Howell, MICH. — September 20 — Ann Arbor SPARK and the Economic Development Council of Livingston County (EDCLC) recently welcomed more than 100 community and business leaders for the EDCLC annual meeting held at Crystal Gardens in Howell, Mich. The event highlighted economic successes resulting from the partnership between EDCLC and Ann Arbor SPARK, including more than 50 successful projects resulting in 1,200 new job commitments and $288 million in investment by businesses in Livingston County.

“Through our relationship with Ann Arbor SPARK, companies in Livingston County have access to professional economic development services that enable them to connect with government, resources and capital support,” said EDCLC chair Ron Long. “Livingston County is now on the map for site selectors from all over the world.”

Also addressing the group was Paul Krutko, Ann Arbor SPARK president and CEO. He remarked on the significance of regional economic development efforts, emphasizing that even in municipalities comprised mostly of residential communities, regional economic development helps improve quality of life by attracting and retaining companies that pay well, provide development opportunities, and reinvest in the community.

“Primarily residential communities directly benefit from this partnership between Ann Arbor SPARK and EDCLC: When jobs are created in a nearby town or township residents of residential communities have access to jobs close to home. Those workers buy homes, the jobs directly support their families, and the whole county benefits,” Krutko added. “Over the past six years, we have been successful in our efforts and are excited to continue to build on that momentum. We are looking forward to continuing our partnership with the EDCLC.”

The program also featured a series of videos paying tribute to many of the companies and industries driving economic prosperity in Livingston County. “An economic driver is a company that pushes forward, a company with a strong workforce and employees from throughout the region,” said Phil Santer, Ann Arbor SPARK senior vice president. “Economic drivers create demand for services, they create jobs for residents, and they create tax revenue for communities. They are helping make Livingston Michigan’s most prosperous county.”

Santer highlighted these successes including economic key indicators such as:

  • Livingston County has the lowest poverty rate and the highest median household income in the state.
  • In the past year, the county’s tax base has increased by 4 percent.
  • Since 2012, the partnership between EDCLC and Ann Arbor SPARK partnership has resulted in:
    • more than 535 referrals to connect local companies to resources and funding
    • meetings with more than 180 local companies representing more than 17,000 local jobs

The annual meeting was sponsored by Consumers Energy, First National Bank, Lake Trust Credit Union, Michigan Works!, Rudolph Libbe Group, Saint Joseph Mercy Health System, and Thai Summit.


Ann Arbor SPARK, a non-profit organization, is advancing the region by encouraging and supporting business acceleration, attraction and retention. The organization identifies and meets the needs of business at every stage, from start-ups to large organizations. Ann Arbor SPARK collaborates with business, academic, government, and community investor partners to achieve its mission. For more information, please call (734) 761-9317 or visit


The Economic Development Council of Livingston County (EDCLC) is a nonprofit economic development organization dedicated to the prosperity of Livingston County. It works with academic, county, and private sector partners to support economic growth. EDCLC partners with Ann Arbor SPARK to provide economic development services in Livingston County. For more information, visit


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Source: SPARK