Greetings! We hope you enjoy our March 2018 Newsletter!
Raise Your Hand for a Stronger Michigan
Michigan has come along way since 2008 when we were stuck in a recession and at ground zero in the national economic downturn. To again become one of the Top 10 states in the nation, Business Leaders for Michigan wants all Michiganders and elected leaders to come together to focus on improving K-12 education, job training, making college more affordable, and strengthening the state’s infrastructure and fiscal stability.
Business Leaders for Michigan is an organization made up of top executives of the state’s largest companies. Last week, they unveiled its Plan for a Stronger Michigan, setting sights on maintaining and accelerating the state’s economic turnaround.

Highlights of the plan include strengthening the state’s fiscal stability by reducing state and local debt, and cost estimates for proposed legislation; improving K-12 education and job training; improving Michigan’s infrastructure; leveraging the state’s assets, especially by capitalizing on the automotive industry; and ensuring the state’s economic development efforts are creating results. 

While Michigan is doing better, we still need to seize this movement and shape an economy that ensures prosperity for all. To read more about this plan and get involved, visit BLM's Plan for a Stronger Michigan website.
Manufacturing is Not Dead
The Economic Modeling Statistics Institute (Emsi) is a labor market analytics firm that finds data about jobs and the economy. A report entitled "Manufacturing Is Not Dead" was recently released earlier this month by Dr. Yustina Saleh, Rob Sentz, and Meredith Metsker. We spent time reviewing this report and found it very worthwhile.

The knowledge of and skill requirements for manufacturing and production jobs today has drastically changed after decades of job loss and a struggling reputation.

These new manufacturing jobs require multi-functional engineering technicians that have traditional manufacturing and engineering skills, workers who can be on the factory floor and also be focused on improving the process of getting the job at hand done. Educators and employers need to work together to train this generation of workers.

The Emsi report highlights the following:
  • "Manufacturing has added nearly one million new jobs since the end of the recession. A growing share of these jobs require post secondary education.
  • Domestic manufacturing increasingly behaves like a high-tech industry in that it needs a smaller, specialized workforce.
  • Employers need workers who blend traditional production skills (machining, welding, fabrication technologies) with engineering skills (process improvement, quality assurance, design).
  • Workers who successfully blend these skills receive higher wages and, perhaps more importantly, can move up the career ladder in their companies or transition to other industries."

Production job postings from nearly 400,000 postings from 2017 were analyzed to determine the job skills that employers need. This analysis covered the United States and 3 individual states - Michigan, the traditional hub of manufacturing, California - for West Coast representation, and Tennessee (southeast) - an emerging region for manufacturing.

Conclusions of this report are very similar to what we are working towards in Monroe County ... the students, the parents, the educators, the employers .... all need to combine data, communicate, and partner together.

Read the full report here: Manufacturing Is Not Dead. Also, Emsi will be hosting a webinar on Tuesday, March 27, to discuss the report’s findings and methodology. If you would like to register, please click here .

Emsi provides high-quality labor market data and expert analysis to professionals in higher education, economic development, workforce development, commercial real estate, and talent acquisition. Since 2000, hundreds of institutions and employers across the US, UK, and Canada have used Emsi to align programs with regional needs, recruit and retain students, equip students with career visions, support local business activity, and hire the right talent.
Learn more at .

For more information about this report or Emsi data, contact Rob Sentz at .
Monroe County Link - Update
The Monroe County Link Plan was officially launched in January of this year. Since that time, Pillar Captains have conducted over 10 meetings with their teams. They are working on specific mission and vision statements along with prioritizing their action plans for the next 12 months.

The Monroe County Link Plan was financially supported by the Consumers Energy Foundation. This $200,000.00 donation, made to the BDC as the fiduciary of the Link Plan, was recognized at a ceremony held immediately following the Action Team Kick Off meeting.

As the mobilization of the Link Plan continues, John Patterson, President/CEO Monroe County Convention & Tourism, generously agreed to start a Facebook Page for the initiative. If you have not done so already, please like the page and feel free to add your own postings to those of the administers. You can find the page at .

Additional Pillar Team meetings are being held in March and the Team Captains will gather later this month to align the work they are doing with the overall Link Plan. Look to this newsletter and our social media channels for updates on the Link Plan activity and objectives.
And, there is more ...
> Our "Connect To Your Future Workforce" session to introduce MI Bright Future to Monroe County was attended by 18 businesses on March 1. MI Bright Future is a collaboration of regional intermediary school districts, post-secondary education, and workforce partners working to help students become better connected to the industries that will need them in the future. Using a web-based software, students are able to explore various industries by connecting with local companies offering work-based learning opportunities like job shadowing, internships and company tours.

Employers and community mentors can also interact with students through secure online discussion boards. Companies can nourish their talent pipeline by providing content, mentoring, or sharing valuable knowledge with local students.  Click here to view a list of additional options that can be customized especially for your business.

We are looking for Monroe County businesses to join the MI Bright Future community by creating a profile in the system as well as individuals who will consider serving as online career coaches to help high school students gain an understanding of the companies and careers available in Monroe County.

For more information, visit MI Bright Future's website. If you have questions, please contact  Carrie Bonofiglio, Business Partnerships Coordinator for MI Bright Future via the email link above or by calling 517-282-1246.

>> In early March, the Windsor-Detroit Bridge Authority (WDBA) announced that it has selected Parsons, Inc. of Markham, Ontario, as the Owner's Engineer for the Gordie Howe International Bridge project. In this role, Parsons will support WDBA by reviewing designs, providing technical advice and monitoring and overseeing the construction activities of the private-sector partner through inspections, compliance reviews and audits. Read more about WDBA's Owner's Engineer here.
>>> To Our Investors ... BDC's Annual Investors' Meeting is fast approaching. This year's event will be held at Tenneco on Wednesday, March 28. All investors should have received a few emails with registration details; if not, please contact LuAnn for assistance.

There are many things going on at Tenneco that will be changing their footprint in Monroe. Come hear about these changes, as well as updates on the BDC and Monroe County Link.
  Please feel free to contact us anytime!
Tim Lake  x101 |  LuAnn Hogberg x102