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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, Twitter: @chrisgautz