City of Brighton's Business Engagement Report by Ann Arbor SPARK
Economic development in Livingston County is facilitated through the Economic Development Council of Livingston County (EDCLC). While neighboring counties have staff focused on county-wide development, the EDCLC contracts with Ann Arbor SPARK in order to provide service to member communities.
Ann Arbor SPARK
is a non-profit organization dedicated to the economic prosperity of Washtenaw and Livingston Counties. Ann Arbor SPARK’s expert staff use their skills and knowledge to attract, develop, strengthen, and invest in driving industries to help the region thrive. From manufacturing facilities to company headquarters, SPARK’s Livingston County team works closely with a broad range of businesses to keep the local economy growing.
At the last City Council study session on August 3, Ann Arbor SPARK staff members, Phil Santer and Julia Upfal, gave an update on the organization’s successes since 2012 and their upcoming service improvements. SPARK has worked closely with manufacturers like Eberspacher and TG Fluids to grow their operations in the City of Brighton, secure grants, and find talent. They’ve been involved with the University of Michigan Health System’s Brighton Center for Specialty Care and other large developments in the community.
They delivered a report on Livingston County and Brighton specifically regarding talent, land use, and general economic benchmarking metrics. The report included findings such as a need for more highly skilled jobs in the county to retain talent along with a need for land and buildings that can support larger employers. The report also concluded that compared to similar counties across the nation, Livingston County scores last in higher education attainment. SPARK is planning on addressing these and other findings with specific action items moving forward.
City Council will vote on renewing the contract with the EDCLC on Thursday, August 17. The City plans on increasing engagement with Ann Arbor SPARK to utilize their GIS tools, promotion of available development sites, business retention program.