It all started with a study ...
It all started with a study of Monroe County's I-75 corridor and the headlines for a new Windsor-Detroit bridge, and then a plan ... The Monroe County Link Plan, a strategy to guide future economic development for our community.
This plan identifies industries Monroe County should attract to the corridor, action steps that will entice companies to locate/relocate, and specific development areas that will appeal to various industries. Additionally and critical to this plan is a commitment to improving the quality of life and strengthening the image and brand of the County.
Michael Bosanac, Monroe County Administrator, said, "this is a focused effort to bring economic development into Monroe County," and "we want to make Monroe County the right place to do business."
At the November 2017 Board of Directors' meeting, the Monroe County Business Development Corporation (BDC) Board approved the implementation of the Monroe County Link Plan.
An organizational meeting led by Aaron Domini, Partner of OHM Advisors in Columbus, Ohio, brought together the original Management Team and the newly designated Team Captains.
The Monroe County Link Action Team Kickoff Meeting took place on January 12, 2018, which included Team Captains and their selected Team members. This meeting could not have been more successful!
There are 6 Pillars that look at specific actions that are led by captains and their teams. Aaron Domini led the MCL Action Team in a workshop where groups outlined goals and the hurdles to achieving those goals. There was so much engagement and energy on each team that is was, and still is, remarkable to watch.
Meet The Team Captains
We have assembled a fantastic group of Team Captains to lead their chosen Action Teams for each of the Pillars. These leaders have demonstrated they are persons of action and are working diligently to lead Action Teams to complete the action steps defined in the Plan.
The Team Captains are as follows:
Prepare For Investment
Barry Buschmann, Mannik & Smith Group
Paul Pirrone, Bedford Township
Enhance Local Image and Brand
Michael Bosanac, County of Monroe
Grow Monroe as a Logistic Gateway
Paul Pirrone, Bedford Township
Improve the Local Quality of Life & Strengthen Tourism Opportunities
Doug Chaffin, Monroe Bank & Trust/BDC Board Chairman
Improve Workforce Development & Education
Dr. Stephen McNew, Monroe County Intermediate School District & Gregory Pitoniak, SEMCA
The Monroe County Link Plan has been designed as a 5-year plan. As you read through the Action Steps, you will see that while some may be readily achievable, others will take time and coordination with multiple stakeholders. Although the Plan and its 6-Pillars and related Action Steps will take time to complete, the Management Team believes the effort expended will pay dividends over time.
What is The Cost?
A plan of this magnitude will not come without a cost. We expect to log many volunteer hours from the work of the Action Teams. Cold hard cash will be necessary to complete the plan. The BDC, who has oversight on the Plan and its implementation, will need to employ additional staff and there will be meeting costs along with marketing costs.
The Monroe County BDC has began applying for grants and are seeking support from both governmental units as well as the business community. We are happy to report that we have received our first grant from Consumers Energy Foundation (see below).
If you and/or your organization are willing to support the Monroe County Link Plan, please contact the BDC for further details.
You may view the proposed Monroe County Link budget projections below in the Downloadable Files section.
Grant Award - Consumers Energy Foundation
The Consumers Energy Foundation donated a $200,000 grant to Monroe County BDC for the Monroe County Link Plan at a ceremony at Monroe Bank & Trust on January 12, 2018.
Tim Lake said, "This money will fund a portion of the 5-year plan which is expected to cost about $550,000. Michael Bosanac, Monroe County Administrator, added, "the funding is essential to implementing the plan."
Carolyn Bloodworth, Secretary & Treasurer for the Consumers Energy Foundation, talked about how the opportunity to help the community thrilled Consumers Energy as they work to make an impact on those areas they serve. Carolyn said, "we are keeping our commitment to the community we serve."
"We are especially thankful for Consumers Energy and their Foundation for the support they have provided Monroe County," stated Tim Lake. He continued, "Without their leadership, guidance and financial support we would certainly not be able to embark on the Monroe County Link Plan."
Monroe County Michigan Study
The strengths of Monroe County's economy lie in its geography and infrastructure. In 2016, a study of the I-75 Corridor was conducted to determine the amount of development property along the corridor and markets that are most suitable for taking advantage of the corridors' attributes. The study has identified 8 Priority Development Areas that may be advantageous for a variety of businesses and industry. Please see the downloads page below for the multiple reports generated from the study.
Market Conditions & Opportunites
Monroe County is the anchor of a region that has geographic and infrastructure advantages for the logistic sector. The county has 26 qualified individuals for every open logistics job.
Quality Living at an Affordable Price
For the very reason Monroe County is a great place for business and industry, it is also a great place to live. With its small town atmosphere and close proximity to both Detroit and Toledo, Ohio, there is always something to do!