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The Economic Growth Institute has provided innovative economic development programming and applied research for 40 years.
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Winter 2023 Newsletter
  • EDA-funded Downriver Economic Development Initiative
  • REPORT: Clean Energy Technology Adoption Roadmap
  • Advanced Mobility Supply Chain Transformation Center
  • EGI staff and student stories
  • On the Road: Where to find us this quarter 

EGI Supporting EDA-funded Downriver Economic Development Initiative

In 2021, EGI was contracted to facilitate a strategic planning project for the Downriver Community Conference leadership and key community stakeholders and partners to create a strategic plan to address the impact of energy transition on the region. As a result of this effort, the U.S. Economic Development Administration has awarded a $1.6 million grant as part of its Coal Communities Commitment to support the Downriver Riverfront Communities Economic Recovery Implementation Project. The geographic scope of the project is the five communities located between the two retired power plants: Trenton, Riverview, Wyandotte, Ecorse, and River Rouge.

The $1.6 million grant will be leveraged to build capacity and help strengthen economic development in the region following the closure of two coal-fired power plants along the riverfront by bringing action to the strategic plan developed back in the fall of 2021. The project has three main goals: create and staff a regional Economic Development Office, develop a strategy for the redevelopment of industrial (brownfield) sites, and create a small business technical assistance program.

DCC has hired two local professionals as the first step of this project: Jazmine Danci and Joseph Gruber.  Danci and Gruber both have extensive economic development experience and will serve as Economic Development Administrators in the newly expanded DCC Economic Development Department.

EGI will continue to support the DCC in launching the initiative and help DCC staff in assisting regional businesses, including providing technical assistance to companies in the Downriver Riverfront region of Trenton, Riverview, Wyandotte, Ecorse, and River Rouge that have been impacted by the plant closures. Through this initiative, technical assistance and up to $10,000 in matching funds are available to help affected small businesses and company resiliency projects.

For more information, please contact Mary Hannaford at Mjhannaf@umich.edu.

Learn more

REPORT: Clean Energy Technology Adoption Roadmap

Cover of Clean Energy Technology Adoption Roadmap report

Funded by Michigan Department of Energy, Great Lakes, and Environment, this report identifies the roadmap of clean energy technology adoption in Michigan’s manufacturing sector.

Accelerating the adoption of technologies that decrease energy use during production is a critical avenue to achieving decarbonization goals. Through focusing on adoption post-meter in two areas, energy production and energy efficiency, the report outlines the roadmap and value chain including the components of adoption, process of adoption, gaps, and the current state of adoption. Additionally, opportunities to accelerate adoption are highlighted. Download the report and attend the webinar discussing findings!

Learn more

The Automotive Industry is Changing.
Are you Ready?

EGI recently launched the Advanced Mobility Supply Chain Transformation Center (STC) to assist small to medium size manufacturers in the greater Detroit region that are transforming their businesses as EVs, autonomous vehicles, and advanced manufacturing shape the future of mobility. The STC will assess manufacturers' business needs and provide up to $100,000 in matching funds to support technical assistance projects for qualifying companies.

For more information, or to see if your company qualifies, contact Kiarra Terry at kiawells@umich.edu or visit our website below.
Learn more

EGI staff member Steve Brown

Steve BrownSteve Brown is a Senior Project Manager at the Economic Growth Institute, with a primary focus in support of the Advanced Mobility Supply Chain Transformation Center (STC). In this role, he works with small to medium sized manufacturers located in the greater Detroit region, to build resilience and growth in support of the evolving EV/Mobility roadmap.

Steve joined the institute in the fall of 2022 after a storied 30-year career across the automotive, aerospace, alternative energy and packaging industry sectors; most recently, he served as the Global Vice President of M&A Integration for Amcor Ltd.  He holds a Bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering and a Master’s degree in Manufacturing Systems Engineering, both from the University of Michigan.  Steve has experience in manufacturing operations, research & development, product development, product management, marketing, procurement, business development and corporate strategy.  He is also a certified Six Sigma Black Belt in both the Lean and Design for Six Sigma disciplines.

Connect with Steve on LinkedIn

Student research associate Michael Gormley

Michael GormleyMichael Gormley recently joined the Economic Growth Institute as part of the Advanced Mobility Supply Chain Transformation Center (STC) to support companies in the program.  He is also enrolled in EGI's "Re-imagining companies" class which introduces students to the fundamentals of how to evaluate a company and strategize its growth opportunities.  

Mike is from a small town in Michigan called North Branch. He is currently a senior pursuing a Bachelor’s in Economics and two minors: one in Entrepreneurship and a second in Bosnian/Croatian/Serbian studies. After graduation, he is looking to apply what he learned at school and from his time at EGI to pursue a career in Finance.

Along with working at EGI, Mike is also an Axe Master at a local axe-throwing business right around the corner from the EGI office. Additionally, he was on staff as a student field manager working with the defensive line for the Michigan Football Team for the 2021 and 2022 seasons. So, if anybody wants to learn how to throw an axe or see a Big 10 Championship ring, Mike’s your guy!

Connect with Michael on LinkedIn

Here's where to find us in the coming months

February 27 - Brooke Sweeney will attend the Michigan Manufacturers Cyber Initiative luncheon in Midland, MI, sponsored by Great Lakes Bay Manufacturers Alliance and Central Michigan Manufacturers Association.
March 2 - Sarah Crane will attend and present her research through a free webinar titled: Clean Energy Technology Adoption within Michigan's Manufacturing Sector on March 2, 11 AM – 12 PM, sponsored by the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy. Webinar Registration link here

May 3 - Stephanie Ludwig will attend and present at the Michigan Minority Supplier Development Council’s (MMSDC) Michigan Minority Procurement Conference (MMPC). Stephanie will be co-presenting with the Michigan Manufacturing Technology Center at the Resource Stage on May 3, from 10:20 AM – 10:40 AM, on the topic: Global Epicenter of Mobility (GEM) Grants for MBEs in Manufacturing.

June 6 - 7 - Ashlee Breitner, Stephanie Ludwig, and Brooke Sweeney will be attending the Women in Manufacturing WiM North Regional Conference
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Our winter newsletter includes stories about an EDA-funded Downriver Economic Development Initiative, research of Clean Energy Technology Adoption, work at the Advanced Mobility Supply Chain Transformation Center, and EGI staff and student stories.

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