What Do Entrepreneurs Want From (The Rest Of) The Business Community?

From: Daily Detroit

By Devon O’Reilly 

July 30, 2015

In the year since I started my gig at the Detroit Regional Chamber I’ve been working to answer that question; diving into Detroit’s vast, sometimes fragmented, and always exciting entrepreneurial community to see where we as an organization could be more collaborative and supportive.
Trips to places like TechTown, Bamboo Detroit, Ponyride, and Build Institute have taken me to the connecting points to further one goal: Understanding what the Detroit Regional Chamber and the larger business community as whole can do to help startups and entrepreneurs grow and thrive in Detroit. That’s not to mention the many conversations, meetings, and cocktails with entrepreneurs that are helping redefine this city; the Niles Herons, Marc Hudsons, and Amy Swifts of Detroit.

It’s worth noting that the Chamber also recently launched the Startgrid Detroit platform aiming to be a free and comprehensive online community for entrepreneurs and thought leaders to share knowledge, grow ideas, and connect with resources and people in the Detroit entrepreneurial community and beyond. I’ll be using my resources via Startgrid to help guide this discussion.

My hope is that this column can be a place to answer and address some of the themes and topics that are vital to the success of entrepreneurs and small business in the Detroit community. To show off some of the success stories you might not have read about. To celebrate Detroit’s entrepreneurial scene.

Ultimately, it’s about hearing from entrepreneurs, innovators and the relentless rascals who won’t quit until their ideas are reality. It’s about seeing what they need to succeed. Below are a few themes I’ve gleaned from my conversations so far. Obviously this conversation is a bigger than one post or one organization, but this column can be part of that conversation.

So …. What do entrepreneurs want from the larger business community?

A Seat at the Table: The Big Issues Affect Us Too! – Entrepreneurs and small business owners want a voice in the greater business community. They want a seat at the table. Too often they feel marginalized or overlooked when it comes to how the big issues that affect them.

Mentorship: What’s a Little Failure Among Friends? – Being able to talk to people who have successfully navigated the start-up path before is invaluable. Almost every successful business started off as one or two individuals with a big idea. Hearing directly from them about their failures, pitfalls and ultimate success can be a tremendous motivator and guiding tool for entrepreneurs – and a step toward embracing the inevitable failure that comes with successful entrepreneurship.

Connections: Who Should I Be Talking to and Where Can I Talk to Them? – There are a lot of people trying to do a lot of great things, but too often they’re not making the right connection to the person or organization that can provide guidance and support or remove barriers. Entrepreneurs are looking for help to make those connections.

A Complete Story: Expose Us, For Who We Are – Spotlight. Exposure. The Shine. Whatever you want to call it, there is a sense that not everyone’s story is getting told and not every startup is getting their share of media attention. There are so many more stories than what’s printed – find it (and print it).

My hope is that this column can become a place to answer and address some of these and other themes and topics that are, and will become vital to the success of entrepreneurs and small business in the Detroit community. I look forward to continuing this discussion and welcome all the questions, feedback, and even snarky remarks you can throw at me.

This is a new recurring guest column from Devon O’Reilly, who is the Manager of Entrepreneurship and Detroit Engagement for the Detroit Regional Chamber. Submit your questions/issues/topics you’d like to see covered and answered in future columns and make sure to check out Startgrid.com/Detroit for updates, answers, and discussion centered on entrepreneurship as well as connect with Devon and the Detroit Regional Chamber team directly.

Beyond Bankruptcy: How Detroit Has Used Data to Encourage Opportunity, Investment, and a Resurgence of Its Auto Industry

From: EMSI

By Laura Pizzo

July 28, 2015

Even though “failing forward” has become clichéd jargon around conference tables, it’s still both exciting and encouraging to watch someone (or something) rise out of a slump and come back stronger. And there’s no better example than Detroit, Michigan: the nation’s underdog upstart.

In 2013, Detroit declared bankruptcy and became the media’s go-to example for struggling cities. But despite great difficulty, it has managed over $2.4 billion in investment and development since January of that year. And in many key economic categories—including gross domestic product, private sector job growth, and per capita income—the Detroit region is now outperforming national averages. So how did Detroit do it? How do you attract, retain, and expand industry in a region associated with economic collapse? How does an entire region fail forward?

In a pair of reports (State of the Region and Michigan is Auto), the Detroit Regional Chamber used EMSI’s labor market and education data, among other sources, to market its region, demonstrate economic progress, identify shortfalls, and strategize for the future. The reports, along with a recent Forbes article on Detroit’s recovery story, make for excellent attraction and retention tools, increasing the region’s reputation and leading it further into prosperity. These materials also provide helpful marketing examples to other regions that are facing similar financial challenges.

Michigan is Auto

The Detroit region remains synonymous with the auto industry. An impressive 63 of the top 100 automotive suppliers to North America are headquartered in Michigan, and the state is ranked No. 1 for North American car, truck, and motor vehicle production, according to the Detroit Regional Chamber.

Despite great strides toward its recovery, the region has not been able to reach 2001 levels for jobs in automobile manufacturing, largely due to increased automation and improved technology that make it easier to manufacture goods with fewer workers.But technological shifts encourage growth in more highly skilled occupations, such as engineering and IT. In fact, architecture and engineering jobs grew 28% between 2009 and 2013, computer and mathematical jobs grew 14%, and management jobs grew 9%—demonstrating that the quality of jobs in Detroit is improving, even if the region has not caught up to pre-recession job counts (see chart).By showcasing this data, Detroit tells a compelling story about its economic recovery and also improves the image of its regional workforce, which has historically been steeped in traditional manufacturing.

And More Than Auto

Although automobile manufacturing is a driver industry for Detroit’s economy, it is not the only one. In fact, there are a number of thriving industries in Detroit (see chart).

Here are some quick facts about some other prominent industries in the region, which can be shared to help further diversify the region’s economy:

  • Health Care: This industry seemed to be recession-proof in the Detroit region, likely due to the region’s baby boomers and aging population. A steadily growing industry, health care jobs have climbed from 302,000 in 2009 to 323,000 in 2014 (and are projected to grow to 360,000 jobs by 2019).
  • Aerospace and Defense: 33% of the global top 100 aerospace companies have a presence in the Detroit region, and, in 2012, more than $4.7 billion in defense contracts were awarded to the region’s defense-related businesses.
  • Transportation, Distribution, and Logistics: Each day, more than 11,000 trucks cross through Detroit and Port Huron (the busiest northern border crossing on the continent). Michigan State University has the No. 1 undergraduate program and the No. 2 graduate supply chain management/logistics school in the nation, helping to ensure a successful future for this regional industry.
  • Information Technology: The Detroit region is an emerging information technology hotbed with nearly 73,000 jobs in more than 3,000 IT companies.

How Detroit Retained and Continues to Attract Businesses

The reports and article demonstrate how compelling labor market and education data can help market a region to new and existing businesses. Here are a few data points that the Detroit Regional Chamber has used to help attract industry, jobs, and investment as well as bolster the brand of the Detroit region:


Michigan ranks No. 1 in concentration for mechanical engineers and industrial engineers and No. 2 for mechanical engineering technicians, offering a highly skilled and competitive workforce for automotive industries as well as other STEM industries. Michigan has also led the nation in manufacturing jobs created between 2010 and 2013, adding nearly 73,800 jobs (30,270 jobs specific to automotive manufacturing).


Paired with its skilled workforce, Michigan’s competitive wages make it a solid value option for manufacturing talent:

  • Average hourly wage in Michigan: $20.08, in nation: $22.20
  • Average hourly wage in private manufacturing in Michigan: $20.94, in nation: $22.63
Supply Chain

Detroit boasts a strong existing supply chain. For example, the city is home to roughly 1,000 tool and die shops, which is critical infrastructure for manufacturers. (For more on supply chain analysis and the Detroit region, read this article.)


Although overall educational attainment in the Detroit region is below that of peer regions, local education programs are well-suited to meet the needs of automotive industries as well as other manufacturers. Michigan has 16 universities and colleges with nationally ranked undergraduate engineering programs, four of which also have nationally ranked graduate programs.


An international gateway, Detroit sits along the second-busiest border crossing in North America and is the No. 1 exporter to Mexico. It is also home to the world-class Detroit Metro Airport. Its ideal location and infrastructure allows the region to export an impressive amount of goods (in 2013, the Detroit region exported nearly $54 billion in goods, or 72% of Michigan’s total merchandise exports).


In 2012, Michigan passed laws that made it the 24th right-to-work state, reduced its corporate income tax to the lowest in the Midwest, and eliminated its personal property tax on industrial property. More recently, Governor Snyder signed legislation that allows manufacturers to test driverless cars on Michigan roads, and the state has dramatically decreased its business regulations.

Butzel Long attorneys integral in developing business roundtable program during TANA Conference in Detroit

DETROIT, Mich. – Butzel Long attorneys were invited to speak at and helped develop the business roundtable program for the Telugu Association of North America (TANA) Conference July 4-6, 2015 in Detroit. TANA is the oldest and largest Indo-American organization in North America.

Richard E. Rassel, Butzel Long Chairman; Nicholas J. Stasevich, Chair of the firm’s International Practice; and, Neil Patel, corporate attorney, secured guest speakers for the business roundtable of the conference.

Moreover, Clara DeMatteis Mager, Manager, Butzel Long’s Immigration Practice Group, was a featured speaker. Mager spoke on the EB5 Investor Visa at the Business program. The EB-5 visa provides a method of obtaining a green card for foreign nationals who invest money in the United States. To obtain the visa, individuals must invest $1,000,000 (or at least $500,000 in a targeted employment area – high unemployment or rural area), creating or preserving at least 10 jobs for U.S. workers excluding the investor and their immediate family.

Richard E. Rassel

Rassel practices primarily in the area of complex business litigation and arbitration with a special concentration in media law. He has been a Fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers since 1989 and is a graduate of the CPR Institute for Dispute Resolution Mediation and Arbitration Training Program.

Nicholas J. Stasevich

Stasevich practices in the areas of international, corporate, antitrust, and technology, and labor and employment law. He represents a broad range of companies with both domestic and multi-national operations in mergers and acquisitions, antitrust, joint ventures, employment matters, sales and distribution contracts, Foreign Corrupt Practices Act – global corporate compliance, global export control compliance, and other matters.

Neil Patel

Patel concentrates his practice in the areas of business and corporate law. He is a graduate of Western Michigan University Cooley Law School (J.D., magna cum laude) and the University Of Windsor, Ontario (Bachelor of Commerce).

Clara DeMatteis Mager

Mager focuses her practice on business and family immigration issues including all aspects of the international movement of personnel, inbound and outbound work-authorized nonimmigrant (temporary) and immigrant (permanent) status, immigration consequences of mergers, acquisitions and corporate restructuring, employer sanctions, and immigration law audits (e.g. labor condition applications and I-9).

About Butzel Long

Butzel Long is one of the leading law firms in Michigan and the United States. It was founded in Detroit in 1854 and has provided trusted client service for more than 160 years. Butzel’s full-service law offices are located in Detroit, Bloomfield Hills, Lansing and Ann Arbor, Mich.; New York, NY; and, Washington, D.C., as well as alliance offices in Beijing, Shanghai, Mexico City and Monterrey. It is an active member of Lex Mundi, a global association of 160 independent law firms. Learn more by visiting www.butzel.com or follow Butzel Long on Twitter: https://twitter.com/butzel_long

The Sierra Club Presents Their 11th Annual Dream Cruise Event

The Sierra Club’s 11th annual Green Cruise is set for Saturday, August 8th, 2015 in Ferndale, Michigan. The Green Cruise takes place on Nine Mile Road immediately west of Woodward and celebrates walking, biking, running, hiking, skateboarding, rollerblading, and other forms of human-powered, fossil-free transportation.

The 11th annual Green Cruise will incorporate organized bike rides, free bicycle tune-ups, and a noon parade on Nine Mile Road. Participants will also enjoy children’s crafts, free healthy food and free massages by Live Well Chiropractic. Featured vendors will include Whole Foods Market of Troy, Garden Fresh, Kind Bars, VDiLish, Shaklee, VegMich, along with Downtown Ferndale Bicycle Shop, Continental Bikes, Trikke Bikes, KLM Bike & Fitness, Oakland County Go Bikes, and Michigan Solar Solutions. Non-profits at the event will include the Sierra Club, Keep Growing Green, Food and Water Watch, Wigs4Kids, Michigan Trails and Greenways, the Regional Transportation Authority, Transportation Riders United, and the Alliance to Halt Fermi 3. Matthew Faunce, flamenco guitarist, and Maggie Hasspacher, folk, pop and jazz bassist/vocalist will provide entertainment.

The event is free and open to audiences of all ages looking to join this eco-friendly tradition. Registration for the 8 am 42-mile and 9 am 22-mile bicycle rides is available for 10 dollars on the event website, www.sierraclub.com/greencruise, and will be 15 dollars on the event date. Individuals who attend the Green Cruise events are encouraged to dress in green attire, and creatively embellish their bicycles as well. The event will kick off on Nine Mile at 10 am, and continue until 2:00pm. Schedules and details regarding the Green Cruise event are listed within the Sierra Club website, as well as the event’s Facebook page.

For further information on the Green Cruise, contact event chairmen, Jerry Hasspacher, (586) 604-5781, and Dave Cottril, (248) 635-8152.


Butzel Long attorney David J. DeVine elected to JVS Board of Trustees

DETROIT, Mich. – Butzel Long attorney and shareholder David J. DeVine has been elected to the Jewish Vocational Service (JVS) Board of Trustees. He will serve a three-year term on the Board.

JVS helps people meet life challenges affecting their self-sufficiency through counseling, training and support services in accordance with Jewish values of equal opportunity, compassion, responsibility and the steadfast belief that the best way to help people is to make it possible for them to help themselves. Founded in Detroit in 1941, JVS has served thousands of people and continues to adapt its services today to meet the changing needs of the community to help job seekers, people with disabilities, seniors, students, homeless individuals, veterans and people on probation or parole fulfill their needs and attain their goals. The agency also helps businesses remain resourceful by providing HR consultation, employee recruitment and staffing and cost-effective janitorial, steam cleaning and subcontracting services.

DeVine, based in Butzel Long’s Detroit office, practices in the areas of business litigation and bankruptcy and serves businesses in a wide array of industries, including automotive, banking, construction, and real estate.

He is a member of the State Bar of Michigan and American Bar Association. He has been listed as a Michigan Super Lawyer Rising Star (Business Litigation) since 2010. Additionally, he was named Corporate LiveWire’s 2014 Lawyer of the Year for Detroit in the area of Bankruptcy & Restructuring.

DeVine’s leadership skills were recognized in 2013 by the Original Equipment Supplier Association (OESA), a preeminent automotive industry group of more than 440 corporate members, which accepted him as one of just 33 individuals to serve on its Young Leadership Council. He also was a speaker at OESA’s 2014 Terms and Conditions and Legal Issues Update.

DeVine is a contributor to and editor of the 2010-2011 OESA “North American OEM Production P.O. Terms and Conditions Comparative Analysis,” the standard reference manual among automotive suppliers.

DeVine is a graduate of Emory University School of Law (J.D., with honors, 2006), where he was a Managing Editor of the Emory Law Journal. He completed his undergraduate studies at the University of Michigan
(B.A., with Distinction, 2003).

About Butzel Long

Butzel Long is one of the leading law firms in Michigan and the United States. It was founded in Detroit in 1854 and has provided trusted client service for more than 160 years. Butzel’s full-service law offices are located in Detroit, Bloomfield Hills, Lansing and Ann Arbor, Mich.; New York, NY; and, Washington, D.C., as well as alliance offices in Beijing, Shanghai, Mexico City and Monterrey. It is an active member of Lex Mundi, a global association of 160 independent law firms. Learn more by visiting www.butzel.com or follow Butzel Long on Twitter: https://twitter.com/butzel_long

July 28: Bridge Authority Seeking Contractors for Work on Gordie Howe International Bridge Project

Windsor-Detroit Bridge Authority Seeking Contractors for Work on Gordie Howe International Bridge Project

The Windsor-Detroit Bridge Authority will host an Industry Day on Aug. 5-6 for businesses to meet and network with local, regional and national contractors, suppliers and service providers that have completed a request for qualifications (RFQ) for work on the Gordie Howe International Bridge. This networking event is open to Southeast Michigan businesses specializing in infrastructure (roads and buildings) construction, facilities management, electrical, plumbing, heavy equipment operators, material suppliers, designers and architects, and other skilled trades.

Industry Day will take place from 11:45 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the St. Clair Centre for the Arts in Windsor on Aug. 5 and the Atheneum Suite Hotel in Detroit on Aug. 6. Space is limited and participation is on a first come, first served basis.

Support for the bridge, along with improvements to Michigan’s transportation infrastructure, continues to be the Chamber’s No. 1 legislative priority. Click here to register for Industry Day.


Automotive Leaders Kevin Kerrigan, Kirk Steudle to Highlight Next-Generation Innovation at MICHauto Summit, Sept. 30

Kevin Kerrigan, senior vice president of the Automotive Office for the state of Michigan, and Kirk Steudle, director of the Michigan Department of Transportation, will lead a powerful panel discussion on the future of mobility at the 2015 MICHauto Summit on Sept. 30 at Cobo Center. Building off the theme, “The Connected Culture: Shaping Michigan’s Automotive Future,” the Summit will focus on Michigan as the center for advanced mobility and connected vehicle technology and its need for a robust talent pipeline driven by a relentless culture of innovation. It will be held in conjunction with the University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute’s Global Symposium on Connected Vehicles.

Award-winning journalist John McElroy, host of “Autoline Daily,” will lead a panel discussion with Kerrigan and Steudle, along with Andreas Mai, director of smart connected vehicles at Cisco Systems Inc., about challenges facing Michigan’s automotive industry, as well as the work being done in intelligent vehicle research and development. Panelists will also share their unique perspectives on the convergence of the industry with the Internet of Everything (IoE) and the infrastructure required to make it all work.

Click here to register and view an updated Summit agenda on the Chamber’s website.


Detroit Regional Chamber Announces New Board Members, Mark Davidoff as Board Chair

The Detroit Regional Chamber is pleased to announce its Board of Directors for the 2015-2016 fiscal year. The announcement was made at the Board’s July meeting.

Mark Davidoff, Michigan managing partner of Deloitte, was elected Board chair and will replace Plunkett Cooney President and CEO Henry B. Cooney, who remains on the Board as immediate past chair. Davidoff recently served as chair of the 2015 Mackinac Policy Conference. His vision and leadership will continue to guide the Chamber’s mission to support businesses across Southeast Michigan in the coming year.

In addition to Davidoff’s role as chair, the Chamber welcomes several new directors including: Carl Camden, president and CEO of Kelly Services Inc.; Byron Foster, group vice president and general manager for Johnson Controls; John Fox, president and CEO of Beaumont Health; Dennis Mannion, president and CEO of Palace Sports and Entertainment; Jean Meyer, president and CEO of St. John Providence Hospital; Joseph Mullany, CEO of Detroit Medical Center; David Rouls, managing director of Accenture; Brad Simmons, director of government and stakeholder relations at Ford Motor Co.; and Carla Walker-Miller, president and CEO of Walker-Miller Energy Services Inc. For the full list of Board members, click here.


Beaumont, Henry Ford and University of Michigan Named ‘Best Hospitals’ by U.S. News & World Report

The Detroit Regional Chamber congratulates Chamber members Beaumont Health, Henry Ford Health System and the University of Michigan for being named a “best hospital” by U.S. News & World Report. The rankings include analysis of 5,000 medical centers and their individual specialties across the country.

The University of Michigan and Beaumont Hospital topped the list, ranking No. 1 and 2 in Michigan respectively, while Henry Ford Hospital ranked sixth. Beaumont also had nine nationally-ranked specialties and was named 16th in the nation for orthopedics and 17th for diabetes care, while U-M had 11 nationally-ranked specialties and was named 10th in the nation for urology and ophthalmology care. Henry Ford’s innovative neurology and neurosurgery department was also ranked 46th in the nation, with a specific focus on adult patient care.

The 2015 rankings are a positive example of how the Detroit region continues to be home to innovative hospitals and health care professionals that provide world-class care and help grow the economy of Southeast Michigan. Click here to read the full U.S. News & World Report analysis.

Charlie Ackerman

Senior Vice President, Human Resources North America, Robert Bosch LLC

Ackerman-Charlie-editCharlie Ackerman is senior vice president of human resources for Robert Bosch LLC’s North American operations. He is responsible for shaping and managing the employee strategies for over 20,000 Bosch employees and over 100 facilities, divisions and affiliates operating in North America with a specific focus on executive and talent development, organizational development, change management, positive associate relations, lean (CIP) principles and cost/benefit awareness.

A seasoned executive, Ackerman has over 25 years of human resources, manufacturing and international expertise. Prior to joining Bosch, Ackerman worked with other leading organizations, including AstenJohnson Inc., International Paper and USG Corp. He serves as a mentor and speaker at STEM education events across the country and earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration and management from Mississippi State University.

Sandy Baruah

Sandy HeadshotThe Honorable Sandy K. Baruah is President and CEO of the Detroit Regional Chamber, one of the largest in the country. Under Baruah’s leadership, the Chamber focuses on three strategic priorities: economic development, regional collaboration and education reform.

Baruah joined the Chamber in 2010 after a distinguished career in Washington, D.C. He served as President George W. Bush’s last Administrator of the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA). In this role, he was responsible for the SBA’s $18 billion small business loan portfolio. Baruah was one of the senior officials shaping the federal government’s response to the 2008 credit crisis and assistance to the U.S. automotive industry.

Prior to leading the SBA, Baruah served as U.S. Assistant Secretary of Commerce. He led the Economic Development Administration (EDA), served as the Senior Advisor to Commerce Secretary Carlos M. Gutierrez regarding the 2010 Census and represented the U.S. at the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) in Paris, France.

Before serving in the Bush Administration, Baruah was a corporate mergers and acquisitions consultant for the Performance Consulting Group. He also served in the administration of President George H. W. Bush (1989–1993) and was on the staff of U.S. Senator Bob Packwood (Oregon).

After leaving government service in early 2009, he was a Distinguished Fellow at the U.S. Council on Competitiveness, a Washington, D.C.- based think tank comprised of corporate CEOs, university presidents and labor leaders focused on American economic competitiveness.

Baruah holds a Bachelor of Science from the University of Oregon and a Master of Business Administration from Willamette University. Baruah serves on the boards of the U.S. Council on Competitiveness, Wavepoint Ventures, Detroit Economic Club, Automotive Hall of Fame and Spain’s Orkestra – Institute of Competitiveness and Development. Sandy and Lisa Baruah have one son and live in a household run by the family pets.

Rose Bellanca

President, Washtenaw Community College

Ballanca-Rose-editRose Bellanca is the fourth president of Washtenaw Community College (WCC), and the first woman to lead the institution since it was founded in 1965. WCC recently initiated a first-of-its-kind Advanced Transportation Center that aims to prepare the future and existing workforce for the emerging needs of the advanced transportation industry.

Bellanca is an advocate for partnerships and innovative programs that provide education, enrichment and economic development. She served as past chair of the Region Nine Talent Council, which is part of the state of Michigan’s Prosperity Initiative. She also serves on the executive committee for Ann Arbor SPARK and is a former board member for the Commission on Economic and Workforce Development and the Licensure Committee for the American Association of Community Colleges (AACC).

Paris Air Show Spotlights Michigan’s Aviation, Aerospace Suppliers

Chamber Promotes Detroit’s Global Competitiveness to International Aerospace, Aviation Industry at Paris Air Show

Building on Southeast Michigan’s message of opportunity, the Detroit Regional Chamber’s Business Attraction team recently attended the 51st International Paris Air Show in France — a key global event for the aviation and aerospace industry that draws exhibitors, delegations and trade visitors from around the world. During the weeklong show, the Chamber teamed up with InnoState and The Right Place to expose global companies to Michigan’s first-rate supply chain with the goal of getting these firms to locate in the Detroit region.

“Nearly three years ago, the Chamber decided to pursue this sector and this trip represented an opportunity to meet with companies we’ve already been working with to reiterate that we’re ready to assist with aviation/aerospace expansion and relocation projects,” said Monique Claiborne, business development representative for the Chamber.

Claiborne said Business Attraction held 46 individual meetings in three days with companies, many of which already have an established presence in Michigan or the United States but were interested in learning how to plug into Michigan’s supplier pipeline or learning about expansion opportunities and workforce development assistance.

For example, Claiborne met with the global headquarters of a company based in Macomb County that has the potential to expand once it fills its talent pipeline. Subsequently, she is working with the company on introductions to Sterling Heights-based INTEC Automated Controls to identify CNC machine operators.

“It’s about making connections and helping put these companies in touch with workforce development organizations in Southeast Michigan that they have not been able to tap into,” she said. “because ultimately, the more productive they are, they can increase their business and potentially expand their business into more space and operations.”

Other inquiries focused on the current infrastructure in place in Michigan to support aerospace and aviation technology innovation and how the state fits into a potential company’s overall competitive strategy.

“Right now a lot of aerospace companies are moving toward vertical integration, where they get everything they need from one supplier as opposed to going to multiple suppliers. So we have to show that we have companies and assets here that can be that one stop shop,” Claiborne said.

Claiborne said Business Attraction is currently following up with six companies who have expressed interest in doing more business in Michigan, and InnoState has had inquiries from nine companies.

Click here to view photos from the Paris Air Show