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132 Pontiac Articles | Page: | Show All

Federal Reserve economist sees good news for Michigan around the corner

Sam Kahan, senior economist with the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, Detroit Branch foresees growth in Michigan's non-manufacturing sectors. He spoke at the Birmingham Bloomfield Chamber Economic Forecast lunch about Michigan's economy.


He said, "25 percent to 35 percent of the (Michigan) economy is tied to the auto industry." But that leaves 65 percent or so not dependent on the auto industry, which is undergoing a traumatic restructuring leading to massive layoffs. There is opportunity for growth in the non-auto areas.

"It will be a little bit here, a little bit there ... the seeds of success are there," he said.

Read the entire article here.

Oakland County business development rep cuts red tape for entrepreneurs

Lynda DePlaunty Earhart, senior business development representative for Oakland County, was named a "Red-Tape Buster" by the National Association of Women Business Owners Greater Detroit Chapter.


What can improve the business climate in Michigan?

I think the media have the power to improve it. In Oakland County, we're very busy. I just went to a press conference for a company that's getting a grant and is going to be hiring a lot of people. ... And if we could promote the good news, too, it would improve the climate.

Read the entire article here.

Fifth Third announces 40 new banks, 350 jobs in SE Michigan

Fifth Third Bank has announced plans to invest $100 million into Southeast Michigan, open 40 banks over the next three years and hiring 350 new employees.


"Southeast Michigan is a growth market for Fifth Third Bank,” Greg Kosch, president of Fifth Third (Eastern Michigan), said in a statement. "We will build out our banking center distribution network, increase wealth-management capabilities and reinforce the commercial bank portfolio over the next few years."

Two new centers will be unveiled in Detroit at the end of March and April, according to bank officials. In addition, there are plans to open branches over the next several months in Fenton, Ann Arbor, Berkley and Riverview. “We hope there will be about 350 jobs, pretty much all over the market,” said bank spokesman Jack Riley. “I think the key is we’ve had good growth in this market.”

Read the entire article here.

Auto-workers using buyout education stipends to return to school

Auto industry employees that have lost or are about to lose their jobs are making use of their educational stipends provided as a part of their buyout packages.


Lisa Kujawa, admissions director at Lawrence Tech, has met with hundreds of Ford employees about the university's bachelor's degree in information technology, bachelor's of business administration and master's of business administration programs. Those, she said, are programs that create multiple opportunities for workers upon re-entry to the workforce.

"We have enrolled a significant number of displaced workers who are retooling their skills," Kujawa said, noting that Lawrence Tech has signed on more than 50 Ford employees and 20 GM workers, since the companies offered the buyout packages.

Read the entire article here.

Small businesses integral to state's economic recovery

Small business advocate for the state of Michigan Chris Holman stresses the importance of small businesses to the state's economic recovery.


Because companies with fewer than 500 employees already employ 52 percent of the state's work force, Michigan needs to work harder to support and encourage that sector.

"I use the quote that nothing heightens a man's creativity like the thought of getting hung in the morning,'' Holman said, referring to the state's growing need to reinvent itself economically. 

"The auto industry has been a rude awakening for some of us, and now we're scrambling to get to tomorrow's culture,'' he said. "Small business, for the most part, is taking up the slack.''

Read the entire article here.

Comerica's relocation creates opportunity for smaller banks

Smaller banks in Oakland County are looking at Comerica's announced relocation as an opportunity to create market share.


"What you're going to see is a lot of advertising campaigns that say, 'Come and bank with your hometown bank,' and over time they will increase market share," said Brian D. Pollice, financial institution partner for Plante & Moran PLLC in Southfield.

"It's an opportunity for the smaller banks to step up and say, 'Here I am - I am in your hometown and our decisions are made here.'"

Read the entire article here.

State to receive $11M for worker training

$11 million in federal job training monies is headed to Michigan for worker re-training.


The Michigan Department of Labor & Economic Growth requested the funds in mid-February, after it became apparent that federal funding allocated to Michigan for the current fiscal year would be inadequate to cover all workers eligible for benefits under the federal trade adjustment assistance program.

Read the entire article here.

Survey says, 21% of Detroit CIOs will hire in 2nd quarter of 2007

A national survey of chief information officers reveals that in the Detroit area, a net 21% have plans to hire IT staff in the second quarter of 2007.


A net 21 percent of chief information officers in the Detroit area expect to hire IT professionals in the second quarter of 2007. Twenty-three percent of executives surveyed plan to add staff during the quarter, and 2 percent anticipate reductions in personnel.

The net 21 percent hiring increase is nine points above the national average.

Read the entire article here.

Economist predicts state will dodge recession this year

Despite lots of bad news for the local economy, Comerica Bank Chief Economist Dana Johnson predicts that Michigan will avoid falling into a recession this year.


“The U.S. economy is in the midst of some sort of soft landing, not a hard landing, and that makes a world of difference for the Michigan economy,” Johnson said today. “I’m assuming still that we’re not heading for a recession here in 2007.”

Read the entire article here.

Locally-grown produce available to residents of Wayne, Oakland and Macomb Counties

Maple Creek Farm CSA (community supported agriculture) provides certified organic vegetables, fruits and herbs to its members via weekly drop-offs at 24 scattered sites in Wayne, Oakland and Macomb Counties. It is now accepting memberships for the 2007 growing season.  

Co-owner Michelle Lutz describes CSAs as "a relationship between the farmer and the people who are eating that farm’s food."  Members are essentially buying a share of the farm and thus, its crops. 

Maple Creek grows about 40 different crops ranging from apples to zucchini on their 80-acre farm located in St. Clair County. Members pick up a box filled with in-season crops each week from their designated drop-site from mid-June through October.  

Last year, 750 individual shares were purchased that ultimately fed approximately1,200 people in Metro Detroit because, as Lutz explains, "shares are often shared." She estimates that Maple Creek moved 50 tons of produce a week in 2006.

The CSA provides food to several area restaurants, including three of the twelve at The Henry Ford. Lutz says, "They are a great example. If they can do it within such a large operation, so can other businesses, like hospitals." Royal Oak’s Inn Season, Sweet Lorraine’s and Clarkston Union also purchase produce from Maple Creek.

Food grown at Maple Creek is typically consumed within an 80-mile radius of the farm. In contrast, Lutz explains that food travels, on average, 1,300-1,500 miles from where it is grown to where it is sold to a consumer. She says, "There’s a lot less fuel dollars spent to support local food," and believes that local sustainable agriculture can be part of Michigan’s economic revival.

There are two CSAs in the Ann Arbor area as well. For more information on CSAs or to locate one, visit the national CSA registry.

Source: Michelle Lutz, Maple Creek Farm

Writer: Kelli B. Kavanaugh

Image of Michelle Lutz courtesy of Maple Creek Farm

Study shows, renewable energy has potential to infuse state's economy with 6,800 jobs

Environment Michigan has released a report calling for 20% of the state's energy to come from renewable sources by 2015, twice the state's goal. It also quantifies how a $225 million per year investment into renewable energy and energy efficiency could generate jobs and otherwise boost Michigan's economy.


A new study released this morning by Environment Michigan suggests that reliance on renewable energy sources and energy efficiency could create 6,800 new jobs, $3.3 billion in new salaries, reduce power plant emissions by 30% and save $2.2 billion in energy bills for Michigan residents by the 2020.

A copy of the report is available here.

Read the entire article here.

Gilbert, Crain's top newsmaker of 2006, speaks on region's assets and liabilities

Quicken Loan's Dan Gilbert, named Crain's Newsmaker of the Year for 2006, spoke last week at an Inforum breakfast about Southeast Michigan's regional assets as well as its liabilities. Assets: work ethic, entrepreneurship and its research universities. Liabilities: brain drain, victim mentality and bureaucracy resistant to change.


Quicken has been successful because it has developed a corporate culture and philosophy that it defines itself by, and the company makes decisions based on its identity, Gilbert said. The region must develop a stronger identity for itself in order to make decisions that can help it move forward, he said.

“You’ve got to know who you are before you start talking about what it is you’re going to do,” Gilbert said.

Read the entire article here.

African immigrants to Metro Detroit bring education, entrepreneurial spirit

A 400% increase in African immigrants to Metro Detroit in the last decade has infused the area with new stores, churches and mosques, social organizations and professional services.


Michigan is home to about 40,000 Africans, roughly half of whom live in Wayne or Oakland counties. Many others are in Grand Rapids, Lansing, Ann Arbor and Flint.

"They are smart, motivated, and they do well in this country, and that leads to growth in immigration," said David Wiley, director of the African Studies Center at Michigan State University. "Of all African-born immigrants to the United States, 50 percent have one or more degrees in higher education."

Read the entire article here.

MLUI's Schneider debuts new economy blog

Keith Schneider of the Michigan Land Use Institute, a statewide smart land use advocacy group, has started a new blog to talk about media, the internet, land use and economic development called Modeshift.


Welcome to Mode Shift, a new blog that chronicles accelerating transition in two arenas of American life: the economy and competitiveness of state and metropolitan regions, and the swift development of social media. The focus is new forms, new techniques, the new rules of the game  in economic development and communications. I’m interested in change and how people respond to it. Never has change occurred as fast as it is today. I’m intent on applying to Mode Shift’s reporting and commentary nearly 30 years of accumulated knowledge and experience in writing about technology, government, business, transportation, agriculture and the environment. This blog, in short, is about evolution.

Columnist delves into potential for entrepreneurship in new economy

Ann Arbor News business columnist Rick Haglund takes a look at the role that entrepreneurship can play in recovery of Michigan's economy.


We'll likely see any number of new restaurants, construction firms, bait shops and retail franchise stores opened by former hourly autoworkers too young to retire.

But the biggest promise for new businesses that could generate thousands of high-paying jobs may lie in exceptionally skilled salaried workers and executives leaving the big auto and pharmaceutical companies.

Read the entire column here.
132 Pontiac Articles | Page: | Show All
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