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Michigan is Auto

MICHauto making a case for state’s leading industry

By Rylee Arnot

Pages 24-25

Michigan is unarguably the global automotive headquarters. Michigan is home to all of the assets and resources automotive companies want and need to thrive in the world’s most dynamic industry. As fierce global competition continues to strengthen, the Detroit Regional Chamber’s MICHauto program is working to ensure investors and businesses around the world know why Michigan remains the premier place for the automotive industry.

MICHauto’s mission is to promote, retain, and grow the automotive industry in Michigan and clearly reaffirm Michigan as the global epicenter of the industry. Embodying a public-private strategy, MICHauto provides a platform for automotive stakeholders to collaborate and collectively maximize the value of Michigan’s world-class automotive asset base.

Earlier this month, MICHauto released its “Michigan is Auto” report. The marketing piece is a substantive report detailing Michigan’s automotive assets and overall business climate. It will be disseminated during the North American International Auto Show and will also be provided to economic developers throughout the state for automotive business attraction efforts.

“The auto industry continues to expand globally, and Michigan is ideally positioned to capitalize on the innovation and economic growth associated with this leading-edge industry,” said Sandy K. Baruah, Chamber president and CEO. “This report is an excellent testimonial to some of the state’s greatest assets, the high quality academic institutions and programs, the extensive supply base, the research and development footprint and the prime business climate here, all of which support a vibrant and growing automotive cluster.”

MICHauto partnered with Dykema Gossett on the report, which markets Michigan as the preferred place to relocate or expand an automotive business.

Focus on Talent

MICHauto also maintains a direct focus on talent attraction and retention. By partnering with key organizations and stakeholders, the program is working to ensure a robust pipeline of talent in the Michigan automotive industry. A new partner in this endeavor is Nissan’s Senior Vice President of Research and Development, Carla Bailo, who is the new chair of MICHauto’s Talent Attraction and Retention Committee.

“MICHauto is thrilled to have Carla participating in the program in a leadership role. Her superior knowledge and experience with Nissan makes her a perfect match for MICHauto,” said MICHauto Program Manager Rob Luce. “She is committed to helping further growth in the talent pipeline and keep qualified, skilled labor in Michigan.”

MICHauto is working with businesses, universities and associations to increase awareness of the evolving career opportunities in the automotive industry.

Striving for Collaboration

Last August, MICHauto, 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. This Memorandum of Understanding allows for a closer relationship between MICHauto and the MEDC, working together to share intelligence on automotive prospects and collaborate on select global business attraction efforts.

The agreement also strengthens the formal relationship between the MEDC and each of the Chamber’s economic development programs.

“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. “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.”

In 2013, MICHauto plans to host roundtables for the MEDC, Governor Rick Snyder and select automotive stakeholders, host one or two legislative forums, initiate direct outreach to engineering students at the high school and university levels, organize a statewide automotive summit, host quarterly membership events and showcase its “Michigan is Auto” marketing material.

As Michigan continues to find its place in the global marketplace and expand on its world-class products, innovation and talent, MICHauto will continue to accelerate Michigan’s automotive industry.

Rylee Arnot is the communications coordinator and copywriter for the Detroit Regional Chamber.