Connection Point program moves to MEDC’s Pure Michigan group

From Crain’s Detroit Business

February 1, 2013

By Chris Gautz

Connection Point, a program to help Michigan companies land contracts with out-of-state and international customers, is now a part of the Michigan Economic Development Corp., under its Pure Michigan Business Connect portfolio.

The MEDC and the Detroit Regional Chamber made the announcement today.

The program was launched with funding from a two-year, $1 million grant from the U.S. Economic Development Administration, as well as the New Economy Initiative for Southeast Michigan, and developed by Trevor Pawl, then-program director for Connection Point with the chamber.

Pawl, director at Pure Michigan Business Connect, was one of Crain’s 40 under 40 winners in 2012.

Pawl began working for the MEDC, along with program manager Ryan Michael, at the beginning of the year.

The goal, Pawl said, is to bring more national purchasers to the state, plus ultimately support job growth.

Before moving to the MEDC, Pawl’s program did the same for the Detroit region by bringing in The Boeing Co., Deutz AG and ManTech International Corp.

Now, he said, as part of Pure Michigan Business Connect, they can do the same, but with more resources and a statewide presence.

Connection Point has made more than $200 million in bid opportunities available to businesses in the state across 24 industries, according to a statement.

MEDC President and CEO Michael Finney said in a press release that the Connection Point “commitment will significantly add to the bid opportunities available to Michigan companies.”

Pure Michigan Business Connect is a public-private initiative that encourages Michigan businesses to buy and sell products and services from other companies in the state.

“As the programs grew along parallel paths, it became clear to both organizations that a greater degree of collaboration could amplify their successes across the state and throughout the global economy,” Benjamin Erulkar, senior vice president of economic development at the chamber, said in the statement.

Chris Gautz: (517) 403-4403, cgautz@crain.com. Twitter: @chrisgautz

Detroit Chamber’s Connection Point Now Part Of MEDC’s Pure Michigan Business Connect

From CBS Detroit

February 1, 2013

By Matt Roush

DETROIT — The Detroit Regional Chamber’s Connection Point program, which has worked to connect Detroit-area businesses with new clients ranging from huge defense contractors to NASA, has become part of the Michigan Economic Development Corp.’s Pure Michigan Business Connect program.

“The Detroit Regional Chamber deserves our thanks for joining us in Pure Michigan Business Connect,” said MEDC president and CEO Michael A. Finney. “This commitment will significantly add to the bid opportunities available to Michigan companies.”

Pure Michigan Business Connect is a more than $8 billion public-private initiative that provides Michigan businesses with new ways to buy and sell, raise capital and connect with each other through an alliance of the Michigan Economic Development Corp., state agencies and major Michigan companies and organizations.

Connection Point, founded in 2009 with funding from the U.S. Economic Development Administration and New Economy Initiative for Southeast Michigan, has made more than $200 million in bid opportunities available to Michigan businesses across 24 industries.
The program has facilitated millions of dollars in opportunities from companies headquartered outside Michigan including The Boeing Co., Deutz and ManTech International Corp.

Since December 2011, MEDC and the Detroit Regional Chamber have collaborated through the two programs at various events, including the 2012 Mackinac Policy Conference.

“In less than two years, these programs have been extremely successful generating hundreds of millions of dollars in increased procurement opportunities and contracts for Michigan suppliers with new customers, both within and outside of Michigan,” said Benjamin Erulkar, senior vice president of economic development at the Detroit Regional Chamber. “As the programs grew along parallel paths, it became clear to both organizations that a greater degree of collaboration could amplify their successes across the state and throughout the global economy.”

The new agreement ensures the work of Connection Point will now continue as part of the state’s economic development efforts through Pure Michigan Business Connect.  Moving forward, the Chamber will continue to serve as a strategic partner with MEDC on Pure Michigan Business Connect and support Connection Point programming in Southeast Michigan.

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.

Detroit Regional Chamber’s Connection Point Joins MEDC’s Pure Michigan Business Connect to Create Opportunities for Michigan Businesses

DETROIT, January 31, 2013 Today, the Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC) and the Detroit Regional Chamber announced that the Chamber’s Connection Point program has officially joined the MEDC as part of the Pure Michigan Business Connect portfolio. The new agreement will bolster the state’s efforts to create opportunities and business growth by connecting leading-edge Michigan companies to the global supply chain.

“The Detroit Regional Chamber deserves our thanks for joining us in Pure Michigan Business Connect,” said MEDC President and CEO Michael A. Finney. “This commitment will significantly add to the bid opportunities available to Michigan companies.”

Pure Michigan Business Connect is a more than $8 billion public-private initiative that provides Michigan businesses with new ways to buy and sell, raise capital and connect with each other through an alliance of the Michigan Economic Development Corp., state agencies and major Michigan companies and organizations.

Connection Point, founded in 2009 with funding from the U.S. Economic Development Administration and New Economy Initiative for Southeast Michigan, has made more than $200 million in bid opportunities available to Michigan businesses across 24 industries. The program has facilitated millions of dollars in opportunities from companies headquartered outside Michigan including The Boeing Company, Deutz and ManTech International Corporation.

Since December 2011, MEDC and the Detroit Regional Chamber have collaborated through the two programs at various events, including the 2012 Mackinac Policy Conference.

“In less than two years, these programs have been extremely successful generating hundreds of millions of dollars in increased procurement opportunities and contracts for Michigan suppliers with new customers, both within and outside of Michigan,” said Benjamin Erulkar, senior vice president of economic development at the Detroit Regional Chamber. “As the programs grew along parallel paths, it became clear to both organizations that a greater degree of collaboration could amplify their successes across the state and throughout the global economy.”

The new agreement ensures the work of Connection Point will now continue as part of the state’s economic development efforts through Pure Michigan Business Connect.  Moving forward, the Chamber will continue to serve as a strategic partner with MEDC on Pure Michigan Business Connect and support Connection Point programming in Southeast Michigan.

About the Michigan Economic Development Corporation
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.

About the Detroit Regional Chamber
With over 20,000 members and affiliates, that employ over three quarters of a million workers, the Detroit Regional Chamber is one of the largest chambers of commerce in the country. The Chamber’s mission is carried out through business attraction efforts, advocacy, strategic partnerships and providing valuable benefits to members. For more information, please visit detroitchamber.com.

# # #

Connection Point Among Talent Partners Awarded $2.19 Million Grant to Grow Regional Contract Manufacturing Base in Southeast Michigan

DETROIT, October 11, 2012 – The Detroit Regional Chamber’s Connection Point is among partners including the Michigan Manufacturing Technology Center, National Center for Manufacturing Sciences and Workforce Intelligence Network for Southeast Michigan (WIN) that were recently awarded $2.19 million over three years through the federal Jobs and Innovation Accelerator Challenge for Advanced Manufacturing.  The funding will support development of the “Innovation Realization Cluster” of Southeast Michigan and connect local businesses with new opportunities in an effort to foster growth and development of the region’s custom-manufacturing base

“Winning this grant reflects this region’s ability to collaborate, its manufacturing capabilities and its unparalleled innovative capacity,” said Benjamin Erulkar, senior vice president of economic development for the Detroit Regional Chamber. “This grant will boost Connection Point’s continued efforts to help Michigan companies pursue and obtain business across new markets and industries.”

Funds will allow partner recipients to identify and connect small-to-medium manufacturing firms that can support lower-volume, rapid-production, highly custom projects.  For example, companies will be better poised to help entrepreneurial firms that develop new concepts to produce prototypes and initial runs of those products without necessarily going into high-volume production.  Partners will work with companies to develop their capacity to accommodate and promote such contracts, arrange partnerships to bid and work on such opportunities, and train workers in custom manufacturing processes, including rapid machine set-up, prototyping, and related skillsets.

“A growing number of manufacturing firms are, or are open to, making a business of producing new things, as well as supporting other companies in doing so,” explained Lisa Katz, executive director of WIN. “Each partner organization will play a critical role in addressing challenges that prevent these employers from starting, growing, or transforming their business.”

Mike Finney, president & CEO of Michigan Economic Development Corporation added, “Hundreds of manufacturing firms in Southeast Michigan are well-positioned to grow their businesses into this space. We can support innovative firms by teaching new processes and entering new markets.”

In addition to the federal funds, the state of Michigan will provide $500,000 through the MI Match program.  Other key supporting partners include the members of the Business Accelerator Network of SE Michigan (BANSEM), University of Michigan, and Society of Manufacturing Engineers.

The Jobs and Innovation Accelerator Challenge for Advanced Manufacturing is funded by five federal agencies: Economic Development Administration, Employment & Training Administration, Small Business Administration, Department of Energy, and National Institute of Science & Technology.

Detroit Regional Chamber’s Connection Point  With over 20,000 members and affiliates, that employ over three-quarters of a million workers, the Detroit Regional Chamber is one of the largest chambers of commerce in the country. As part of the Chamber’s economic development portfolio, Connection Point links Michigan companies to global and local purchasers in new markets. Connection Point uncovers and develops procurement and R&D opportunities that diversify the customer bases of Michigan companies and creates sustained economic growth. The Connection Point program is funded by a grant through the Economic Development Administration, which operates as part of the U.S. Department of Commerce.

Michigan Manufacturing Technology Center (MMTC) is an affiliate of the NIST Hollings Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP) program. MMTC’s focus is on business development, cost reduction, and quality improvement in manufacturing companies with fewer than 500 employees, with an emphasis on those with 20-249 – large enough to need effective, repeatable processes but too small to be well-served by the for-profit consulting sector. Each year, MMTC helps 200-300 Michigan manufacturers through training, consulting, and management mentoring. The MMTC is funded by NIST MEP, the MEDC, and its industry clients.

NCMS  The National Center for Manufacturing Sciences, the largest cross industry collaborative Research & Development consortium in North America, is dedicated to driving innovation in commercial, defense, robotics and environmentally sustainable manufacturing. NCMS has over 25 years of experience in the formation and management of complex, multi-partner collaborative R&D programs, and is backed by corporate members representing virtually every manufacturing sector. For more information on NCMS, visit http://www.ncms.org/

WIN is a collaborative effort between eight community colleges, seven Michigan Works! Agencies, and various other academic, economic development, and other partners.  Its mission is to help Southeast Michigan businesses find the talent they need for success.  WIN accomplishes this using labor market intelligence, providing custom solutions for employers, and promoting innovative policy and practice.  For more information on WIN visit http://www.win-semich.org.

# # #

MEDC and Detroit Regional Chamber’s MICHauto Sign Memorandum of Understanding to Support Michigan’s Auto Industry

DETROIT, August 6, 2012 – Today, the Detroit Regional Chamber’s MICHauto program and the Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC) announced a Memorandum of Understanding between the organizations to collaborate as strategic partners in promoting and growing Michigan’s automotive cluster as a driver of economic growth and diversification in the 21st century.

“Through this partnership the MEDC and Detroit Regional Chamber are stepping up to enhance Michigan’s position as the epicenter of the auto industry,” said Chamber President and CEO Sandy K. Baruah, who serves on the MICHauto Advisory Board. “Working with the MEDC, MICHauto will sharpen statewide efforts to promote Michigan’s auto industry to capitalize on its potential to drive innovation and economic growth, as well use our state’s world-class auto assets to spur economic diversification. The Chamber looks forward to continuing to work with the MEDC to move the economic needle in our region and across the entire state.”

As part of the Memorandum of Understanding, MICHauto and the MEDC will work together to share intelligence on automotive prospects and collaborate on select global business attraction efforts. MICHauto will also convene a series of roundtables to develop an automotive strategy for the state of Michigan and host an annual event for MEDC leadership and executive branch officials to meet with automotive executives.

“The MEDC continues to seek opportunities to work with key partners such as the Detroit Regional Chamber to drive economic development across the state,” said MEDC President and CEO Michael Finney, who signed the MOU along with Baruah. “As the global economy becomes more competitive, we must increase efforts to leverage Michigan’s assets to attract investment and talent. We look forward to working with MICHauto to develop a statewide strategy that embraces the automotive industry as a driver of economic growth.”

Through the partnership, the MEDC and MICHauto will partner to address key economic development issues affecting the auto industry, such as expanding Michigan’s talent advantage as well as initiatives and events to promote awareness about Michigan’s auto industry. The MEDC will also serve on the MICHauto Economic Development and Awareness committees.

MICHauto looks forward to working with other entities like Original Equipment Suppliers Association and the Center for Automotive Research to access expertise and resources to increase collaboration.

About MICHauto
As a key economic development initiative of the Detroit Regional Chamber, MICHauto is dedicated to promoting, retaining and growing the automotive industry in Michigan. It serves as the unified voice of Michigan’s automotive industry convening various stakeholders and fostering collaboration on advocacy, economic development and talent issues. MICHauto is a private sector funded organization with leadership by an advisory board consisting of: Allan Gilmour, president, Wayne State University; Rick Hanna, partner and global automotive sector leader, PwC; Thomas Manganello, partner, Warner Norcross & Judd, LLP; Timothy Manganello, chairman and CEO, BorgWarner, Inc.; Rodney O’Neal, president and CEO, Delphi Corporation; Stephen Polk, chairman, president and CEO, R.L. Polk & Co; and Sandy K. Baruah, president and CEO, Detroit Regional Chamber.
To learn more visit MICHauto.org.

About the Detroit Regional Chamber
With over 20,000 members and affiliates, that employ over three quarters of a million workers, the Detroit Regional Chamber is one of the largest chambers of commerce in the country. The Chamber’s mission is carried out through business attraction efforts, advocacy, strategic partnerships and providing valuable benefits to members. For more information, please visit detroitchamber.com.

# # #

MEDC and Detroit Regional Chamber’s MICHauto Sign Memorandum of Understanding to Support Michigan’s Auto Industry

DETROIT, August 6, 2012 – Today, the Detroit Regional Chamber’s MICHauto program and the Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC) announced a Memorandum of Understanding between the organizations to collaborate as strategic partners in promoting and growing Michigan’s automotive cluster as a driver of economic growth and diversification in the 21st century.

“Through this partnership the MEDC and Detroit Regional Chamber are stepping up to enhance Michigan’s position as the epicenter of the auto industry,” said Chamber President and CEO Sandy K. Baruah, who serves on the MICHauto Advisory Board. “Working with the MEDC, MICHauto will sharpen statewide efforts to promote Michigan’s auto industry to capitalize on its potential to drive innovation and economic growth, as well use our state’s world-class auto assets to spur economic diversification. The Chamber looks forward to continuing to work with the MEDC to move the economic needle in our region and across the entire state.”

As part of the Memorandum of Understanding, MICHauto and the MEDC will work together to share intelligence on automotive prospects and collaborate on select global business attraction efforts. MICHauto will also convene a series of roundtables to develop an automotive strategy for the state of Michigan and host an annual event for MEDC leadership and executive branch officials to meet with automotive executives.

“The MEDC continues to seek opportunities to work with key partners such as the Detroit Regional Chamber to drive economic development across the state,” said MEDC President and CEO Michael Finney, who signed the MOU along with Baruah. “As the global economy becomes more competitive, we must increase efforts to leverage Michigan’s assets to attract investment and talent. We look forward to working with MICHauto to develop a statewide strategy that embraces the automotive industry as a driver of economic growth.”

Through the partnership, the MEDC and MICHauto will partner to address key economic development issues affecting the auto industry, such as expanding Michigan’s talent advantage as well as initiatives and events to promote awareness about Michigan’s auto industry. The MEDC will also serve on the MICHauto Economic Development and Awareness committees.

MICHauto looks forward to working with other entities like Original Equipment Suppliers Association and the Center for Automotive Research to access expertise and resources to increase collaboration.

About MICHauto
As a key economic development initiative of the Detroit Regional Chamber, MICHauto is dedicated to promoting, retaining and growing the automotive industry in Michigan. It serves as the unified voice of Michigan’s automotive industry convening various stakeholders and fostering collaboration on advocacy, economic development and talent issues. MICHauto is a private sector funded organization with leadership by an advisory board consisting of: Allan Gilmour, president, Wayne State University; Rick Hanna, partner and global automotive sector leader, PwC; Thomas Manganello, partner, Warner Norcross & Judd, LLP; Timothy Manganello, chairman and CEO, BorgWarner, Inc.; Rodney O’Neal, president and CEO, Delphi Corporation; Stephen Polk, chairman, president and CEO, R.L. Polk & Co; and Sandy K. Baruah, president and CEO, Detroit Regional Chamber.
To learn more visit MICHauto.org.

About the Detroit Regional Chamber
With over 20,000 members and affiliates, that employ over three quarters of a million workers, the Detroit Regional Chamber is one of the largest chambers of commerce in the country. The Chamber’s mission is carried out through business attraction efforts, advocacy, strategic partnerships and providing valuable benefits to members. For more information, please visit detroitchamber.com.

# # #