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Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Michigan #1 in New Manufacturing Job Creation

Below is a report from the Michigan Economic Deveopment Corporation:


Michigan #1 in USA for creating new manufacturing jobs

America’s Comeback State leads the country in new manufacturing job creation at a net gain of 88,100 from December 2009 to March 2013, according to data by the National Association of Manufacturers. Michigan’s gain, 2.9 times the top 20 states' average, outpaced that of 2nd-place Texas by more than 50 percent.

“This embodies what Michigan is all about—we discover and make things better than anyone else,” said Michigan Economic Development Corporation President and CEO Michael A. Finney. “We have reinvented our business climate under Governor Snyder with swift and wide-ranging reforms, and these improvements are driving growth for manufacturers in diverse sectors like automotive, defense, food processing, furniture, medical devices and pharmaceuticals.”  
Local note: Many new manufacturing jobs have been created in Rogers City as part of the Port Calcite Collaborative initiative.  Go Michigan!  Go Rogers City!

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Michigan Small Business Confidence Grows, According to CBS News Report

Below is a selection from an article published in CBS NEWS by Matt Rousch:

LANSING — The latest Michigan Future Business Index survey of small and midsize business leaders shows unequalled confidence in the state’s business economy and a rekindled desire to reinvest in their own future.
Business owners said they have seen added growth in their businesses over the past six months and now plan to make investments in their workforce through increased wages and training.
“The Michigan Future Business Index surveys continue to show increasing evidence that Michigan’s business climate is improving,” said Mike Britt, president of Accident Fund Insurance Co. of America, which sponsors the survey. “Accident Fund’s customer base is primarily comprised of small- and mid-size businesses, so we are happy to see Michigan businesses continue to grow and prosper. A healthy business climate in Michigan is good for everyone.”
The previous Michigan Future Business Index survey, conducted in October 2012, showed indications of moderated optimism among businesses that had been incrementally building since 2010. The survey pointed to setbacks in the national economy, the fear of the then-looming fiscal cliff, and the uncertainty of the then-unrealized presidential election as reasons for the pullback. With most of those concerns now in the rearview mirror, optimism appears to have picked up again.

Blog note: Rogers City has experienced significant new investments worth many millions of dollars this past year.  Both small and medium size businesses in our community are participating in the economic revival.  Now is a great time to invest in the future.  Many viable business opportunities are available. Some property is still priced very affordably.  For example, I am aware of one small retail shop in the downtown that is available for a purchase price of less that $40,000.  Any man or woman who wanted to start their own small buasiness could hardly do better than this location to get started and not be tied to lease payments.  I'm sure these great opportunities will not be available for very much longer.

Monday, June 17, 2013

Local Partners Expanding Business

Here is a press release from Moran Iron Works (MIW), telling about how MIW is using the Pure Michigan Business Connect program:  
Moran Iron Works Joins Pure Michigan Business Connect


For Immediate Release – June 17, 2013 Onaway, Michigan: Moran Iron Works (MIW) has a long history of commitment to Michigan, and most specifically Northeast Michigan, through its purchasing policy of “buy and use local services when possible”. As a Pure Michigan Business Connect partner with the Michigan Economic Development Corporation, there is additional opportunity for Moran Iron Works to continue its dedication to enrich the lives of our state’s citizens and boost Michigan companies.

Pure Michigan Business Connect is an MEDC initiative connecting in-state companies to business resources, including large buyers such as MIW. Companies can find new ways to raise capital; get access to professional business services at little or no cost; connect with each other through a new business-to-business network; and identify potential supplier opportunities, while developing resources to improve their supply chains.

“Moran Iron Works is a great example of how Pure Michigan Business Connect provides a multi-faceted network of opportunities for Michigan businesses,” said MEDC President and CEO Michael A. Finney. ““We are pleased to welcome Moran to the growing roster of companies lending their expertise to Pure Michigan Business Connect.”

Moran Iron Works spent approximately $6 million last year, in-state, on products ranging from business cards to steel products. Recent examples include our largest purchase order for steel products from ALRO Steel, a Jackson, Michigan company.


“We are impressed with the level of impact that the PMBC program has had on our growth. The direct result has been more jobs and opportunities for one of the largest workforces in Northeast Michigan, states Tom Moran, Moran Iron Works President and CEO. “We are committed to growth and investment in Michigan. We all benefit and build better networks with the PMBC program and in turn, we are able to create better places to work and live for the people in Northeast Michigan.”

MIW is a national leader in custom steel fabrication for the power industry. The company has its corporate headquarters and largest manufacturing facility in Onaway, Michigan and also operates a manufacturing facility in Cheboygan, Michigan and a port and fabrication facility in Rogers City, Michigan.

Register for Pure Michigan Business Connect at:www.puremichiganb2b.com. For information on Pure Michigan Business Connect, visit www.michiganadvantage.org/Business-Connect/.

For information on becoming an MIW supplier, visit moraniron.com. For media requests contact Marilyn Kapp, marilyn@moraniron.com or 989-733-2011.

The MEDC markets the state with a focus on business, talent, jobs and helping to grow the economy. For more on MEDC and its initiatives, visit: www.MichiganAdvantage.org.

Marilyn Kapp
Public Relations
Moran Iron Works


Friday, June 14, 2013

Opportunity in Rogers City

Here is a short selection from an article from Grand Rapids.  The headline reads:

Grand Rapids job market ranks third in U.S. for summer

June 13, 2013  By Charlsie Dewey

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Walking/Biking Trails Benefit Everyone

Trails and walking paths along the Great Lakes are a proven formula for community improvement and economic success, as the article below by John Gallagher shows. 

Rogers City has a great walking/biking trail: The Huron Sunrise Trail.  With nine miles along some of the most beautiful shoreline in the Great Lakes, connecting the Port of Calcite, Rogers City, the Herman Vogler conservation Area, Hoeft State Park, and 40 Mile Point Lighthouse.  Rogers City is working to improve and extend this trail for increased access.  With cooperation from the Michigan Department of Natural Resources, the Huron Sunrise Trail will be linked to the Central State Trail system. This article about the Detroit River Walk was published by the Detroit Free Press:

The Detroit Riverfront Conservancy is celebrating its 10th anniversary this week with a new economic impact study showing millions of dollars in benefits for the city from the operation of the RiverWalk.
Among the findings of the study: Annual spending by visitors, residents, employees and other operations along the riverfront is estimated at $43.7 million, while tax revenue generated by ongoing riverfront activity is estimated at $4.5 million annually.
The study found that 77% of respondents indicated that they came to the riverfront from home rather than being downtown or in the vicinity, anyway — indicating that the riverfront is indeed a destination. And about 55% of those who came to the riverfront from home traveled more than 10 miles to do so.
Meanwhile, more than seven in 10 visitors questioned for the study said they visited the riverfront on a monthly or more frequent basis. Of those frequent visitors, about 40% do not live or work downtown but came to the riverfront as a destination.
The conservancy was launched 10 years ago by the City of Detroit, the Kresge Foundation, and General Motors. Over the past decade, the conservancy has developed more than three miles of the RiverWalk and plans to eventually complete more than 5.5 miles of RiverWalk from the Ambassador Bridge to Belle Isle.
“The formation of the conservancy was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to finally bring together both the public and private sectors to reconnect Detroit and this region to its riverfront,” said Matt Cullen, chairman of the Detroit Riverfront Conservancy board. “Ten years later, we have brought the banks of this river back to life and made it a central point of pride for this community and provided a platform for economic development.”
In recognition of the conservancy’s success, the Detroit Free Press Michigan Green Leaders program this week awarded the conservancy its annual award in the nonprofit category.
Contact John Gallagher: 313-222-5173 or gallagher@freepress.com.

Monday, June 3, 2013

Michigan Named Eighth from Top in Job Creation and Economic Development

According to the Governor's Office, in May 2013, Site Selection magazine named Michigan the 8th most competitive state for achieving success in job creation and economic development. That great piece of news followed a whole bunch of other great signs Michigan is on the right track.  For more information check out Governor Snyder's blog at the Governor's Office <governorsoffice@govsubscriptions.michigan.gov>
Rogers City is showing great job creation and economic development action too.  Shortly after Moran Iron Works announced that it was creating about 35 new jobs in Rogers City at the Port of Calcite Collaborative, the DaVita Corporation announced that they were creating about 20 jobs in Rogers City with a new dialysis Clinic to be located at the Mariner's Mall.  The Port of Calcite project is in full swing as I write this.  The Dialysis Clinic is under construction as of last week, and it is scheduled to open later this year.
Other possible economic development projects with the potential to create new jobs in Rogers City are being studied at this time.  However, these projects are not confirmed, and I may not disclose any information at this time.

Article on Retaining Talent--Now a Priority

Below is an article from the Detroit Free Press about the challenges of keeping quality employees as the economy begins to accelerate.  You might not think this is a challenge here in beautiful Presque Isle County, but there are many other opportunities for employment in our state.  Employers should think carefully about how to keep proven talent.  No employee is perfect and neither are the employers....

By Frank Witsil

Detroit Free Press Business Writer
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Strategies for keeping employees

■ Hire the right people. In some cases, turnover occurs when the company and the employee simply don’t match. A rigorous hiring process can help prevent a bad fit.
■ Start with competitive compensation. Workers have fewer reasons to look around when they feel they are paid fairly. Also, regular reviews of the compensation and benefits can help pay remain competitive.
■ Provide career coaching and development. Employees are often motivated by knowing they have a clear career path and know how they can reach the destination.
Source: Free Press research
As the economy picks up, companies are hiring again and putting a priority on keeping the workers they have, a recent survey finds.
That’s good news if you are looking for a job — or hoping to get more out of the one you have.
“The attitude has gone from telling employees, ‘Be thankful you have a job,’ to companies asking, ‘How do you hold on to the valuable talent you have?’ ” said Sal Vittolino, a spokesman for global consulting firm OI Partners-Action Management, which conducted the survey. “The name of the game is retention.”
Of the 154 companies surveyed in May, 58% reported they added or plan to add workers this year. Just 8% expect to cut staff. The state’s unemployment rate, which was 8.4% in April, has been trending down.
At the same time, a third of all employees plan to look for new jobs this year, according to a study by Harris Interactive.
To hold on to good workers — some waiting for years for the chance to change jobs — companies of all sizes are offering employees better compensation and benefits, more flexible hours, tuition reimbursement and even handwritten notes of encouragement.
One of the most popular incentives offered to retain and recruit workers is career coaching and development, which to some employees is worth even more than money.
Some companies are offering compensation increases of 10%-25%, said Anup Popat, CEO of Systems Technology Group in Troy, which is working to retain employees and recruit talent.
Companies weigh the cost of keeping a worker with losing one, which, according to a report by the Society for Human Resource Management, can be twice the employee’s salary.
At MIPRO, a Milford software consulting firm, Vice President Larry Zagata said he and other executives often thank consultants with personal notes of appreciation, and sometimes even gift cards so that they can take their spouses to dinner.
“The cost of turnover in our industry is very high,” Zagata said. “You’ve got to do the little things.”

Making a change

For workers, the improving economy and new hiring gives them the confidence and the opportunities they need to change jobs or seek a new position within a company.
Ed Lucas, who sought career advancement, a better schedule and a less-stressful workplace, said he left his job as a junior underwriter at JPMorgan Chase in Troy three months ago to become an assistant underwriter at Michigan Mutual in Southfield, a much smaller, but rapidly growing, mortgage lender.
During his interview, he saw a manager taking extra time to help a subordinate, an act that helped persuade him to make the change, he said.
“I was willing to take less to be a part of the company,” said Lucas, 35, who has worked in financial services for 18 years and acknowledged the switch made him uneasy at first. “I was at a crossroads. I just wanted to be a part of a team that wanted to expand.”
At the same time, other mortgage lenders are trying to recruit from Michigan Mutual.
“Our people are getting called, and a measure of how we’re doing is: Do they leave?” said Hale Walker, Michigan Mutual’s senior vice president and co-founder. “People typically don’t quit a company, they quit a boss — or manager.”
Ari Kresch, CEO at 1-800-LAW-FIRM in Southfield, said employees “stay at places where they are happy.”
To help keep his lawyers content, he built an indoor office track. They use it to stay fit — and hold what he called walking conferences.

Competition abounds

These days, the job market is so competitive even the experts who advise executives are having to offer more to keep employees.
Charlie Fleetham, the president of the small management consulting firm Project Innovations in Farmington Hills, said he recently granted an employee tuition reimbursement of about $1,200.
It was a small price to pay, he said, considering what it might cost to replace that person later.
Steve Barone, CEO of information technology company Creative Breakthroughs in Troy, said the business tries to create a culture where workers feel valued, get along and have fun. A few days ago, the employees decided to take a break and went to Cedar Point in Sandusky, Ohio, to ride roller coasters.
Barone stressed that it’s important to hire workers at competitive pay and benefits and that helps keep them from leaving later.
“It’s deflating if you lose somebody because you thought you could save a dollar or two on them. So we don’t do that,” he said. “We treat them well when things are bad and good — and their career development is thought out and on track.”
Contact Frank Witsil: 313-222-5022 or fwitsil@freepress