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Ann Arbor Spark

August 28, 2019

Economic Development in the Greater Ann Arbor Region

The Greater Ann Arbor Region (GAAR) initiative is a collaborative partnership of six counties — Hillsdale, Jackson, Lenawee, Livingston, Monroe, and Washtenaw — working together to serve growing businesses that are seeking a destination for relocation or expansion.

To help share the region’s story, GAAR created a series of videos that separately tell each county’s story through the eyes of a company located there. Combined, they portray a region that excels in manufacturing, technology, innovation, and talent.


A six-county initiative in southeast Michigan serving growing businesses that are looking to relocate or expand.

Mobility Innovation

“Ann Arbor can be just as creative and just as competitive as Silicon Valley. I see everything we need to be successful right here. That’s part of the beauty of Ann Arbor,” Zafar Razzacki, head of product, May Mobility

Watch the Washtenaw County video.

Workforce

“That’s what’s fun about being in Michigan, too. Having that workforce that’s hardworking, fun, and passionate,” David Yancho, vice president, Armor Protective Packaging

Watch the Livingston County video.

Integration Between Business and Community

“If you look at Lenawee … we are a partner and tightly integrated with the community,” David Wilhoit, president and CEO, Wacker Chemical Corp

Watch the Lenawee County video.

Culture of Training and Development

“One of our goals is to create the highest skilled labor force that there is in the industry. We started TechniqueU back in 2017. It’s a high-tech training academy that is housed here in Technique that provides the student with paid training opportunities.” Laura Wright, HR manager, Technique, Inc.

Watch the Jackson County video.

Logistics

“The logistics industry has many opportunities in a lot of different areas.  Technology is a huge driver in our business,” Kenyon Calender, founder and CEO, KC Logistics

Watch the Monroe County video.

Michigan Culture: Strong Work Ethic

“The people in Michigan do have a very good work ethic here. A good culture in this community and a relatively low cost to live. The community here is very good for our business,” Tom Strickland, president and CEO, Hi-Lex Controls, Inc.

Watch the Hillsdale County video.