THIS JUST IN: Michigan Poised to Succeed in Key Industry Trends

Monday, May 3, 2021

Retains competitive business climate through pandemic-created economic adversity

Grand Rapids Skyline

As Michigan positions itself as a state that can offer the best path toward a “New Normal” for businesses and talent alike, several key business rankings released in the past week demonstrate the state’s ongoing efforts around long-term growth, even while helping to mitigate the economic crisis created by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Look no further than the rise of Industry 4.0 – with Michigan positioning itself as the place where manufacturing and technology converge, while helping small and medium-sized manufacturers adopt these new technologies. As part of its 2021 Best and Worst States for Business rankings, Chief Executive Magazine featured Grand Rapids among cities nationwide emerging as ideal locations for manufacturers looking to up their digital game. With insights from Automation Alley, Seamless and MIT, the article points to Grand Rapids’ history as a “design capital” and Michigan’s legacy of manufacturing from concept to scale.

In the rankings itself, Michigan came in at 15th in the nation – remaining one of the top Midwest states in the list despite the uncertainty and impact COVID-19 undoubtedly had on the rankings. Talent availability, and tax and regulatory climate continue to be top factors – with Michigan’s diverse and skilled workforce driving business growth in the state.

Site Selection magazine has also released its annual rankings of Global Best to Invest locations. Michigan remained in the Top 10 ranking for the Prosperity Cup, which is awarded to the most competitive states based on an index of 10 criteria, including project, capital expenditure and job creation data from Site Selection and data from the Tax Foundation, ACT and Beacon Hill Institute.

Projects in 2020 that led to this recognition include Perrigo announcing their new North American Headquarters in Grand Rapids, Lordstown Motors – the 22nd OEM to establish a presence in the state – announcing a new R&D facility in Farmington Hills and GM’s $2.2 billion investment at its Detroit-Hamtramck Assembly plant, known as Factory Zero and serving as the company’s first fully-dedicated electric vehicle assembly plant. GM also added more than 1,200 jobs at its Lansing operations in 2020.

This Top 10 Prosperity Cup ranking builds on Site Selection’s announcement in late 2020, ranking Michigan in the Top 3 FDI states in the U.S.

Site Selection also recognized several local and regional economic development agencies in Michigan with Mac Conway Awards going to the Detroit Regional Partnership (DRP) and Lansing Economic Area Partnership (LEAP). Mac Conway Award winners are considered top performers in the field, and DRP and LEAP are key partners of the Michigan Economic Development Corporation across business attraction and growth efforts, as well as community vitality efforts, in the state.

“These rankings demonstrate our ability to successfully implement a strategy to drive economic opportunity and job creation in Michigan, even as we pivoted to provide critical small business relief in the face of COVID-19,” said Josh Hundt, Chief Business Development Officer and Executive Vice President of the MEDC. “We congratulate DRP and LEAP on this recognition of their efforts and will continue to work collaboratively to make a compelling case for Michigan and showcase the assets that provide businesses with long-term growth opportunities – from our talented workforce and high quality of life to our unique strengths in emerging industries including life sciences and tech.”

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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.