Making the case

John Groen

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Significant growth and promising prospects in all sectors

In May 2015, the Pew Charitable Trust referred to Michigan as the biggest success story since the Great Recession.

In just five years, the state economy has been transformed. The Michigan economy is thriving with significant growth and promising prospects in all sectors.

What are the keys to Michigan’s economic reinvention?

A competitive tax structure, fiscal stability, 32.7 percent reduction in workers’ comp premium rates, common-sense regulatory reforms (which led to elimination of nearly 2,000 burdensome rules), intense focus on customer service along with world-class talent are major reasons two-thirds Michigan businesses describe the state as having a positive business climate.

While the economy has grown steadily and unemployment now stands at 5 percent—the lowest level in more than a decade—the ongoing economic transformation can be seen in Michigan’s nation-leading manufacturing jobs, dramatically appealing entrepreneurial climate (sixth in nation) and as the top Great Lakes state for major new and expanded facilities. (Note: Michigan ranks among top seven nationally, according to Site Selection, May 2015.) 

It’s widely known many companies locate or expand in Michigan to be in close proximity to 63 of the top North American auto suppliers. Since 2009, automakers and auto suppliers have invested about $16 billion in the state (through second quarter 2015). An unparalleled collaboration and heightened productivity is the result of automotive manufacturers, suppliers, R&D facilities and ancillary services located in close proximity. Indeed, 76 percent of all auto-related research and development is conducted in Michigan’s 370 R&D centers.

Michigan is focused intensely on developing well-trained, educated workers.

In addition to the state-of-the-art automotive factories and facilities, Michigan ranks first nationally in high-skilled job concentration of electric, mechanical and industrial engineers.

Last fall, Gov. Rick Snyder initiated the largest investment in the nation ($50 million for equipment/training) aimed at preparing/educating students for in-demand jobs in the skilled trades, expected to be one of the fastest-growing job sectors in the next five to 10 years.

MEDC’s basic function is to attract new business investment that creates new jobs in Michigan.

Recently, Gov. Snyder introduced a pilot program to create “more and better jobs” in 10 economically distressed communities across Michigan. The program is sponsored by the Michigan Department of Talent and Economic Development look at strengthening existing businesses, attracting new ones and equipping residents with the education and resources for job placement.

The collaborative effort includes working with the Michigan State Housing Development Authority to incorporate community development and the state’s newly created Talent Investment Agency to promote job training and placement within each community. The comprehensive approach aims to strengthen existing businesses, attract new ones and equip residents with the education and resources for job placement.

Further, Gov. Snyder and Lt. Gov. Brian Calley have led a team of business and economic development leaders on trips to China, Japan, Europe and South America. Since 2011, these trade missions have attracted 351 projects, $8.59 billion in capital investment and nearly 30,000 jobs. Foreign direct investment came from Fiat, Toyota Motors, Denso, Federal Express and PSA Peugeot-Citroen. The top three determinants for a foreign company locating in Michigan are: 1) proximity to markets or customers; 2) available skilled workforce; and 3) business climate.

For the above reasons – and others – the Pew Charitable Trust in May referred to Michigan as the biggest success story since the Great Recession. 

We happen to agree with them.

From the growing agri-business industry to the expanding manufacturing base to the high-tech start-ups and entrepreneurial district in Detroit, there is a place for any type of business, and a statewide network of economic development agencies ready to do whatever it takes to assist in the growth of business around the state.

A catalyst for economic growth

MEDC’s basic function is to attract new business investment that creates new jobs in Michigan. It offers multiple programs that effectively serve any business, regardless of size, industry sector or location.

Michigan competes with 49 other states every day to attract major new business investments and retain home-grown companies. The state has only recently recovered from the worst recession since the Great Depression. History teaches we are not immune to the ups and downs of business cycles, and cannot withdraw from intense competition to attract business.

MEDC adheres to all applicable federal and state laws and regulations including reporting requirements regarding programs and expenditures.

MEDC programs and expenditures are available to support new investment anywhere in Michigan.

MEDC’s fiscal year 2016 budget is approximately $400 million. Every dollar spent is determined by the legislature. Overall, MEDC spending is in full accordance with state law.

MEDC is a partnership with state and local entities, established by former Gov. John Engler. The broad-based, business-focused MEDC board is composed of local economic development partners and is overseen by an executive committee appointed by the governor.

Contact Us

To contact a business development specialist, click here or call 1.888.522.0103.