Manufacturing diversification summits to be held statewide

February 5, 2009
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The Keep Michigan Working is teaming with local economic development organizations to host monthly diversification summits for Michigan manufacturers that have the resources to diversify into growing manufacturing sectors, such as wind energy and medical devices. Twelve summits are planned across the state in coming months, starting with one in Oakland County today. A summit is scheduled in Grand Rapids on Feb. 18 from 7:30 to 3 p.m. at Grand Valley State University’s Eberhard Center downtown.

At each summit, experts in the aerospace, homeland security/defense, medical device and wind energy sectors will explain how manufacturers can apply their specialized machinery and know-how to the manufacture of products in those industries. The 12 statewide summits are modeled after a diversification conference hosted by the Michigan Economic Development Corp. last November.  The summits are targeting more than 2,500 companies.

“The goal of these summits is to bring manufacturers together with industry experts and Michigan companies who have successfully diversified their business and acquaint them with new opportunities,” MEDC President and CEO James C. Epolito said.

Companies that attend the summit will be asked to complete a comprehensive questionnaire and if they demonstrate the potential to diversify — as determined by sector service providers — they’ll receive a $10,000 matching grant from the Economic Development Job Training program to assist in the diversification process, Epolito said. 

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