Waterford, Michigan -- Oakland County’s Emerging Sectors® business attraction and retention strategy had its second best year since inception, generating more than $518 million of investment in 2013 while creating or retaining 4,200 jobs.
The year was second only to 2007 when $672 million was generated, due in large part to an expansion into Independence Township of McLaren Hospital.
“We’re clearly charging out of the recession,” Oakland County Executive L. Brooks Patterson said. “I can’t wait for the 2014 numbers to be tabulated.”
Since 2004, when Patterson created the program to diversify Oakland County’s economy began, Emerging Sectors has attracted new investment of $2.6 billion from 258 successes – companies that were either new to Oakland County or stayed here when they considered moving to another state or country. The investment generated more than $66 million in taxes and created or retained more than 44,000 jobs.
The top five years for Emerging Sectors investment are:
- 2007, $672 million, 20 successes
- 2013, $518 million, 33 successes
- 2010, $321 million, 46 successes
- 2008, $194 million, 30 successes
- 2011, $198 million, 39 successes
Patterson celebrated the success of the program when it reached $2 billion in generated investment during the summer by throwing a “What goes into $2 Billion” bash on the main floor of The Palace of Auburn Hills for the Emerging Sector companies. More than 500 people were invited.
Selected projects announced during 2013 included:
- General Motors Corp., Milford, $258 million investment, 20 new jobs, consolidation of information technology services.
- Rigaku Innovative Technologies, Auburn Hills, $55 million investment, 27 new and 47 retained jobs. The Japan-based company develops coatings for use in optic analysis.
- Faurecia, Auburn Hills, $24 million investment, 24 new jobs, and 689 retained jobs. It is a French-based auto supplier.
- Mercury Medical Systems, Keego Harbor, $48 million investment, 100 new jobs. The company is creating a premier independent elder and assisted living village which includes living facilities and medical facilities.
- Vectorform, Farmington Hills, $2.2 million investment, 75 new and 70 retained jobs. The software design and technology firm specializes in emerging digital experiences for leading brands such as Microsoft, Xbox, Coca Cola and Chrysler. The company plans to expand its headquarters into Royal Oak.
When traditional successes are added to the 2013 tally, there was more than $727 million of investment in the county.
“Those figures bring a smile to my face,” Patterson said. “The noises you hear in the background are corks popping.”
Much of the county’s success is tied to its focus on attracting international companies. More than 900 international firms from 38 countries have business locations in Oakland County. In January, the county’s business development team had two people at Arab Health in Dubai – one of the largest life science trade shows in the world – touting Oakland County’s Medical Main Street.
One of the business development representatives left Dubai and is now in Turkey, courting automotive companies as well as medical device and information technology companies. It is Oakland County’s first trip to Turkey.
More than 1 million vehicles were produced in Turkey in 2012, according to the Turkish Automotive Manufacturers Association. The Turkish automobile market is poised for significant growth due to significant investment from Renault, Fiat and Ford.