Corporate Sponsors
 
 
 
 
MEDA Membership Newsletter
August 26th, 2019
 
 
 
 
Part 1 of "Winning the War Against Economic Development" Series


At our recent Spring Toolbox, we heard from Chris Lloyd, a site selector from McGuireWoods Consulting based in Richmond, Virginia, about the increasing politicization of economic development and how we, as economic development professionals, can overcome these trends. Titled “Winning the War Against Economic Development,” Chris provided a provocative, and humorous, view of the profession and how this tug of war for the hearts and minds of the people we serve can be won. Following up on that presentation, we have asked Chris to share with us overcoming issues some practical strategies about how to better educate your community about the importance of economic development.


“There you go again”


For those of you old enough to remember this famous phrase from Ronald Reagan during the 1984 presidential debates, you will find some similarity with the attitudes being shown towards economic development across the country. As unemployment drops to historic lows, traffic increases, housing becomes more expensive, and people are feeling relatively comfortable, the naysayers are again questioning why we need to make investments in economic development marketing, incentives, or even having a program at all. Several communities, including Austin, have recently announced moratoriums on future incentives, and elsewhere, budgets are being squeezed to shift resources to other priorities.


Even in good times, there is a need for economic development, but especially when one looks behind the “headline data” about low unemployment to realize the importance of making these strategic investments.


And in this economic boom cycle, these data hide some very disturbing facts that show our job as economic developers is as important as ever.


While companies are creating jobs, one of the little known reasons that unemployment continues to decline is that we have seen, over the past two decades, an astonishing reduction in the number of people in the labor force. Today in Michigan, the labor force participation rate is 61.9%. On the eve of the Great Recession, it was 64.1%. At the height of the dot-com boom in 2000, it was 69%. That means there are tens of thousands of people who have just stopped looking for work. They’re either discouraged or feel that they don’t have the skills to compete in the 21st-century economy. And that doesn’t even count those people who are underemployed – new college graduates working in jobs not needing those skills or people who feel trapped in existing jobs and unable to move up the economic ladder.


Additionally, many states, Michigan included, while seeing new jobs created, are finding that those new jobs pay a lot less than the jobs lost during the last recession. Unemployment statistics don’t distinguish between high paying jobs and lower-paying jobs, but that difference shows up in consumer spending, government revenues, and other economic impacts.


Economic development, when practiced right, works to correct these challenges. Our job is not just about creating jobs – it’s about raising standards of living. It’s about improving quality of life. And it’s about bringing people into the workforce so they can fully participate as citizens in our society.


So the next time you hear people seeking to roll back economic development, remember these facts and how the job of economic development is never done.

 
 
 
 
MEDA and Economic Development News
 
 
 
 
Top Headlines
 
 
 
 
MEDA Welcomes the Following New Members
 
 
 
 
New Members

Paul Brohman, Business Account Manager, Kinexus

Mary DiVirgilio, Business Development Representative, Lake Superior Community Partnership

Frank Goodroe, City Manager, City of West Branch

Jeff Hannan, Business Development Manager, Kinexus

Kristy Jones, Director, Business and Community Development, Economic Development Alliance of St. Clair County

Jason Kester, Ohio Valley Regional Development Director, Agracel, Inc.

Marisa Kuhn, Business Development Coordinator, Detroit Regional Partnership

Connie Loh, Business Development Manager, Detroit Regional Partnership

Mark O'Reilly, Business Account Manager, Kinexus

Thomas St. Dennis, Attorney - 8F Alliance, Inc., Little River Band of Ottawa Indians

Griffin Wagner, Director of Business Development, Grow Michigan

Bonnie Wessler, AICP, City Planner, Community Development Division, City of Ypsilanti
 
 
 
 
Legislative Update
 
 
 
 
New/Recently Updated Legislation

SB 0432 of 2019
This bill would amend the Michigan Strategic Fund Act by amending section 74 to allow personal property that is leased, owned, or used, or real property that is leased, subleased, or owned, by a nonprofit research and development enterprise that receives financial benefit or support under this act, to retain its tax-exempt status. 
Last Action: 8/20/2019 REFERRED TO COMMITTEE ON ECONOMIC AND SMALL BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT

 
 
 
 
MEDA Committee Meetings
 
 
 
 
Upcoming Meetings

September 4th - 2:30 - 4:00 p.m.
Education Committee
MEDC HQ, Lansing

September 30th - 1:00 - 4:00 p.m.
2020 Annual Meeting Committee
Grand Traverse Resort and Spa, Traverse City

Committee Participation FYIs
  • All in-person meetings have a call-in option.
  • If you join a committee, we'll send a calendar notice with everything you need.
  • You can request minutes from previous meetings to get caught up.
  • You are welcome to sit in on meetings to see if a committee is right for you.
If you are interested in serving on a committee, contact Cassandra at cjorae@medaweb.org or 517-241-0011.
 
 
 
 
Real Estate Finance Course, October 21 - 25th, Lansing
 
 
 
 
Real Estate Finance Course Coming in October

This course offers a step-by-step look at the real estate development process from the perspective of lenders, developers and investors. Participants analyze economic development real estate projects—retail, office, mixed-use—using the rates of return required by lenders, developers and investors, and determine the appropriate amount of public sector financing needed to make projects feasible. Public sector financing tools and techniques, including tax credits, designed to attract, leverage and complement private financing, are utilized to maximize equity while minimizing the amount of public investment.

This Course is part of an Economic Development Finance Professional (EDFP) series that MEDA is currently hosting in partnership with the National Development Council (NDC), however
  • There are no prerequisites for this course
  • You do not have to be in pursuit of your EDFP to attend this course
  • Anyone with interest can attend this course
Visit www.medaweb.org/realestatefinance today for dates, location, cost, registration, etc.
 
 
 
 
MEDA Events Calendar
 
 
 
 
2019 Events

Open for Registration
Radisson Hotel, Lansing

Open for Registration
October 21st – 25th
Radisson Hotel, Lansing

November 21st
Crowne Plaza Lansing West, Lansing

2020 Events

Open for Registration
January 27th – 31st
Radisson Hotel, Lansing

Other Events

Your event could go here. See below.

Partner with MEDA to Promote Your Event
If you would like to promote your event with MEDA, contact cjorae@medaweb.org.
 
 
 
 
Economic Development Position Openings
 
 
 
 

1. Business Development Manager – Economic Development Department – Wayne County, MI


Purpose/Description
The Business Development (BD) Manager works with within the BD team to support current Wayne County businesses (retention and expansion) and to attract investment into the County from external businesses. The Manager acts as a project consultant to businesses in order to coordinate available County assistance and to perform advocacy functions for these businesses.


Education

  • A Bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university with a major in Business Administration, Urban Planning, Economics, Public Administration, General Studies, or a closely related field.
  • Master’s degree preferred


Experience

  • Have at least three (3) years of full-time professional work experience in economic development or a closely related field; direct workforce development and small business assistance preferred


Salary:  Compensation is commensurate with relevant skills, education, and experience.


Tasks

  • Develops and maintains contact with area businesses and other interested groups in order to gather and disseminate pertinent information regarding business needs and economic development services
  • Provides consultation, support and technical assistance to any business contemplating investment and growth in the County by linking them to and assisting them with the utilization of appropriate local, regional, state and federal resources and programs 
  • Lend specific expertise to address workforce development needs and to assist with small business development and support
  • Develops leads and prospects by direct research and by working with trade associations, chambers of commerce, local communities, business services providers and local, regional and state development agencies
  • Participates in trade shows, trade missions, industry meetings and calling programs to generate leads and prospects
  • Performs follow up via written communication and personal visits to companies on a regular basis in order to provide continual and high-quality assistance. Tracks, monitors, and records company needs and services provided to them. Maintains a complete record of all company-related activity and interactions
  • Participates in special projects and target market initiatives
  • Conducts personal visits to local groups, communities, and businesses to identify their needs and provide information regarding available local, regional, state and federal economic development resources and programs
  • Provides technical assistance to local communities to begin or strengthen community-based economic development initiatives


Click here to view full job description and to apply

 
 
 
 
 

2. Division Director – Economic Development Department – Wayne County, MI


Purpose/Description
Under the leadership of the Assistant County Executive, the Economic Development Division Director supervises the work of a growing staff working on economic development, business development, and community development projects. The Division Director approves annual project goals and develops resources and plans to meet these goals. The Director is responsible for the division budget, and for the development and implementation of new economic development initiatives, special projects, and target market initiatives as requested by the County Executive, Assistant County Executive, and other senior staff. The Director also coordinates and, in some cases, oversees activities of component units of the County, including the WC Brownfield Redevelopment Authority, the Stadium Authority, the WC Economic Development Corporation, and others as needed. The Director may also represent Wayne County as a speaker at events and participates in regional and statewide economic development committees, taskforces, and boards. Additionally, the Director will oversee and provide training and guidance to professional-level staff in the Economic Development Division.


Education

  • A Bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university with a major in Business Administration, Urban Planning, Economics, Public Administration, General Studies, or a closely related field.
  • Master’s degree preferred


Experience

  • Have at least five (5) years of full-time professional work experience in the public, non-profit, or private sector in economic development, or a closely related area
  • Have at least three years of supervisory experience, preferably with teams of five or more


Salary:  Compensation is commensurate with relevant skills, education, and experience.


Tasks

  • Supervises the work of professional, technical and clerical staff in the Economic Development Division to ensure that goals are set and met, staff turnover is minimal, and Division reputation is second to none
  • Responsible for the development of annual project goals, target market plans, strategies and objectives for the Economic Development Division and the methods used to accomplish these goals
  • Prepares and manages the annual budget for the programs, projects, and activities of the department
  • Develops and implements new major economic development initiatives
  • Responsible for overseeing the successful attraction and retention of major national and international firms in the County
  • Conducts personal visits to local groups, communities, and businesses to identify their needs and provide information regarding available local, regional, state and federal economic development resources and programs
  • Represents Wayne County as a speaker at events and participates in regional and state-wide economic development committees, taskforces and boards.
  • Oversees and provides training and guidance to professional-level staff in the business development group. 
  • Cooperates with, and is knowledgeable of, the various business services of other development agencies and supports these activities to the extent possible
  • Conducts personal visits to local groups, communities, and businesses to identify their needs and provide information regarding available local, regional, state and federal economic development resources and programs
  • Participates in state and national professional associations related to economic development to remain abreast of key issues and economic development strategies


Click here to view full job description and to apply

 
 
 
 
 
3. Business Development Manager - The Right Place, Inc.

We are looking for an ambitious and energetic Business Development Manager who will serve as an advocate for businesses. This individual will represent The Right Place to businesses located in Kent County and prospective ones interested in moving to West Michigan. You will provide resources, services, and support to attract, grow, and retain businesses within the region.

As a Business Development Manager, you will:
  • Meet with companies – understanding their business and addressing interests, issues, and needs
  • Serve as a business liaison – providing companies with site selection information and access to municipal resources
  • Establish relationships with commercial and industrial realtors and brokers
  • Maintain key client information and prepare reports on business retention, expansion, and attraction
  • Identify and attend conferences and trade shows that align with the organization’s target industries and business expansion strategies
  • Participate in professional associations related to economic development and assume leadership roles in advocacy groups
  • Represent the organization at community functions, community boards, seminars, and forums
To excel in this role, you should:
  • Hold a bachelor’s degree in Public Administration, Business Management, or Marketing (master’s preferred)
  • Have at least 3 years of solid experience in business development or economic development
  • Have strong communication and interpersonal skills and effective presentation and public speaking skills
  • Be proficient in Microsoft Office applications and CRM software (Salesforce a plus)
  • Think and work strategically – seeing the bigger picture and carrying out necessary planning to implement operational changes
  • Be confident and proactive – flourishing with minimal guidance and handling uncertainty without requiring specific direction
  • Possess a high degree of credibility, initiative, and an outgoing and helpful personality
What we offer:
  • Opportunity to make a positive impact on the economic health of West Michigan
  • Opportunity to collaborate with the best and brightest business minds
 
 
 
 
 
4. Community and Economic Development Director - Charter Township of Union

Population: 13,800


Compensation: $65.5k to $72k based on experience


Closing Date: Open until filled


To Apply: Full Detailed information can be found on the Charter Township of Union website http://www.uniontownshipmi.com/Departments/HumanResources/EmploymentOpportunities.aspx. Please submit a cover letter, resume, and application to mstuhldreher@uniontownshipmi.com


Description:

Under the general direction of the Township Manager, this department head position is responsible for all Community and Economic Development operations for the Township. As Director, the employee is responsible for overall direction and management of the department and performs professional and administrative work in planning, reviewing, organizing and coordinating development activities. This position also oversees building official, rental inspection and code enforcement activities and supports the local Planning Commission, Zoning Board of Appeals and the Economic Development Authority.

 
 
 
 
 
5. Planning Analyst 9-12/Planning Specialist 13 (RRC Planner) - Michigan Economic Development Corporation

The Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC) is conducting an internal/external recruitment process to fill the following state vacancy:

Job Title and Level: Planning Analyst 9-12/Planning Specialist 13 (RRC Planner)

City/County: Lansing/Ingham

Type of Employment: Full-Time

Pay Grade and Annual Salary: $20.62 - $38.07 per hour

Brief Job Description:
The Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC) offers the Redevelopment Ready Communities® (RRC) program to municipalities across the state. RRC is a voluntary, no-cost certification program promoting effective redevelopment strategies through a set of best practices. The program measures and then certifies communities that integrate transparency, predictability, and efficiency into their daily development practices. The MEDC is seeking to fill a Planner with the RRC program.

This position provides planning and zoning technical expertise to communities across the state in the Redevelopment Ready Communities (RRC) program. The position ensures that technical assistance decisions follow budgetary guidelines, fit the RRC Best Practice criteria, meet community needs and expectations, and includes regular communications with the selected technical assistance providers. This position reviews planning, zoning, and development documents and provides direct technical assistance in order to make recommendations and move communities forward to achieve RRC certification.


Business Unit: Community Development; Technical Assistance Programs

Supervisor: Michelle Parkkonen, Director of Technical Assistance Programs

Minimum Education Required:
Possession of a bachelor’s degree with at least 21 semester (32 term) credits in one or a combination of the following: city planning, urban planning, recreational planning, natural resources planning, or regional planning.

Minimum Experience Required:
Planning Analyst 9: No specific type or amount is required.

Planning Analyst 10: One year of professional experience providing data through the systematic planning and development of projects and studies in such areas as community development, natural resources, recreational sites, urbanization, emergency preparedness, or land development equivalent to a Planning Analyst 9.

Planning Analyst P11: Two years of professional experience providing data through the systematic planning and development of projects and studies in such areas as community development, natural resources, recreational sites, urbanization, emergency preparedness, or land development equivalent to a Planning Analyst, including one year equivalent to a Planning Analyst 10.

Planning Analyst 12: Three years of professional experience providing data through the systematic planning and development of projects and studies in such areas as community development, natural resources, recreational sites, urbanization, emergency preparedness, or land development equivalent to a Planning Analyst, including one year equivalent to a Planning Analyst P11.

Planning Specialist 13: Four years of professional experience providing data through the systematic planning and development of projects and studies in such areas as community development, natural resources, recreational sites, urbanization, emergency preparedness, or land development equivalent to a Planning Analyst, including two years equivalent to a Planning Analyst P11 or one year equivalent to a Planning Analyst 12.

The preferred candidate will have 3 to 5 years of experience working on planning projects, including master/comprehensive plan updates, zoning code updates, and design guidelines; have the ability to understand planning, zoning and placemaking principles and practices; and will be familiar with local government planning and development operations and procedures. AICP certification is preferred.

How to Apply:
If you believe that your qualifications meet the listed requirements and are interested in joining our team, please click on the link below and follow the NEOGOV instructions.


When applying, please document in your cover letter and/or resume how you meet the required experience listed above. In addition, please include a technical writing sample; a document you have previously written related to planning, zoning, community engagement or economic development.

Deadline for Response: Aug. 28, 2019
 
 
 
 
 
MEDA, P.O. Box 15096, Lansing, MI 48901-5096
 
 
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