In fiscal 2009, the Legislature appropriated more than $17 million to support the work of 125 FTE employees.[*] This core group of economic development staff is paid to support programs through which the state offers potentially billions more in state resources to select industries, corporations and individuals.

Despite its prosaic name, this is arguably one of the most high-profile program areas of the Michigan Economic Development Corp., in part due to its administering the Michigan Economic Growth Authority, one of the state's largest and best-known development "tools." (MEGA is described at length later in this study.) According to the Michigan House Fiscal Agency, "job creation services" include:

  • "Business Development: international business development, business retention/attraction activities, project management and market research.

  • "Business Services: Infrastructure programs and Community Development Block Grant) [sic]; small business outreach; job training; site location; account management; brownfield development; tech zone administration; finance programs (Michigan Economic Growth Authority); Michigan Core Community administration.

  • "Emerging Business Services: Life Sciences Corridor Initiative; business development to targeted industries (homeland security, advanced manufacturing, life sciences); business roundtables.

  • "e-MEDC: coordinate IT and e-business efforts, customer assistance and advocacy units, export services, and ombudsman office.

  • "Public Affairs: communications/marketing/events; Michigan Protocol Office."[33]

  • [*] In 2005, the state Legislature was looking to trim areas of the state budget and zeroed in on the MEDC, which prompted the following response from the MEDC CEO James Epolito: "A year from now, our success in transforming Michigan's economy and generating jobs for Michigan workers will make any legislator think twice about reducing that 'job creation services' line item in the state budget." (MIRS, Oct. 20, 2005).


    [33] Wild and Fox, “Line Item and Boilerplate Summary: General Government.”