Sponsored By DTE Energy

As one of the original members of Pure Michigan Business Connect, DTE has been at the forefront of Michigan’s resurgence committed to being a force for growth in the communities where we live and serve.

DTE joined PMBC in 2011 during the heat of the financial crisis, vowing to increase spending with Michigan-based companies. Since then DTE has increased its’ spend with Michigan-based suppliers by 200 percent.

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“We have made a concerted effort to conduct business with Michigan-based suppliers as part of our commitment to the PMBC initiative – working to keep the dollars spent in state as a means to reinvest in Michigan’s future,” said Tony Tomczak, executive director, Corporate Services and CPO, DTE Energy. “We are accomplishing this while ensuring low costs and high quality, demonstrating Michigan’s overall competitiveness.”

The company has generated $1.7 billion in new supplier contracts since participating in the PMBC initiative, and is on a trajectory to spend between $1.1 and $1.2 billion dollars with Michigan suppliers this year – well above its target — having spent $580 million through the first half of the year.   This spend with approximately 1,600 companies based throughout Michigan has created and supported more than 8,500 jobs in the state, and continues to climb.

“We work closely with PMBC to identify potential companies that may be willing to relocate or expand their operations into our state to support our business,” Tomczak said. “Our procurement team also works extremely hard to develop and mentor small, local businesses to help them grow and potentially become suppliers to DTE, as that is the segment most closely aligned with economic growth and sustainability.”

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Detroit-based supplier SEEL was formed in 2009 when its’ parent company was struggling due to the financial downturn. “We were involved in a different business at the time which was doing very poorly,” said Louis James, president, SEEL, LLC. “It was DTE that mentored us, introduced us to potential partners in the sustainability industry and eventually contracted with us. Because of the decline in the automotive industry at that time, we were able to hire and re-train a number of ex-auto workers – converting blue collar workers to, what we like to call, green collar advocates.”  SEEL started with just 10 employees. Today, due to its work with DTE, the company employs 65 people and expects that number to continue to grow as it diversifies and moves into other markets.


This article was originally published in DTE Energy’s magazine EnergySmarts.

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