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Economic Development Council of Livingston County and Ann Arbor SPARK Celebrate New Investment, Job Growth, Talent Connections at its Annual Meeting

November 8, 2019 Regional Updates
Speaker at EDCLC
Michele Economou Ureste, executive director of Workforce Intelligence Network for Southeast Michigan presents at the EDCLC annual meeting.

At its annual meeting, the Economic Development Council of Livingston County (EDCLC) and its economic development partner, Ann Arbor SPARK, presented the community with an overview of the impact of its work in the last year. Key projects were highlighted as were community partnerships and how Livingston County benefits from Ann Arbor SPARK and EDCLC’s economic development work.

Since 2012, Ann Arbor SPARK and EDCLC’s collaborative efforts have generated $298 million in new investment in Livingston County and the creation of more than 5700 jobs. In 2018-2019, the collaboration resulted in $18.8 million in investment and 80 new jobs.

“It’s noteworthy that the work of Ann Arbor SPARK and EDCLC has consistently, over the course of seven years, created economic opportunity for Livingston County,” said Ann Arbor SPARK senior vice president, business development, Phil Santer. “We are able to leverage the strengths of both Livingston and Washtenaw counties to cast a wider net in terms of providing the support a broad range of businesses need to grow.”

Projects Ann Arbor SPARK and EDCLC executed in 2019 included Manufacturing Day, which connected 13 companies with local high schoolers to offer them insight on career opportunities. The meeting also featured success stories on Hatch Stamping, Asahi Kasei Plastics, and Pop Daddy – three companies that experienced growth in Livingston County with support from Ann Arbor SPARK and EDCLC.

James Wickman, Hartland Township Manager and EDCLC board chair

“The EDCLC and Ann Arbor SPARK partnership continues to be the driving catalyst for Livingston County’s business success and economic growth,” said James Wickman, Hartland Township Manager and EDCLC board chair. “It is exciting that this collaborative effort continues to yield positive results for Livingston County.”

Ann Arbor SPARK and EDCLC were also able to secure grants for Livingston County this past year. The organizations submitted an application to the state on behalf of Handy Township for a $70,200 grant to complete an evaluation of the former Mitch Harris site to determine whether it could accommodate an industrial project. Also, the State of Michigan’s Department of Labor and Economic Opportunity – Workforce Development awarded Ann Arbor SPARK and EDCLC a $63,000 grant to support the Livingston County Manufacturers Collaborative in developing programs designed to attract, develop, and retain skilled laborers.

For more information on the impact of Ann Arbor SPARK’s collaboration with EDCLC, see or visit

Special thanks to the event sponsors: Consumers Energy, First National Bank, Saint Joseph Mercy Health System, Michigan Works! Southeast, Comcast Business, and Rudolph Libbe Group.

About Ann Arbor SPARK

Ann Arbor SPARK, a non-profit organization, is advancing the region by encouraging and supporting business acceleration, attraction and retention. The organization identifies and meets the needs of business at every stage, from start-ups to large organizations. Ann Arbor SPARK collaborates with business, academic, government, and community investor partners. For more information, please call (734) 761-9317 or visit