Oakland County scores record business development, job creation

Oakland County knows manufacturing has sustained Metro Detroit’s economy for generations. Its leaders are smart enough to also know those days are numbered. It’s a big reason why they have been touting the success of the county’s Emerging Sectors business development strategy.

In a decade where the manufacturing base has gone on a crash diet, the Emerging Sectors program has grown fat with success after success. Last year was its best year ever with 38 companies choosing to locate or expand in the county. That translates into nearly $250 million in investment and about 8,400 jobs.

Among those success stories are the Global Wind Systems (an alternative energy company) sinking $32 million into an operation in Novi that will create 356 jobs, and HoMedics, a medical device company in Commerce Township bringing in $11 million and 62 new jobs.

The program began in 2004 and has helped more than 100 companies either expand or move to Oakland County, bringing $1.2 billion in investment and 14,500 new jobs with them. That also helped retain another 5,600 jobs and more than $30 million in local taxes.

The numbers of participating businesses have risen each year. Although only four companies came into the fold in 2004, that number grew to eight in 2005, 20 in 2006 and 31 in 2007.

Source: Oakland County
Writer: Jon Zemke