Regional Summits to Showcase Opportunities for Manufacturers to Diversify into High-Growth Sectors

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Attendees to learn from experts in aerospace, defense, medical devices and wind

LANSING - The Keep Michigan Working (KMW) coalition today announced that it would partner with local economic development organizations to host monthly diversification summits for Michigan manufacturers seeking to diversify into growing manufacturing sectors. Twelve summits will take place across the state in coming months, starting with Oakland County on February 5 and Grand Rapids on February 18.

“We are undertaking the most aggressive economic diversification strategy in the nation, and helping Michigan manufacturers expand into new, high-growth sectors is a critical component of that effort,” said Granholm. “As a result, Michigan companies are capitalizing on new opportunities and growing new jobs.”   

At each summit, experts in the sectors of aerospace, homeland security/defense, medical devices and wind energy representing $400 billion in yearly expenditures will be on hand to explain how attendees can successfully apply their specialized machinery and know-how to the manufacture of products in these industries.  

As part of the KMW’s business retention efforts, the Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC) hosted a highly successful diversification conference last November. The twelve statewide regional summits announced today are modeled on the original event, and aimed at Michigan manufacturers with resources and/or capacity to diversify.

The summits are targeting more than 2,500 companies with a goal of $1 billion in contracts, outreach to 400 companies to be serviced by industry experts and 100 companies receiving certification assistance. The Michigan Manufacturing Technology Center and the University of Michigan are working with the MEDC to assist manufacturers in developing market diversification strategies.

“The goal of these summits is to bring manufacturers together with industry experts and Michigan companies who have successfully diversified their business and acquaint them with new opportunities,” MEDC President and CEO James C. Epolito said.

Companies that attend the summit will be asked to complete a comprehensive questionnaire. Those that demonstrate the potential to diversify, as determined by sector service providers, will receive a $10,000 matching grant from the Economic Development Job Training program to assist in the diversification process.

For further information on the Oakland County summit, visit:

For further information on the Grand Rapids summit, visit:

The Keep Michigan Working coalition is made up of state, local and community officials and organizations working together to develop short and long term solutions to keep workers and businesses in Michigan.

About Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC)

The Michigan Economic Development Corporation is the state’s marketing arm and lead advocate for business development, job awareness and community development with the focus on growing Michigan’s economy. For more information on the MEDC and our initiatives, visit For Pure Michigan® tourism information, your trip begins at Join the conversation on: Facebook Instagram LinkedIn, and Twitter.