The Michigan Opportunity

Through dynamic discussion, The Michigan Opportunity markets the state and promotes Michigan as a world-class business location. The podcast serves as a forward-thinking voice for Michigan as a conduit to global trends and applications in the new global economy.


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The Michigan Opportunity Podcast Now Airing on WJR’s The Great Voice

The Michigan Opportunity Podcast

Season - 1 Episode 36

Ryan Hundt, Chief Executive Officer, MichiganWorks! Association

How the 16 Michigan Workforce Boards across Michigan are adapting to the New Economy, employment opportunities and current challenges being faced by employees and employers.

Join Ryan Hundt and host Ed Clemente, as he explains the ever-changing world of the modern workforce responsibilities through the professional organization representing the MichiganWorks! Network. MichiganWorks! Association is committed to advocating for workforce development issues throughout its system, for the employers they serve and for job seekers alike. Find out about the difference between skills and competencies and how the workforce is evolving in this digital transformation era. Also hear about how these organizations are adapting and brokering to meet the needs of the workforce of today and of the future.

Season - 1 Episode 35

Marian Reich, President - Global Ties Detroit & Jodi Michaels, Executive Director - Global Ties Kalamazoo

Michigan’s “Global Ties” Partners map out a Diplomatic Path for International Exchange for Economic Prosperity!

Join Jodi Michaels (Global Ties Kalamazoo) and Marian Reich (Global Ties Detroit) together with host Ed Clemente to literally cover the globe. Based in Kalamazoo and Metro Detroit areas, these two organizations best exemplify Citizen Diplomacy and share Michigan with the world's future leaders through international exchange.

Season - 1 Episode 34

Jeff Donofrio, President and Chief Executive Officer - Business Leaders for Michigan

What does it take to make Michigan a top 10 state in today’s dynamic world? Business Leaders for Michigan has the map for us on this podcast.

Join Jeff Donofrio, President and CEO for Business Leaders for Michigan, and host Ed Clemente as they discuss this influential business organization, and their myriad of initiatives. Business Leaders for Michigan, a state business roundtable, is dedicated to making Michigan a Top Ten state for jobs, personal income and a healthy economy.

Season - 1 Episode 33

Brian Connors, Partner, Due East Advisors

Discover How International Business Development Drives Local Job Creation from “Due East” Asian Regions, including China and Taiwan!

Join Brian Connors, Partner, Due East Advisors, who works with companies from Mainland China and Taiwan, as he has a conversation with our host Ed Clemente about the critical role they play in the expanding world of foreign direct investment. Learn about their team of bilingual experts and about how the MEDC works to attract international businesses to Michigan. Learn how this Harvard-educated entrepreneur with boots on the ground in Beijing learned how to build relationships through the small businesses he owned and operated there.

Season - 1 Episode 32

Quentin L. Messer, Jr., MEDC CEO and President and Chair of the Michigan Strategic Fund

Listen to MEDC’s CEO lay out his 4-point plan for Michigan’s continued economic recovery, some words of wisdom for Michiganders, businesses and communities for strategic growth opportunities.

Join Quentin Messer, Jr., Chief Executive Officer, President and Chair - Michigan Strategic Fund and host Ed Clemente as they discuss his strategic 4-point plan to keep moving Michigan’s economic development needle. Some excellent career advice boiled down to three key guidelines and insight on career path advancement. Quentin shares his passion and his focus on “getting it done!” by raising the tide for all people and communities in the state of Michigan. He also gives us his view of the state on his whirlwind travels to all the corners of the state, of the great people, organizations, companies, and communities that make up the tapestry of Michigan.

Season - 1 Episode 31

JoAnn Crary, President, Saginaw Future

“Saginaw Future”, where its headed, success stories and economic opportunities for the Great Lakes Bay Region.

Join JoAnn Crary, President of Saginaw Future, and host Ed Clemente as they discuss Saginaw area economic opportunities. Learn about the unique ecosystem of Saginaw and the balance between urban business district, agriculture, and manufacturing. She also serves on many other organizations, including being on board for Saginaw Valley State University, helping assist one of her top priorities of talent retention and attraction. Also, she has been actively involved in the International Economic Development Council (IEDC) especially in Inclusive Economic Development. They also chat about the great history of Michigan-based Hemlock Semiconductor as well as other businesses in the Great Lakes Bay Region.

Season - 1 Episode 30

Lt. Gov. Garlin Gilchrist II

Lt. Governor Gilchrist II mission to help leverage technology as a tool to help those in need and help close the Digital Divide.

Join Lt. Governor Garlin Gilchrist II and host Ed Clemente as they discuss his early passion for technology and at 16 years old starting a computer Lab in a Detroit Rec Center. This helped guide him to get UM degrees in Computer Science & Engineering. Which led him to Microsoft in Washington State and becoming a tech entrepreneur in the process. Also, some of his initiatives in our nation’s capital. Learn about his passion for helping those underserved communities and the imperative of the digital divide and how this was accelerated during the pandemic. A guest on our podcast, happened to have his very own, award-winning podcast as well.

Season - 1 Episode 29

Naheed Huq of Southeast Michigan Council of Governments (SEMCOG) and Metropolitan Affairs Coalition (MAC)

How SEMCOG & MAC will change the face of southeast Michigan for Shared Prosperity, Economic Development and expose its New Future!

Join Naheed Huq and host Ed Clemente as they discuss a wide variety of topics from what are SEMCOG and MAC and what they’re doing to support communities and workforce development in southeast Michigan. They discuss the challenges facing talent training, retention and attraction, digital divide, and other workforce issues, including how local governments are handling disruption and change in the new economy. Also, a discussion about Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy (CEDS) and how and why it was created. They touch on the region’s shared prosperity for a resilient economy and how it is being implemented. Additionally, how they are approaching the New Future of Southeast Michigan series. Listen in to hear all of the work going into building a more resilient, diverse, and equitable economy in the state’s seven-county southeast region.

Season - 1 Episode 28

Damian Porcari, Elijah J. McCoy Midwest Regional United States Patent and Trademark Office

Find out who was the “Real McCoy,” the real world of patents and inventions and where the trends are heading.

The Elijah J. McCoy Midwest Regional Office (MWRO) of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) is located in Detroit serving Michigan and eight additional states. Their goal is to promote innovation and stimulate the economy by connecting entrepreneurs to government resources, supporting students and teachers through our STEM education programs — including professional development for teachers, gathering feedback from regional stakeholders, and recruiting diverse talent from the region. Join Damian Porcari and host Ed Clemente as he highlights the differences between a patent and a trademark, including international patents, his unique story, and how it led him to jobs with the U.S. Army and Ford Motor Company. We also get some history of the creation of the patent office and famous inventors, most importantly, Elijah McCoy. Along the way we also get some insights about future trends in patents and inventions.

Season - 1 Episode 27

Vicki Selva of Michigan Defense Center

The Michigan Defense Center: From Arsenal of Democracy to Arsenal of Innovation, Building a Good Offense!

Join Vicki Selva and host Ed Clemente as they navigate a course though Michigan’s rich historic relationships with the U.S. Defense Department in some of the state's core industries including manufacturing, mobility, aerospace and others. The Michigan Defense Center focuses on the support, protection and growth of Michigan’s defense and homeland security missions and the Michigan businesses that support them. The MDC acts as a liaison between the state and defense interests in the federal government, academia and the defense community and supporting organizations. Nearly 4,000 Michigan businesses, in every corner of Michigan are currently serving the defense industry and there’s room for more. Vicki highlights some of the companies already here as well as how emerging technologies from Michigan companies are the keystone of future growth in Michigan. She points out the opportunities and resources MEDC offers Michigan companies to assist them in contracting with the U.S. government and large companies, whether in cybersecurity, manufacturing, Industry 4.0, DARPA and others. If you're a veteran, there are opportunities for you at many levels for career or entrepreneurship too.

About the Host: Ed Clemente

Ed Clemente joined the Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC) in 2020 as the Senior Advisor for Trends and Development.

From 2012-2020, Clemente served as a two-term governor appointed Hearing Commissioner for the Michigan Liquor Control Commission (MLCC). Executing over 7,000 judicial Orders/Decisions, over the tenure of service. Prior joining the MLCC, Clemente launched Michigan’s Energy Innovation Business Council (EIBC) establishing it as 501c3 and 501c6 entity and serving as its first President.

Ed Clemente was elected to the Michigan House of Representatives in 2004 representing parts of southern Wayne County. During his three terms in the State House (2004-2010) he led task forces on electric vehicles, biosciences, film industry, Brownfield restoration, economic development, quality of life and advanced energy. Before his tenure as a public official, Clemente held several leadership roles at the Southern Wayne County Regional Chamber of Commerce, including President and Director Economic and Business Development. He also previously chaired the Economic Development Committee of the Southeast Michigan Council of Governments and was elected as a Trustee for Wayne County Community College District, serving four terms.

Clemente has earned degrees from Ferris State, Michigan State University and Sienna Heights Universities. Clemente was awarded with a prestigious fellowship to the Harvard Kennedy School of Government and The National Judicial College for Administrative Law. He graduated from several political leadership development programs, including Leadership Detroit, Michigan Political Leadership Program, and Leadership 21. He is a previous small business owner and has taught at Northwood University. Additionally, he hosts a “Critical Conversations” podcast and is a member of the Workforce Advisors for Wayne County Community College. Ed serves on the Board of Directors for Global Ties Detroit and the Motor Cities National Heritage Area. An avid traveler, Ed has visited more than 80 countries and territories, 150+ UNESCO World Heritage sites, many to play rugby tournaments, others for professional exchange and some for just intellectual curiosity.

The Michigan Opportunity is brought to you by Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC). In collaboration with more than 100 economic development partners, MEDC markets Michigan as the place to do business, assists businesses in their growth strategies and fosters the growth of vibrant communities across the state.