eMacomb - Featured Article, Summer 2013
Department Wins Defense Grant - Macomb County to lead statewide effort to market Michigan’s defense industry
The Macomb County Department of Planning & Economic Development has been awarded a grant by the Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC) to launch a statewide strategy to support existing defense companies and to attract new defense business to the state.
Planned activities include a new website, promotional video, participation in targeted national defense events and development of a robotics cluster. The County will also organize two statewide events to encourage employers to hire veterans.
The defense industry is important to Michigan’s economy. In the last decade, more than 1,600 companies throughout the state have fulfilled U.S. Department of Defense contracts valued at more than $4.6 billion. These contractors are found in 71 of our state’s 83 counties and employ some 45,000 people.
“Macomb County companies receive nearly two-thirds of all of Michigan’s defense work,” said Macomb County Executive Mark A. Hackel. “It makes sense for us to use our assets to attract new investment to the state.”
The $231,000 grant is part of the MEDC Collaborative Development Council’s Regional Projects program. The department will work closely with the Michigan Defense Center to develop a strategy for attracting key global defense and homeland security companies to the state. Specific activities will include:
- Developing a 60-second video aligned with the Pure Michigan campaign that showcases the state’s defense and homeland security industry as a tool for attracting new investment and jobs.
- Building a new website to highlight the strength of Michigan’s defense industry.
- Targeting and coordinating business attraction efforts through participation in selected trade shows.
- Facilitating activities centered on creating a robotics cluster.
- Coordinating two statewide “Michigan Values Veterans” events that will educate, inspire and motivate employers to strengthen or establish veteran-dedicated hiring programs.
“The first priority of the MEDC Michigan Defense Center is to retain and grow jobs in the defense industry," said MEDC Director Sean Carlson. “Macomb County is an important regional partner and we look forward to furthering our relationship through this project." The Michigan Defense Center is located at the Velocity Collaboration Center in Sterling Heights.