Michele Economou Ureste, executive director of Workforce Intelligence Network for Southeast Michigan presents at the EDCLC annual meeting.

At its annual meeting, the Economic
Development Council of Livingston County (EDCLC) and its economic development
partner, Ann Arbor SPARK, presented the community with an overview of the
impact of its work in the last year. Key projects were highlighted as were community
partnerships and how Livingston County benefits from Ann Arbor SPARK and
EDCLC’s economic development work.

Since 2012, Ann Arbor SPARK
and EDCLC’s collaborative efforts have generated $298 million in new investment
in Livingston County and the creation of more than 5700 jobs. In 2018-2019, the
collaboration resulted in $18.8 million in investment and 80 new jobs.

“It’s noteworthy that the
work of Ann Arbor SPARK and EDCLC has consistently, over the course of seven
years, created economic opportunity for Livingston County,” said Ann Arbor
SPARK senior vice president, business development, Phil Santer. “We are able to
leverage the strengths of both Livingston and Washtenaw counties to cast a
wider net in terms of providing the support a broad range of businesses need to

Projects Ann Arbor SPARK and
EDCLC executed in 2019 included Manufacturing Day, which connected 13 companies
with local high schoolers to offer them insight on career opportunities. The
meeting also featured success stories on Hatch Stamping, Asahi Kasei Plastics,
and Pop Daddy – three companies that experienced growth in Livingston County
with support from Ann Arbor SPARK and EDCLC.

James Wickman, Hartland Township Manager and EDCLC board chair

“The EDCLC and Ann Arbor
SPARK partnership continues to be the driving catalyst for Livingston County’s
business success and economic growth,” said James Wickman, Hartland Township Manager and EDCLC board chair. “It is
exciting that this collaborative effort continues to yield positive results for
Livingston County.”

Ann Arbor SPARK and EDCLC were also
able to secure grants for Livingston County this past year. The organizations submitted
an application to the state on behalf of Handy Township for a $70,200 grant to complete an evaluation of
the former Mitch Harris site to determine whether it could accommodate an
industrial project. Also, the State of Michigan’s Department of Labor and Economic
Opportunity – Workforce Development awarded Ann Arbor SPARK and EDCLC a $63,000
grant to support the Livingston County Manufacturers Collaborative in
developing programs designed to attract, develop, and retain skilled laborers.

For more information on the impact of Ann Arbor SPARK’s collaboration with EDCLC, see a2spark.org/LivCoEconomicDevelopment or visit https://annarborusa.org/livingston-county/.

Special thanks to the event sponsors: Consumers Energy, First National Bank, Saint Joseph Mercy Health System, Michigan Works! Southeast, Comcast Business, and Rudolph Libbe Group.

About Ann Arbor SPARK

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. For more information, please call (734) 761-9317 or visit www.AnnArborUSA.org.

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Source: SPARK