Nov. 1 through 4, Luke Bonner, Bonner Advisory AG and I traveled to Chicago to meet with site selection consultants to discuss Macomb County’s assets, impressive workforce and robust manufacturing community. A site selection consultant is a specialist who is hired by corporations or business owners to identify the best location for new facilities based on a number of criteria and factors that merit investment within a community that would support its growth.
The goal of the meetings was to make introductions and cultivate relationships within the site consultant community, to tout Michigan’s comeback story and, in particular, to discuss Macomb’s growing aerospace industry. In fact, in 2014 Macomb County was the third highest ranking county in the country for manufacturing growth and the second ranking county for new jobs in the aerospace industry. According to the National Bureau of Economic Research, during the current economic expansion, through August 2015, Michigan’s job creation rate of 11.5 percent has outpaced the U.S. average of 8.6 percent during the same time period.
While in Chicago, we shared the news of recent company expansions and discussed the region’s tooling capacity in manufacturing. Nearly 20 percent of Macomb’s workforce is dedicated to the manufacturing industry. We also met with the German American Chamber of Commerce Consulting Services Group, the investment directors from the Australian Trade Commission and the state government of Victoria, Australia.
All in all, the trip was a success. We met with nine site consultants and introduced the audience to all that Macomb County has to offer: quality of life, advanced manufacturing and the clustering of aerospace companies landing in Macomb. We pride ourselves on our large talent pool, R&D and engineering capacity. We still build things in Macomb, and we’re proud of that heritage.
Michael Connors is the program manager of Economic Development Services with the Macomb County Department of Planning & Economic Development.