Detroit businesses complete export assistance program

Friday, December 14, 2018

National export program helps manufacturers develop strategies to expand into global markets

LANSING, Mich. – Executives from three Detroit manufacturing companies have graduated from ExporTech Detroit, the Michigan Economic Development Corporation announced today.

“ExporTech provides an excellent opportunity for companies to sharpen their strategic export plans under the guidance of seasoned experts in various fields,” said Michigan Economic Development Corporation International Trade Development Manager David Newhouse. “Ultimately, export assistance programs like ExporTech increase companies’ capabilities in tackling new markets abroad, leading to additional sales and Michigan employment.”

Developed by the U.S. Department of Commerce, ExporTech is a national export technical assistance program that helps manufacturers develop and implement an international export growth strategy. ExporTech Detroit is organized by the U.S. Commercial Service-East Michigan, Detroit Economic Growth Corporation, Madonna University, MEDC, the Michigan Manufacturing Technology Center, and the NIST Manufacturing Extension Partnership.

ExporTech is a structured process designed to help companies develop a strategic export growth plan and features three day-long workshops spanning 10 weeks. Training and individualized mentoring is provided from a wide range of experts, including financing, payment risk, compliance, sales and distribution, country selection and more. Teams of students from Madonna University are assigned to each company to assist in market research.

Also as part of the program, executives received access and exposure to trade related grants and resources, such as the Small Business Administration’s STEP Grants and the U.S. Commercial Service’s Gold Key Matching Service. Additionally, graduates will become part of the National Institute of Standards and Technology ExporTech Program network, an active group of American manufacturing exporters.

Today’s graduating companies join seven others that completed the ExporTech Detroit program in April, bringing the total number of companies that have graduated from the program to 30. The companies that successfully completed ExporTech today were:

Energy Storage Safety Products International (ESSPI)Supplies network design, process improvement, and risk aversion experience spanning a wide range of industries

PCI DetroitSpecializes in industrial process automation, SCADA, system integration and process optimization solutions, instrumentation and controls consulting, project management and oversight, construction management, engineering, technical and information technology services

Stanek Rack CompanyFabricates work-in-progress racks that serve a variety of industries

“These graduates help power the engine of Michigan’s economic growth, adding new jobs and revenue from export sales,” said Eve Lerman, senior international trade specialist, U.S. Department of Commerce, U.S. Commercial Service. “We look forward to working with each of the graduates to execute the strategic plans they’ve developed and leveraging our network of offices in U.S. Embassies and Consulates around the world to their benefit.”

Energy Storage Safety Products International is part of the program. ESSPI was founded in Detroit in 2011 to address the urgent safety, redundancy, quality, and cost constraints of changing operations and supply chains. The company focuses on advanced energy including electric and hybrid mobility, aerospace, maritime, military, and energy storage applications. 

“One of the great things coming out of this program is that it forces us to think about things we never would have thought of ourselves,” said ESSPI President Ron Butler.

Michigan’s State Trade Expansion Program (STEP), administered by MEDC’s International Trade Program, reimburses 50 percent of the cost of ExporTech to participating companies.  In addition, participating ExporTech companies have the opportunity to learn about MEDC’s many export assistance programs available to them that can support their export strategy developed during ExporTech.

MEDC has participated in STEP since 2011. In fiscal year 2018, 305 unique Michigan companies received assistance through the program with 560 fully executed STEP & PEP grants allocating more than $1.9M in federal & state funds.

The MEDC coordinates a statewide export assistance delivery system with public and private resources to ensure company access regardless of geographic location. In fiscal year 2018, the MEDC International Trade Program assisted 574 unique Michigan companies and export sales generated because of the program totaled more than $641.5 million. Since its launch in 2011, the MEDC International Trade Program at the MEDC has worked with Michigan companies to support nearly $2.5 billion in export sales and 11,617 jobs across the state.

For complete details on how companies can apply for assistance, including eligibility requirements and the application process, please visit

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.