Saginaw Future honored 34 economic development projects that led to nearly $182 million invested in Saginaw County and the Great Lakes Bay Region last week at the 19th annual awards luncheon and presentation of Economic Excellence Awards.

More than 400 business and community leaders attended the event, held at the Dow Event Center. 

“Energizing the New Economy” was this year’s theme, which refers to rejuvenated traditional industries and new technology being developed in Saginaw County and the Great Lakes Bay Region.

“Saginaw County and the Great Lakes Bay Region are transitioning to a new economy that blends traditional industry sectors with new technology,” said Saginaw Future 2010 Chairman Ed Bruff. “Our team is working with the state to help advance new economic opportunities and we were very happy to welcome MEDC president and CEO Mike Finney today.”

Finney formerly served as an assistant city manager in Saginaw, and received the 2008 Saginaw Valley State University Outstanding Alumnus for the College of Business and Management. He gave a presentation on new economic development policies for the State of Michigan.

Saginaw Future President JoAnn Crary stated, “We look forward to working with the MEDC and Governor Snyder to develop new markets in the renewable energy industry and renew investment in agri-business and advanced manufacturing.”

Five dynamic projects had a significant impact on the local economy in 2010:

* Merrill Technologies Group partnered with Northern Power Systems to develop the first large scale production of utility-scale wind turbines in the State of Michigan. Merrill Technologies also had growth as a result of its new solar, wind and defense opportunities.
* Star of the West Milling Co. exceeded expectations and amended its 2009 tax abatement for an estimated $5.5 million expansion. The 17th largest miller in the U.S. has invested more than $8.4 million over the past three years.
* Reinvestment and redevelopment is coming to South Washington Avenue in Saginaw as two companies will expand and bring dozens of jobs to the area. Midwestern Surgical Associates plans to construct a 16,000-square-foot two-story building and Gateway Financial is investing $500,000 to expand in the 999 S. Washington building.
* Dow Corning Corp. on is slated to invest $3.53 million over the next two years in infrastructure and new equipment at its Thomas Township Health Industries Materials Site facility. This is Dow Corning’s fourth recent investment at the facility totaling nearly $15 million.
* In addition, a Wisconsin based company, Midwest Manufacturing, purchased a formerly vacant facility in the City of Saginaw and began production of landscape block and other products for 26 Menard stores in Michigan.

Established in 1992, Saginaw Future is a public-private alliance of local businesses, Saginaw County, the city of Saginaw, 16 local municipalities and the Saginaw County Chamber of Commerce. SF’s strategic partners also include education, labor and government.  Since its beginning, SF has remained dedicated to fostering quality job creation through expansion of local industry and attraction of new business projects to the community.

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