This Just In: MEDC’s Talent Action Team gains global recognition in Most Innovative Companies list

Stefanie Pohl

Tuesday, March 19, 2024

Fast Company’s 2024 Most Innovative Companies list ranked the MEDC’s Talent Action Team No. 4 in Business Services, while Houghton-based Orbion Space Technology ranked No. 7 in the Space category and Novi’s Our Next Energy ranked No. 10 in the Automotive category



The Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC) is among Fast Company’s Most Innovative Companies, thanks to a bold approach toward talent attraction and population growth. The MEDC’s Talent Action Team, created in 2022 as the first public-private state talent coalition to specifically address the talent gap in the electric vehicle (EV) and semiconductor industries, ranks No. 4 in the Business Services category.

The Talent Action Team works directly with employers to identify priority occupations based on short- and medium-term demand and the skills needed to fill these positions as well as with the state’s educational institutions to train the next generation of workers. Thanks to the Talent Action Team’s focus on the EV/mobility and semiconductor sectors, Michigan will continue to train, retain and attract the best talent for the state’s key industries.

The Talent Action Team has also been involved in one of the state's most groundbreaking achievements in 2023: the establishment of the Semiconductor Talent and Automotive Research (STAR) initiative. The STAR initiative is a strategic collaboration involving KLA, imec, the University of Michigan, Washtenaw Community College and General Motors focused on developing the talent base and infrastructure necessary to accelerate advanced semiconductor applications for electrification and autonomous mobility.

“We want everyone to know that they can ‘Make It in Michigan,’ and I am proud that our talent attraction and retention efforts have been recognized on a national level by Fast Company,” said MEDC EVP and Chief Talent Solutions Officer Kerry Ebersole Singh. “Through initiatives like the Talent Action Team and its suite of services like The Michigander Scholars program, strategic higher education and PK-12 investments, and enhanced employer services, Michigan is leading the way to retain, attract and cultivate the next generation of talent right here for Michigan employers.”

Building on the momentum of these talent initiatives, the MEDC launched the “You Can in Michigan” talent attraction marketing campaign in October 2023. The $20 million campaign targets national audiences to grow Michigan’s population and talent pool and includes television commercials, radio spots, print placements, social channels and, a new website for job seekers to explore the state, calculate their cost of living and define and reach their career goals with the support of the Michigan Career Portal.

In addition to the MEDC’s recognition, Fast Company also ranked Upper Peninsula-based Orbion Space Technology No. 7 in the Space category. The Houghton company, which develops and manufactures plasma propulsion systems for satellites, is one of the key contributors to Michigan’s thriving aerospace industry

Learn more about how Orbion co-founder and CEO Brad King combined his love of aerospace and a desire to live in his beloved Upper Peninsula.



Meanwhile, Novi’s Our Next Energy (ONE) ranked No. 10 in the Automotive category, thanks to the company’s innovation in building longer-range batteries for EVs with its lithium-iron-phosphate (LFP) battery. ONE is among the companies helping Michigan lead the electrification of automotive and mobility.

Learn more about how electrical engineer and ONE program manager Holly Schwarzwalder’s aspirations to work in Michigan’s automotive industry led her to helping electrify the future at ONE.



MEDC’s Track Record of Excellence

This latest ranking builds on other recent achievements for the MEDC. In November 2023, the MEDC was recognized as one of INC.’s Power Partners in its 2023 Power Partners Awards, an annual list of high-caliber B2B companies; the MEDC ranked among organizations from around the country in the Business Products & Services category.

Additionally, the MEDC was named the No. 4 best-in-class state economic development agency by Development Counsellors International (DCI) in September 2023.

Learn more about the MEDC’s Talent Action Team and find out how You Can 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.