See all the media coverage at http://www.saultedc.com/manufacturing-day-12-13-16 Manufacturing Day – Networking & More Sault Ste. Marie, MI - On Tuesday, December 13th from 11:30 am to 1:30 pm, the Economic Development Corporation (EDC) hosted Manufacturing Day at the Crow’s Nest on the campus of Lake Superior State University. The event was created with a focus on benefitting manufacturing in the region but also included business owners, students and entrepreneurs from both sides of the river. Sponsors of the event included Michigan Economic Development Corporation, Spectrum Business Enterprise Solutions and Michigan Manufacturing Technology Center/Northern Initiatives. “This annual event is to learn more about our local manufacturers, and how the EDC can assist in expansion or other needs. It is also an opportunity to bring State organizations to our community to share ideas and various available programs and to highlight the services available in our SmartZone building.” reported Jeff Holt, EDC Director. Mayor, Tony Bosbous welcomed all attendees noting, “The City Commission, during our goal setting session for 2016, adopted as one of its goals; “economic gardening” – with priority given to assist our local businesses and industries with growth opportunities. Manufacturing is one way of increasing the overall wealth in our community!” 60 attendees including entities such as Hoover Precision, R&B Electronics, SIS Manufacturing, J.A.S. Veneer & Lumber and many more in the region from both sides of the river received resources and were able to network face-to-face with their peers. Michigan Manufacturers Association (MMA), Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC), Northern Initiatives and Michigan Manufacturing Technical Center (MMTC) were available before and after the event and reiterated that they made valuable connections in our area. Chuck Hadden, President and CEO of the Michigan Manufacturers Association, highlighted current issues facing Michigan-based manufacturers, noting: • Manufacturing represents over 21% of Michigan’s gross state product. • Employs over 600,000 people in Michigan • Leads the nation in job growth with almost 150,000 new jobs since 2010 Hadden then went on to explain the benefits that MMA can provide not only manufacturers but small business as well. MMA has been successful in savings that include; • Personal property tax elimination saving employers $576 million annually • Workers’ Compensation at $277 million • “Cost of Service” Energy Rates at $100 million • Certificate of Need $300 million • Beneficial Reuse savings and over 2,000 Rules Eliminated (ORR) Hadden also noted two of MMA’s current legislating efforts, 1) develop a competitive energy policy that secures Michigan’s existing 10% choice system and 2) oppose legislation which would force manufacturers to become the surrogate tax collectors for employees who live in cities where income tax is collected. During the final days of the 2015-2016 Legislative Session, which occurred after this event, MMA was successful on both fronts. Working closely with Governor Snyder, MMA and a coalition of pro-electric choice advocates drove a fundamental rewrite of the “choice” provisions to preserve existing market dynamics for choice customers. At the same, MMA worked with the broader business community to defeat the city income tax bill, eliminating what would have been an administrative nightmare for employers. A topic that seemed to energize the room was the skilled trade deficit. Hadden discussed the lack of talent in the region and took input and questions from the crowd on issues they are facing as well as potential solutions. MMA offers two programs geared at middle and high school students; Dream It. Do It® and PRIME®. Hadden offered to come back and meet with individual employers in the region and work on a plan to see what talent they will need for the next 5, 10 and 20 years to work then with schools and colleges to train students accordingly. The EUP Intermediate School District millage also came up and Hadden deemed it necessary for the future workforce in our region. Two speakers from MEDC were also able to offer solutions and Amy Berglund, Region 1 Business Development Manager based out of the Marquette area spoke about MEDC’s Business-to-Business program (B2B) on how it can strengthen the State of Michigan by connecting with thousands of buyers and suppliers in Michigan. Chris Bosio, International Trade Manager for MEDC based out of Traverse City, spoke about current trade incentives including a program that assist with up to $12,000 in reimbursement. For more information on MMA you can find them at www.mimfg.org or on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/MIManufacturers or Twitter @MiManufacturers. For more information on MEDC please visit michiganbusiness.org or contact the Sault EDC at firstname.lastname@example.org. To connect with Northern Initiatives or Michigan Manufacturing Technology Center reach out to northerninitiatives.org and click the Business Services tab. Future plans include hosting a Business After 5 event at a local manufacturing entity through the Sault Chamber of Commerce. Follow our Facebook page to stay tuned into what @SSMEDC has to offer. Join our monthly eNewsletter via our Facebook page. Visit our website at SaultEDC.com. Photos labeled accordingly.