Greetings!We hope you enjoy our November 2017 Newsletter!
The Monroe County Link Plan
You may have heard something about the Monroe County Link Plan and wondered, what is that? The Plan, as we like to call it, is the result of the work we did with the I-75 Corridor Study. The Plan represents the 30+ Action Steps that have been identified through the study and the organization being created to move those steps to completion.

The Plan was highlighted at Monroe County Chamber of Commerce's Koffee Klub last week. This event was very well attended and was actually the first time the Plan was presented to the business community.

Tim Lake from Monroe County BDC, Doug Chaffin from Monroe Bank & Trust and BDC Chairman, and Michael Bosanac, County Administrator and CFO, presented an overview of the I-75 Corridor Study and then laid out the detailed highlights of the 5-year Plan.

The Plan, which was based on stakeholder input, a detailed market analysis and best practices will help us highlight Monroe County's competitive advantages for economic investment to grow commerce, employment opportunities and secure the highest and best use of available land, and to promote our geography, infrastructure, cost competitiveness and workforce as the backbone of our strengths.

The Plan consist of the 6 Pillars:
  • Plan for Investment
  • Enhance Local Image and Brand
  • Improve Workforce Development and Education
  • Grow Monroe as a Logistics Gateway
  • Improve the Local Quality of Life and Strengthen Tourism
  • Grow Strategically

Each Pillar has been assigned a Captain that will organize a team to implement the Actions. These teams will be meeting in early January for their first organizational meeting. They will be reviewing Action Steps and setting metrics for the goals.

A key part of the Plan are the Priority Development Areas (PDA) that have been identified along the corridor. In each of the PDA's, sites have been identified that are suitable for development with some may needing remediation and/or infrastructure improvements.

It should be noted that the Plan was not crafted in a vacuum. After reviewing a myriad of recent plans and studies, MDB Insights conducted a detailed market analysis to determine which industry sectors would be attracted to the corridor. The study showed that the highest and best use would be those companies in the logistics/supply chain sectors.

The Plan implementation is expected to cost over $540,000 spread over the 5-year period. "That does not include the in-kind services that will be put into the project," added Tim Lake. Those interested in contributing financially or assisting on one of the Action Pillar Teams may contact Tim at the BDC.

Please visit the Monroe County Link website to learn more and keep abreast of the progress.
Update on Gordie Howe International Bridge
This month, the Windsor-Detroit Bridge Authority (WDBA) posted a video highlighting the Canadian Port of Entry (POE) . Ongoing preparatory activities have significantly changed the landscape and they recently launched a drone to capture the latest changes.

Here are some facts about the bridge construction:
  • 3 Consultant teams are preparing proposals to build and operate the bridge; these teams are essentially a consortium of international companies who will submit proposals later this year with awards in 2018; construction will commence in late 2018
  • Once construction commences, it will take 4 years to complete
  • The U.S. POE will encompass 148 acres; the Canadian side will encompass 135 acres; all collections will take place on the Canadian side
  • 1 Million tons of gravel have been placed on the Canadian side and the freeway connection to Highway 401 is complete along with utility relocation
  • The bridge will have a life design expectancy of 125 years and will be 6 lanes (3 in each direction) with a bike/walking lane
  • Once completed, it will be one of the top 5 bridges in North America based on bridge span length from land to land
  • The bridge spires or supports will be 80-90 feet taller than the Detroit Renaissance Center ... and with these last two points, will make the bridge a tourist attraction

Did you know ...
  • Canada and the U.S. are the world’s largest trading partners at $782 billion annually; Michigan-Canadian trade is 18% of that or $140 billion
  • 9 Million U.S. jobs are supported by trade between the countries

For more information, visit the WDBA website.
BDC's New Board Member
We welcome Greg Thomas as the newest BDC Board Member! Greg is the Production Manager at Fluid Equipment Development Company (FEDCO) . He completed his Tool Maker Apprenticeship at Owens Community College while working at Ort Tool & Die, then completed a Master Certificate in Supply Chain & Operations Management at Michigan State University, College of Business in 2015. Greg has served for many years on Machine Trades Advisory committees for both Bedford and Monroe High School CTE programs, with a focus on developing skilled trades education that provide good paying jobs while also meeting the needs of local employers. 
Greg joined FEDCO in 2009 and has served in several roles while growing into his current position including Machinist, Production Planner, Manufacturing Support Supervisor, Project Manager, Purchasing Manager, and Production Manager. Greg has lead projects such as the Advanced Manufacturing initiatives allowing parts to be manufactured at FEDCO-USA at a lower cost than sourcing from China and ERP implementation that allows operations at FEDCO to run efficiently. “We can compete and WIN in a global market by leveraging people and technology.”

Tim Lake added, "Greg continues to show his commitment to the manufacturing industry through his volunteering on various advisory committees. We welcome his expertise to the Board of Directors as we work to grow good jobs and capital investment in Monroe County."

Greg stated, "I’m fortunate to work with the dynamic team at FEDCO where anything is possible, and look forward to contributing to the Monroe County BDC."
And there is more ...
> Labor Market Reports from Q2 2017 - The Workforce Intelligence Network of Southeast Michigan (WIN) recently released their 2017 Quarter 2 Reports covering the southeast Michigan. These reports identify top-demand jobs and posting trends for the quarter and compare these findings to other quarterly results from previous years. These reports include data on wages offered in job postings as well as in-demand degree levels, areas of study, skills, and years of experience. View reports here: WIN 2017 Quarter 2 Reports
>> To Our Investors & Friends,

We wanted to take a moment to thank you for your continuous support and loyalty to Monroe County and the BDC. We are grateful for you and your business.

We wish you and your family nothing but the best this Thanksgiving and holiday season!
Please feel free to contact us anytime!

Tim Lake (x101) | LuAnn Hogberg (x102)