Livingston County is home to a range of settings, from walkable downtowns to suburban residential developments, to rural communities and farms. Given its range of character, the county is able to create new development while maintaining its natural and agricultural assets. Recent growth has included significant multi-parcel industrial operations, small mom-and-pop retail storefronts, single family home and condo developments, healthcare facilities, and more. While growth within the county is projected to continue, barriers stand in the way of meeting market demand.
To better understand barriers to growth in Livingston County, Ann Arbor SPARK and the Economic Development Council of Livingston County (EDCLC) partnered with the Workforce Intelligence Network to complete an economic action plan. We focused our research on the talent and real estate markets due to their critical role in economic development. We gathered information through gap analysis techniques and the data helped us identify county-wide needs in the markets studied. We also benchmarked Livingston County against comparable communities to see where Livingston County is positioned regionally and nationally.
The purpose of our report was not to market the region or to use data to promote Livingston County. Instead, we used our research to strengthen our understanding of where Livingston County stands and what needs can be addressed in order to improve and grow the county’s economy. Ultimately, we were able to identify several key findings and make recommendations to overcome local challenges and leverage assets.
Some of our most illuminating findings included:
- Two of the top 10 in-demand occupations are in healthcare, presenting the opportunity for Ann Arbor SPARK and EDCLC to partner with healthcare providers and educators to encourage middle and high schoolers to consider careers in the industry.
- Although population growth continues in Livingston County, there are few high-skill job opportunities available for local residents in the county.
- Greenfield development is a key opportunity for attracting new investment in the region.
- Manufacturing continues to be a driver of Livingston’s economy. Of the similar counties around the country, Livingston had the highest concentration of manufacturing businesses.
To see the full report and read the rest of our findings, please visit www.annarborusa.org/livingston