Economic Development Leaders for Michigan Call for Passage of Michigan Employment Opportunity Program

Bill includes tiers to help attract transformational projects to smaller counties


DETROIT (August 25, 2021) – Today, the Economic Development Leaders for Michigan (EDLM) called for quick passage of the Michigan Employment Opportunity Program. The legislation would restore economic incentives key to attracting transformational projects to the state, but with additional tiers allowing the incentives to apply to smaller rural counties.

“Michigan is at a competitive disadvantage with other states without these incentives,” said Maureen Donohue Krauss, chair of EDLM and president and CEO of the Detroit Regional Partnership. “This new legislation can help attract transformational projects and good-paying jobs to communities of all sizes in Michigan. As we all work to accelerate economic growth amid the pandemic, it’s important the Legislature pass this bill quickly.”

Under Michigan’s Senate Bill 615, as introduced by Senator Ken Horn (R-Frankenmuth), companies can receive the performance-based incentives for creating jobs that meet or exceed the average wage in the regions they are located. Companies benefitting from the Michigan Employment Opportunity Program only receive the incentive when they are paying the wages of the jobs they committed to create. The incentives are funded through an income tax capture at no up-front cost to the state.

“A rapidly growing industrial sector has positioned Detroit to secure new investment,” said Detroit Economic Growth Corporation President and CEO Kevin Johnson. “However, we need to improve our competitive position by offering incentives to companies that create good-paying jobs. Not only will this attract more investment to Michigan, it will help create the type of jobs that provide financial security to Michigan families.”

As introduced, the legislation has tiered job-creation criteria for counties of different sizes:
Ӣ Populations of 250,000 and above (must create 250 to 3,000 jobs)
Ӣ Populations of 90,001 to 249,999 (100 to 500 jobs)
Ӣ Populations of 90,000 or below (50 to 250 jobs)

Similar economic incentives, which expired in 2019 were responsible for a commitment of more than 11,300 good-paying jobs and generating more than $6.6 billion in private sector investment, according to the Michigan Economic Development Corporation. This involved six large-scale projects across the state, including the Stellantis plant in Detroit, and the Pfizer facility in Portage that manufactures the COVID-19 vaccine.

“Initiatives like this have a significant and positive impact on our state’s economy,” said Paul Krutko, president and CEO, Ann Arbor SPARK. “A great example of this type of successful economic development project is KLA Corp, which Ann Arbor SPARK worked with state and local partners to attract to the region over competing sites across the country. As a result, the company is investing more than $150 million and creating over 500 new jobs here, and also generating attention from other global brands who want to emulate KLA’s success.”

About Economic Development Leaders for Michigan
Economic Development Leaders for Michigan (EDLM) is a coalition of 12 leading regional economic development organizations throughout the state. Established in June 2020, EDLM’s goal is to accelerate Michigan’s economy by securing the necessary tools to stimulate growth.
EDLM’s member organizations drive Michigan’s economic engine and create quality jobs through business retention, expansion and attraction efforts. Visit to learn more.

About Detroit Regional Partnership
The Detroit Regional Partnership is a public-private economic development partnership focused on marketing and business attraction for the 11-county Detroit Region. It serves as a convenient single point of contact to all regional resources and works with companies and site selectors to help manage their projects and support their transition into the region. It specializes in helping companies understand and access the competitive advantages of our region – from workforce data to state and local incentives. Visit: to learn more.

Media Contact:
Tamekia (Ashford) Nixon
Phone: 313-510-3781