Wright Beamer recently had the pleasure of hosting a table at a dynamic presentation by Michael Finney, president and CEO of the Michigan Economic Development Corporation. The event was organized by the Livonia and Greater Farmington Area Chambers of Commerce, which have done an exemplary job of bringing interesting local and national-level speakers to our area this year.
The MEDC is a public-private partnership that serves as the state’s lead agency for attracting new businesses to Michigan, accelerating the growth of existing businesses, enhancing our talent pool and promoting tourism (who doesn’t know about the “Pure Michigan” campaign!). Finney described several old and new MEDC programs – most of which were news to me. Here’s a sampling:
Pure Michigan Business Connect’s Business-to-Business Network. This program attempts to link Michigan companies with one another for their procurement needs. The goal is to keep more of buyers’ and suppliers’ dollars in Michigan. Several major companies, including DTE and Consumers Energy, have made commitments to increase their in-state procurement spending through this B2B network. Businesses can register for the program at www.michiganadvantage.org/Business-Connect, or can contact the MEDC for more information at (517) 241-2477 or BusinessConnect@michigan.org.
Capital Access Program. The Capital Access Program helps small- and medium-sized Michigan businesses meet their needs for capital. The program uses small amounts of public money to fill what Finney called the “collateral gap,” thereby enabling those businesses to qualify for private bank loans that otherwise would be out of their reach. For further information, businesses can reach the MEDC at (517) 373-9808 or at CAP@michigan.org.
Michigan Shifting Gears.This initiative is designed to attract mid- to late-career professionals back to Michigan for training and placement in new careers. The
program includes classroom training and one-on-one mentoring. The results are impressive: 80% of participants find new positions within nine months after completing the three-month program. Interested individuals can get more information at www.mitalent.org/Michigan-shifting-gears.
Challenge Detroit. This innovative program invites bright, creative young people who want to make a difference in Detroit to compete for 30 spots awarded annually. The winners commit to living and working in the city of Detroit for a year. During that year, they engage in area social and cultural activities and participate in monthly “team challenges” designed to positively impact the community. The hope is that many of these talented young people will become attached to the city and decide to remain, and perhaps even to start their own businesses there. More information can be found at www.challengedetroit.org.
Pure Michigan Talent Connect. This resource consists of a website that connects Michigan talent with Michigan employers. The just-launched website, which can be found at www.mitalent.org, will be a particularly good resource for military veterans and those seeking to hire them.
All in all, great stuff!