic shift of Michigan’s economic development strategy, which began in 2011. This year, the MEDC was recognized by the Urban Land Institute with a Real Estate Achievement Award for “being a real catalyst in the state” and was identified as one of the top five economic development organizations overall in the country.
Three years ago, Michigan began emphasizing the importance of improving its economic business climate and focusing on keeping and growing businesses already located in the state. The result was a more competitive tax system, fewer regulations, and a more responsive economic development agency that offers a wider array of business services, more help to increase community vitality, and better ways to connect talent with great jobs.
Michigan’s expanded its economic development toolkit, combined with the strong foundation of Pure Michigan branding and communications, supported significant 2014 results for the MEDC, its partners, and the people of Michigan. In particular:
- We leveraged nearly $900 million of investment of non-state funds in redeveloping buildings and public spaces in our downtowns—5 million square feet of newly reactivated space in the core of our communities.
- We increased the deployment of our “Redevelopment Ready Communities” program that supports communities in adopting innovative redevelopment strategies and efficient processes that build confidence among businesses and developers.
- We helped to complete the financing packages that are bringing light rail and a new entertainment district to Detroit.
- We helped small and medium-sized businesses in the state win more than $2 billion of new sales through export and procurement services.
- And we drove $1.2 billion in out-of-state visitor spending in Michigan’s communities through the Pure Michigan advertising campaign.
- Finally, we leveraged an additional $4.8 billion in private investment for business expansion that’s likely to create over 37,000 new jobs in Michigan to add to the over 1 million jobs that were posted on the state’s new labor exchange, mitalent.org.
MEDC CEO Michael Finney shares more accomplishments in the video below.
Our focus in 2015 will be to continue advancing our strategic shift: We will expand the delivery of our services and become even more responsive to the needs of our communities, businesses and job seekers. In particular, the coming year will see accelerated execution of a comprehensive plan for talent development that supplements the vital work of the Michigan Works! Agencies. Through the new $50 million Community College Skilled Trades Equipment Program, community college students will benefit from increased training capacity in high-wage, high-demand occupations.
In 2015, the MEDC will also focus on leveraging the strengths and assets of Michigan’s automotive industry to sustain intellectual and manufacturing global leadership—an effort that also benefits the revitalization of our communities. The new American Lightweight Materials Manufacturing Innovation Institute will locate in Detroit’s Corktown neighborhood, thanks in part to a $10 million investment by the MEDC. The establishment of ALMMII will contribute significantly to new energy in the community.
Read the MEDC’s full annual report.
We’re excited by the potential of the coming year and the results we’ll be able to help drive with the support of the legislature, local economic development partners and all of the stakeholders that collaborate to facilitate economic growth in Michigan. To learn more about how the MEDC spurs economic development, visit michiganbusiness.org.