Monday, November 22, 2010

Southeast Michigan groups agree to joint effort on economic development

By Marti Benedetti

Southeast Michigan’s most powerful economic development organizations have agreed to work together in a new way to attract and grow local business.

The development groups that signed a letter of intent to collaborate include Ann Arbor SPARK, Detroit Economic Growth Development Corp., Michigan Economic Development Corp. and Macomb, Oakland and Wayne counties.

The action came at a Detroit Regional Chamber meeting last Friday.

“In order for the Detroit region to be vibrant, we must have a shared, collaborative and transparent approach to economic development,” said Trevor Lauer, chair of the chamber’s Detroit Regional Economic Partnership and DTE Energy’s vice president of marketing and renewables.

“As a result of this agreement, we will now work together on several key aspects of economic development strategy,” Lauer said.

“What I learned as the head of the U.S. Economic Development Administration is when government leaders of a region collaborate well together, those regions are significantly more successful,” said Detroit Regional Chamber President and CEO Sandy Baruah.

According to the letter, the groups will work together on a number of issues:

• Strategy development, shared regional marketing materials and messaging.

• Targeting international and domestic business investment missions.

• Developing and sharing investment leads.

• Participating at trade shows.

• Working with corporate CEOs and university leadership for the economic benefit of the region.

• And implementing a unified approach to working with state government leaders.

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