In its recent quarterly report of economic activity and successes in Livingston County, Ann Arbor SPARK and its partner the Economic Development Council of Livingston County (EDCLC) highlighted company expansions and new talent partnerships that are working to expand economic opportunity throughout the region.

“Building on the successes from the first quarter, we continue to celebrate economic growth within Livingston County,” said Phil Santer, Ann Arbor SPARK vice president, business development. “We are pleased that SPARK’s efforts — from connecting resources at local and state levels to helping area businesses expand, find talent and access critical training resources — deliver results for the businesses and people in Livingston County.”

Key Highlights:

PRT Growing Services Ltd., a Canadian forest seedling grower, is leasing 24 acres of the Brighton Tree Improvement Center located within the Brighton Recreation State Park. The lease agreement with Michigan DNR will reestablish the land as a nursery operation for containerized tree seedlings. SPARK coordinated introductory meetings with Hamburg Township officials and made referrals to local construction firms through which PRT could submit bid requests for the construction of 30 greenhouses.

SPARK shared best practices from the Flint Mass Transit Authority (MTA) program connecting Flint to Livingston County during a Greater Ann Arbor Region Workforce Opportunity Workshop held at Adrian College in May.

In April, SPARK sponsored and participated in Livingston County’s first Championing Futures Road Rally. Coordinated by Livingston Education Services Agency (LESA), Champion Chevrolet, and others within the area, the event helped raise scholarship funds for Livingston County students in the skilled trades. More than $10,000 was raised during the event.


Upcoming Initiatives:

SPARK and the EDCLC are pleased to coordinate Livingston County’s participation in the second Manufacturing Day (MFG DAY). This national effort is designed to address the skilled labor shortage employers face by showcasing the industry and connecting with future generations. Livingston County currently has 10 participating companies lined up and SPARK is coordinating efforts with area schools on getting students to attend.

Applications for the state-wide initiative Going PRO (formerly known as the Skilled Trades Training Fund) open in September. SPARK can consult Livingston County businesses interested in completing the grant application process.

For more information about economic development in Livingston County, join area business, government, and community leaders as the Economic Development Council of Livingston County celebrates 35 years of economic development. The luncheon is scheduled for Wednesday, September 19 at Crystal Gardens in Howell. The program will highlight local successes and provide recognition to the top economic drivers in Livingston County. Registration will open in early August at



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


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Source: SPARK