April 2021 Newsletter
Monroe County's Lead Economic Development Organization geared up with a growth strategy for the 21st Century …
What exactly is Industry 4.0? How does it apply to my business? In Late 2020 when the BDC staff met to go over our goals for 2021, increasing the overall awareness of Industry 4.0 was one of them. Why?

In short, Industry 4.0 is the main buzz word to describe the 4th Industrial Revolution which we are beginning to experience. It is a new approach that combines traditional manufacturing processes with technology. This technology includes things like the Internet of Things (IOT), Industrial Internet of Things (IIOT), and Artificial Intelligence (AI) with the goal of improving automation. This is achieved by utilizing data in real-time to assist in decision making. A factory utilizing Industry 4.0 technology has been styled as a "smart factory". In a smart factory, every machine is communicating to predict changes and maintenance issues allowing a company to quickly adjust and innovate more quickly.

If we have learned anything from the 3 prior Industrial Revolutions, it is that late adopters and those refusing to adapt do not always survive. According to Economic Modeling Information (EMSI), Manufacturing is the second largest industry in both jobs and gross regional product in Monroe County. As heavily leveraged as we are in Manufacturing, if we do not begin to take steps toward Industry 4.0, we put our community at risk.

If you work in Manufacturing, Transportation, Distribution or logistics or even if you are curious to learn more, we have some upcoming events just for you. These events are being put on in partnership with the Michigan Manufacturing Technology Center (The Center) through a grant from the Michigan Economic Development Corporation. We hope to see you there!
Webinar: "How we can prepare for Industry 4.0"

Date: 4/28/2021
Time: 9 to 10 am
Location: Zoom Webinar
Industry 4.0 Road Show:
Monroe County

Date: 5/18/2021
Time: 1 to 3 pm
Location: Mall of Monroe
Monroe County Brand Use & MICorner Online Store
Now that the word is starting to get around about the new Monroe County Brand, we wanted to make sure you are up to date. The Brand is more than a few logos and a tagline. It is a marketing tool for our businesses and municipalities to showcase themselves as part of the collective "we". The Brand belongs to all of us. Some uses may be used to raise awareness of each business or community. The overall goal is to increase the visibility and perception of Monroe County, while promoting your organization!
Members of the brand creation team recently presented at the Chamber of Commerce Koffee Klub. At the event, they discussed several different ways that both you personally and your business can interact and showcase your Monroe County pride. So, how do you get started?

  • Visit Michcornerstone.com and click "Join Us". This will take you to some options that are available for you to get involved.
  • Click "Request Brand Logo Files" and fill out the form to gain access to the shared logo folder. You will then see just how many possibilities exist for incorporating the Monroe County Brand into your marketing strategy.
  • Once you have access to the folder, please take time to read the Brand Standards + Style Guide to see how you can incorporate the Brand into your already existing color schemes.
  • Visit the #MICorner Online Store and live the brand. The store is open every other month for a week long period and will be opening again the first week of June with some new products.
  • Use your imagination to determine where co-branding may be an option and used in your day-to-day operations.
  • Make suggestions about what you would like to see offered in the MICorner Online Store. We welcome your thoughts, questions, and are always happy to help; send an email to MICorner@michcornerstone.com.
As you will see, it is incredibly easy to utilize the Monroe County Brand. Take it, run with it, and let your marketing creativity soar as, together, we tell the story of Monroe County!
Monroe County Highlights by Florence Buchanan

The Monroe County Link Plan Pillar Teams have been busy with activity this past month. Please find below the March highlights:

The Prepare for Investment, the Grow Strategically (recently rebranded to Launch 734), the Quality of Life and Tourism and a joint meeting of the Image/Brand and Quality of Life and Tourism pillars all met virtually.

The following Goals for 2021 were established:

  1. Prepare for Investment Pillar — (a) focused on increasing outreach to local community governments, and (b) continued to evaluate current and identify new Priority Development Areas.
  2. Launch 734 Pillar — Launched a business development whose mission is to enhance opportunities to grow and sustain diverse sectors of small-medium enterprises, including both start-ups and grow-ups throughout Monroe County.
  3. Quality of Life and Tourism Pillar — Implemented studies for Housing and Quality of Life/Tourism. 
  4. Combining Image/Brand and the Quality of Life/Tourism pillars — Going forward in the coming weeks, a new pillar team will be formed that will focus more on leadership strategies with the purpose of developing Monroe County as a tourism destination, sustaining the county-wide brand and enhancing the quality of life for all residents. More information to follow.

If you would like to learn more or get involved in the Monroe County Link Plan, please contact the Project Manager, Florence Buchanan, via email or by phone at (419) 654-1934. You may also visit the Monroe County Link website!
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