Wow! The 8th annual State of the County address certainly was incredible. Did you get a chance to tune in and watch the livestream? If you did, you heard about the many positive developments that occurred over the last year. But if you didn’t, you’re likely wondering what happened. No worries — the MMYH blog has you covered. Here’s our recap of the event:
Macomb County Executive Mark A. Hackel delivered the 8th annual State of the County address at the Macomb Center for the Performing Arts last night, touting several metrics as evidence of the county’s progress. Those metrics include population, educational attainment, median incomes, employment, housing and financial stability. Positive statistics within each of those categories demonstrate Macomb County’s growth:
- Population: Nearly 4,000 new residents made Macomb their home last year. And with 11 percent of the county’s residents born outside of the United States, its cultural diversity continues to grow as well.
- Educational attainment: Since 2010, Macomb County’s educational profile has added more than 35,000 associate, bachelor and graduate degrees.
- Income: In 2017, Macomb’s annual median household income increased to more than $60,000. Several years ago, that amount had fallen below the state average; it is now nine percent higher.
- Employment: Macomb County’s workforce grew to more than 445,000 individuals and unemployment dropped to four percent. Two specific examples that highlight why employment is strong:
- Over 4,700 contracts worth more than $2 billion were awarded by the Department of Defense to Macomb County companies in 2017.
- Major automotive investments are creating expansion opportunities for the county’s world-class supplier network of more than 1,600 manufacturing firms.
- Housing: In 2018, the county added more than 1,500 new housing units and the median home value increased by more than $8,000.
- Financial stability: For the 8th consecutive year, the county has adopted a balanced budget and continues to maintain a AA+ bond rating.
“Clearly, all of these positive metrics provide convincing reasons why people want to make Macomb their home,” Executive Hackel said. “In fact, that phrase – “Make Macomb Your Home” – has been able to capture the true spirit of what we are building here; a thriving place that people are proud to call home.”
In addition to addressing these data points, Hackel also discussed how Macomb County is a leader in information technology and cybersecurity.
“More than 400 companies make up Macomb County’s information technology network, and they employ more than 9,000 highly trained workers,” he said. “The national average for employment growth in these professions over the past five years is 9.5 percent. Here in Macomb County, it has been 132 percent.”
This growth has accelerated the need for different resources and training that will ready the workforce for new opportunities. During the State of the County, Hackel announced two new initiatives that will address these needs:
- A first-of-its-kind Robotics Collaboration and Innovation Center planned for Macomb County. The center will aim to increase awareness and opportunity within the robotics and IT ecosystem by offering tools, programs and expert assistance in an open environment for creative people.
- A recently launched “Fueling the Talent Pipeline” effort. This service platform will allow employers and educators to connect, share resources and help students become aware of future career opportunities. More information on this initiative is available at http://business.macombgov.org/business-FuelingTalent.
The event concluded with Executive Hackel inviting Nevaeh McIntosh, a visually impaired 9th grade student from Glenn Peters School, on to the stage for an inspirational vocal performance. Singing Miley Cyrus’ “The Climb,” Nevaeh received a standing ovation from the more than 1,000 attendees.
To watch the entire State of the County address, visit http://executive.macombgov.org/Executive-SOTC-2018.
Megan Ochmanek is a communications specialist for the Macomb County Department of Planning and Economic Development.