LANSING — This week, Ray De Winkle, senior vice president of global business development at the Lansing Area Economic Partnership, arrived in Germany on behalf of the Lansing region to conduct pre-meetings supporting the State Trade Export Promotion (STEP) mission.

STEP is supported by LEAP, the Lansing Regional Chamber of Commerce and the Michigan Economic Development Corp. This program brings resources, including funding, to companies in an 18 county area, including the Lansing region, who seek to build their profits and job creation through export activity.

Germany was chosen as the destination for the mission for reasons such as trade volume, number of consumers and the location, being the heart of a 27-member European Union. Many industries are being targeted for this trip; automotive, drug and pharmaceutical, information technology, machining and tooling, medical equipment, renewable energy, and plastics.

The STEP program is available to companies now. Additionally, a trade mission led by LEAP, LRCC and MEDC will take place in June. Companies interested in exploring export opportunities are asked to consider joining the mission this June. The package costs $6,500, with a deposit required by April 12.

LEAP is a coalition of area leaders committed to building a prosperous and vibrant region where business can thrive. To do this, we help entrepreneurs start new businesses, help existing businesses grow, and attract new businesses to the region. For more information about LEAP, please visit


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