By Quentin L. Messer Jr.
Once known as America’s industrial capital, Michigan is undergoing a renaissance of economic growth through a combination of positive trends, community development projects, and forward-thinking programs.
By leveraging its diverse economy, skilled talent pool, and natural resources, the state positions itself as a center of innovation and opportunity, paving the way for a prosperous future.
Macro trends driving growth: There are currently three notable macro trends impacting economic growth across the state. First, the state’s reputation as “the best all-around state” comes to the fore. Michigan’s talent pool, excellent quality of life, and collaborative approach attract both incumbents and newcomers seeking profitable growth opportunities. Second, the integration of economy, community, tourism, and workforce development has broken down silos, allowing the Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC) to effectively highlight the state’s competitive advantages. And finally, the need for aggressive growth is clear. Michigan must seize the opportunity to secure its share of the world’s private investment capital by showcasing its diverse portfolio while preserving its agricultural heritage and natural wonders.
Community development projects: Across both peninsulas, MEDC works with local and regional partners to drive long-term economic opportunities statewide. One example is the transformation of Battle Creek’s iconic but long-abandoned Heritage Tower into The Milton. This is a mixed-use development that will bring new residents and commercial businesses downtown.
Future growth: Michigan’s vision for the future includes leveraging its strengths to achieve sustainable growth. With a focus on advanced manufacturing, clean energy and mobility innovation, the state aims to lead in these emerging areas. Michigan’s focus on electrification and Michigan’s leadership in EV and AV technology has established Michigan as a global hub for mobility innovation. Additionally, the healthcare sector, led by companies such as Pfizer and Stryker, continues to save lives and contribute to the state’s economic growth. To support long-term viability, MEDC prioritizes innovative placemaking efforts that lay the foundation for long-term economic viability and create engaging communities where people can live, work and thrive.
Human-centered approach: Central to Michigan’s economic development strategy is a people-centered approach that focuses on friends and neighbors. Economic development matters because people matter. Recognizing that economic growth only makes sense if it positively impacts individuals and communities, Michigan places a strong emphasis on fostering a strong sense of place and expanding opportunities for all.
Quentin L. Messer, Jr. is CEO of the Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC) and President and Chairman of the Michigan Strategic Fund. His primary responsibilities include managing all MEDC programs, funds, personnel, contracts and other administrative functions.