Greetings! We hope you enjoy our October 2018 Newsletter!
Monroe County's Lead Economic Development Organization geared up with a growth strategy for the 21st Century ...
Monroe County Manufacturing Day 2018
Multiple manufacturers across the region opened their doors simultaneously to celebrate National Manufacturing Day (MFG Day) on Oct. 5. The events were part of an effort to change perceptions about today’s manufacturing environment and draw attention to the outstanding opportunities that a career in manufacturing can provide. 
The Monroe County Intermediate School District (MCISD) and the Monroe County BDC (BDC) coordinated Monroe County’s efforts in a region-wide initiative of exposing middle and high school students to local manufacturing career opportunities. 

In Monroe County, we had eighteen manufacturers participate: Accuworx, Automatic Handling, Backyard Products, Baker's Gas & Welding Supplies, FCA's Dundee Engine Plant, Fluid Equipment Design Company (Fedco), Gerdau, Hanwha, Midway Products Group, Milan Metal Systems, Monroe Rubber & Plastics, MTS Seating, Premier Industries, ProService Machine, Rolled Alloys, Spiratex, TWB Company and Ventower Industries.

“We appreciate our manufacturing community taking the time from their business schedules to open their doors to our students,” said Tim Lake, BDC's President and CEO. “Allowing students to tour and ask questions about various careers associated within the advanced manufacturing environment of today is extremely helpful as they explore career options,” Lake continued. 

Schools from all nine districts participated which included Airport Community Schools, Bedford Public Schools, Dundee Community Schools, Ida Public Schools, Jefferson Schools, Mason Consolidated Schools, Monroe Public Schools, Summerfield Schools and Whiteford Agricultural Schools. We had a total of approximately 300 students participate.

Manufacturing Day is a national event executed at the local level with the support of thousands of manufacturers as they host students, teachers, parents, job seekers and other local community members at open houses, plant tours and presentations designed to showcase modern manufacturing technology and careers. To learn more about this national event,  click here .
Attend Our Fall Event - Focus on The Future
T he BDC will be co-hosting this year's event with Monroe County Community College (MCCC) on Tuesday, October 30, from 5:30 to 7:30 pm at MCCC's La-Z-Boy Center. We look forward to you joining us!

Thomas Kelly from Automation Alley is our keynote speaker and will present on Industry 4.0 and how this technology can be a lot less complex than it sounds. Industry 4.0 is not just another buzz term and businesses that have embraced it are seeing consistent and significant improvements in productivity, quality, product purchasing costs and manufacturing costs.

We will also be sharing news from the BDC and the new happenings at MCCC that you will not want to miss!

Attend Focus On The Future on October 30! Learn more about how Industry 4.0 impacts work and organizations, a framework to understand digital disruption and its impact on business models, what manufacturers should focus on, and learn about opportunities available to assist you. 

Hurry and register because it will be here before you know it ... click the button below!
BDC's New Staff Member
Join us in welcoming Matthew R. Vanisacker, BDC's newly appointed Vice President, Business Development.

Matt comes to the BDC after serving as the Director of Constituent Relations for Senator Dale W. Zorn. Prior to joining the Senator’s staff, Matt held internships with the Hershey Company and Floral City Beverage in Monroe. He graduated in May of 2017 from Hillsdale College with his bachelor’s degree in Marketing Management and is an alum of St. Mary Catholic Central High School.

Matt commented, “I am extremely excited to serve Monroe County and our stakeholders by assisting in retention and growth initiatives throughout our area. As a lifelong resident of the community, I look forward to being a proactive contributor to its continued growth and success.”

“We are pleased and excited to have Matt on board at the Monroe County BDC. We feel his prior expertise and love for Monroe County will provide a solid foundation for work with our manufacturers and partners,” stated Tim Lake, President and CEO of Monroe County BDC. “With the Monroe County Link initiative in full force and other similar projects taking off, we are confident in his ability to lead and add value to our mission and vision for our community,” continued Lake. 
Having a Problem with Turnover? Michigan Works! is here to help!
What is this new program you speak of?
$3,500 ... That is the estimated cost that a company takes on each time an employee leaves. There are many processes that factor into this dollar figure including: interviewing, onboarding, training and an overall decrease in productivity. You have probably encountered this issue in the past but the Michigan Works! Monroe Service Center as a contractor of the Southeast Michigan Community Alliance (SEMCA) is here to help! Michigan Works! has created a new strategy designed to increase retention & productivity in the work place called the Business Resource Network. The Business Resource Network will consist of 6-10 employers in Monroe County who will pay annual membership dues to have an employee success coach onsite.

How It Works:
Each participating employer will create a collective Business Resource Network (BRN) with Michigan Works. The employer will receive a success coach that will have dedicated hours onsite at each network member company and will be available via email, text or call the remainder of the week. The success coach will connect employees to various company, public and nonprofit resources for their success. The coaches will serve as an asset to HR as they can assist in trainings and attendance/performance issues. The success coach will also provide updates to the BRN board on a regular basis to report metrics and share challenges to retention and advancement.

Why should I try this?
Now, I know this all sounds well and good but does the program produce successful results? Business Resource Networks have been set up in multiple parts of the state and have already produced some incredible results:
In addition to the return on investment, members also saw decreases in employee absenteeism and increases in work productivity and overall job satisfaction. 

If you are interested in participating, please contact Matt Vanisacker at the BDC (734-241-8081 x103) or Steve Mihalec at Michigan Work! - Monroe Service Center (734-240-7961) for more information.
A few more things to think about ...
> The Port of Monroe was featured in the most recent edition of Great Lakes/Seaway Review . Please click on the photo and go to page 35. This is a great article that speaks to the important role the Port of Monroe has to our local economy and future growth. Also, note the Monroe County Link ad on page 37!
>> Financial Support for Manufacturers and Businesses - To assist in the development of small businesses in Monroe County, the Matching Fund Program was created to provide gap and seed funding assistance for companies. Tim Lake, stated, "by nurturing new companies and those in growth mode, this program will assist with both capital formation and job creation within Monroe County." The application process is open! Please visit to find out more about this funding opportunity. And, spread the word ... these funds are available to help Monroe County manufacturers and businesses.
>>> On October 5, Windsor-Detroit Bridge Authority (WDBA) and Bridging North America celebrated the official start of construction on the Gordie Howe International Bridge project. The $5.7 billion project includes the Canadian and US Ports of Entry, the bridge and the Michigan Interchange. It will be constructed over 74 months and open to traffic by the end of 2024.

With an 853-metre clear span between the two towers, the structure will be the longest cable-stayed bridge in North America and the seventh longest in the world. It will also set the record for longest composite steel and concrete cable-stayed bridge deck in the world. Rivaling the height of the GM Renaissance Center in Detroit, the bridge will be an impressive addition to Windsor’s and Detroit’s skylines.
  Please feel free to contact us anytime!

(734) 241-8081