MML# 2: Michigan’s TED Puts Tools for Success Together

dickeys top SUPERHEROMML# 2:  Michigan’s TEDSCOTT WRIGHT AD basic tall Puts Tools for Success Together

(Crystal A. Proxmire, March 24, 2016)

Lansing, MI – For about the past year the State of Michigan has taken a team approach to economic growth with the creation of  TED: the Talent and Economic Department.

TED brings together multiple agencies, including: Michigan Economic Development Corporation, the Michigan State Housing Development Authority, the Michigan Strategic Fund and the newly created Talent Investment Agency (TIA).

These groups work together on opportunities to attract and retain talent. Representatives Schrock2015_SmilingFace_adfrom the groups were on a panel discussion Wednesday for the Michigan Municipal League’s Capital Conference in Lansing to share what TED could do for local communities.

“TED brings the state talent, economic and community development efforts under one umbrella,” said Steve Arwood, CEO of the Michigan Economic Development Corporation.  He talked about the need to create an overall sense of place for attracting and retaining talented workers, and how the collaborations have helped identify ways to do that.

“When you think about what we want to do in terms of growth and retention, we need to keep our young people. Often that comes down to ‘place.’ Are we where they want to be?” Arwood said.

Stephanie Beckhorn, Acting Director Workforce Development Agency agreed.  “There are jobs UrbaneAd_04here.  You don’t need to leave.  You can stay close to your family and close to natural resources.”  Her piece of the puzzle is looking at how to connect people and jobs as well as to assist in training opportunities to bridge gaps in skills.

Tied in with the need for workers is the need for affordable housing for workers in all communities.  The Michigan State Housing Development Authority supports home ownership and the development of safe, decent and affordable rental housing.

Kevin Elsenheimer, Executive Director of the MSHDA talked about a loan program where they are able to act as a bank and loan qualifying individuals money to purchase a home.  The proceeds from the loans go into a fund in order to give more people loans. They also can give up to $7,500 in down payment assistance, Elsenheimer said.

mendoza adAnother success Elsenheimer mentioned was ripple effect he’s seen.  “When we invest it helps attract other developers to the area,” he said.

Much of the discussion about TED topics involves figuring out how to appeal to millennials.  “The millennials are an interesting group,” said MML President and Dearborn mayor John B. O’Reilly Jr.  “They’re not buying a house right away. They’re not expecting to work for the same company for 30 years.”

Elsenheimer talked about how millennials have different housing needs than previous generations as well.  One application his office reviewed was from a major corporation that was investing in Detroit.  The project was to build “microlofts,” 600-800 square foot lofts.  “People who review these applications were scratching their heads thinking of who would want to live there, but millennials do… their life is outside.  It’s a place to sleep, to eat, but they want to be out experiencing life.”DDAnew01

Though the MSHDA did not end up working on that project, Elsenheimer appreciated the approach.  “People want to live near where they work,” he said.  “As cities grow, lack of housing for those workers is an issue.”

Other efforts include assisting communities with crowdfunding and looking for ways to promote tourism. Arwood is optimistic, and said there was $6.5 billion spent in tourism in Michigan last year. “The economy is good. Gas prices are low.  We have places to see.”

TED is aslo sponsoring a Rising Tide program to focus on ten economically challenged communities across the state. The program focuses on Newberry, Central Lake, Grayling, Evart, Harrison, Sandusky, Charlotte, Paw Paw, Hillsdale and River Rouge.

Learn more about TED at:

Learn more about the Michigan Municipal League at

This story is part of a series on the MML Capital Conference that took place March 22-23 in Lansing.   For other MML-related stories see:

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