A new report on Oakland County efforts to court business investment and new jobs in high-growth industries showed some acceleration in February, as well as some corrections and updates to past reports.
The county reported four successful deals last month, with companies committing to invest nearly $8.6 million countywide and add 192 jobs. That’s compared with four deals to invest around $4.1 million combined and add 185 jobs in January, and another two deals last December.
Another three deals reached in February were within traditional industry segments for Southeast Michigan — in this case, all automotive suppliers — to invest nearly $7.8 million and add 218 new jobs.
The latest deals bring the county to a total of $1.64 billion of investment through 170 successful deals since the program’s inception in 2004.
That’s compared with a previous report where the county claimed 181 deals to invest more than $1.7 billion from inception through last December. But Maureen Krauss, director of economic development and community affairs for Oakland County, said officials reviewed past program deals earlier this year and corrected the tally to remove commitments that never materialized.
“Going back all the way through six years of the program, we didn’t find more than about 15 or so (deals that fell through),” she said. “And it didn’t affect our total for new jobs growth much, because most of those deals were for fairly small additions.”
All three of the traditional deals and one Emerging Sector deal in February, for Kuka Robotics Corp. to invest $4.7 million in relocating its Clinton Township headquarters to Rochester Hills and retaining 68 local jobs, were also approved and reported at the state level, by the Michigan Economic Growth Authority.
The other three were deals generated by the county, either to offer training grants and other assistance or coordinating local property tax abatement deals in cooperation with municipalities where investments will occur.
The Emerging Sectors program was launched in 2004 by Oakland County Executive L. Brooks Patterson as an effort to attract economic development in 10 high-growth sectors to help diversify the economy and offset traditional manufacturing jobs losses.
Michigan reportedly lost more than 1 million jobs in the past decade, a majority of them in manufacturing.
Other deals in Emerging Sectors for February include:
* Ascendant Mdx Inc., a laboratory company providing obstetrical and genetic testing services, to invest up to $3.7 million and add up to 162 new jobs by 2015 in one of the vacant West Tech Park buildings in Farmington Hills.
* LevelSet Solutions LLC, a business software and management consulting firm, to invest up to $10,000, add four new jobs and retain two jobs in a planned expansion in Royal Oak.
* Waveform Technology LLC, an IT services and data management company, to invest $157,000, add one new job and retain three jobs at its Michigan Data Center in Troy.
By Chad Halcom, Crain’s Detroit