From May 7 through May 12, the Macomb County Department of Planning and Economic Development (MCPED) will celebrate National Economic Development Week. Created by the International Economic Development Council, the largest professional membership organization for economic developers, the week serves to increase awareness of development programs that enhance local economies.
So what does that really all mean? Well, in the broadest sense, economic development focuses on three major areas:
- Policies that government undertakes to meet broad economic objectives, including inflation control, high employment and sustainable growth
- Policies and programs that provide services, including building highways, managing parks and providing medical access to the disadvantaged
- Policies and programs that are directed at improving the business climate
Essentially, economic development organizations work to improve the economic well-being and quality of life for a community.
Now you’re probably asking yourself – what does this all mean for Macomb County? And what does MCPED do? In a nutshell, the department helps facilitate public and private investments in the region by providing businesses with free and confidential services, enabling them to thrive and grow.
Since 2014, the department has helped 145 companies invest almost $4.8 billion, creating 16,148 new jobs and retaining 11,267 existing jobs. In 2017 alone, the department reported that its clients invested $417.4 million in new equipment and space while retaining 2,140 jobs and creating 3,729 new ones. Highlights of last year’s investments include:
- Amazon announced a $70 million investment to build a transportation logistics center in Shelby Township. The 100,000-square-foot building is expected to offer an estimated 1,000 new jobs to the community.
- Grupo Antolin, an auto supplier headquartered in Spain, invested $63.7 million in Shelby Township to construct a new plant. The suppliers will provide door panels to Fiat Chrysler Automobiles for the 2019 Ram pickup truck.
- St. John Macomb-Oakland Hospital announced a $48.1 million expansion to its Warren Campus. The investment will increase the number of private rooms available to patients.
While those examples deal with larger companies and organizations, it is important to note that the department also works very closely with small-business owners. Ninety-five percent of the businesses in Macomb County are defined as a small business, one that employs fewer than 50 people. Working with the Michigan Small Business Development Center, we offer these owners and entrepreneurs assistance with marketing, financial analysis and planning, strategic planning, management and operations. We act as their partner, helping them succeed.
As you can see, the work done by MCPED is impactful and far-reaching. We take great pride in what we do and will always continue our efforts to enhance the region that we all call home.
Later this week, we will post a piece written by John Paul Rea, director of MCPED. He’ll share some insights into his role as director of the department and give his perspective on what’s on the horizon in Macomb County. Stay tuned for that blog and other posts on our social media accounts and website. We’re excited to celebrate this week and hope you will join in by sharing your thoughts, comments and ideas around economic development in our community. Please post in the comment section below or on Facebook using ##EDW2018 #EconDevWeek #QualityofLife. We’d love to know what you think.
Megan Ochmanek is a communications specialist for the Macomb County Department of Planning and Economic Development.