Oakland County saw nearly $757 million in private business investment for the first half of 2015, surpassing the total business investment in 2014 by almost $100 million.
Oakland County Executive L. Brooks Patterson attributes the increase in investment over the past six months to the county’s business attraction and retention strategy as well as traditional investments, like automotive.
“First, pent-up demand that is now being served,” says Patterson. “Second, our gamble on diversifying our economic base beyond automotive is paying off in spades. And finally, there is a term, ‘cumulative causation,’ which means success breeds success. We are all beneficiaries.”
Patterson says the most successful sectors in total investment include health care and life sciences, followed by information technology and alternative energy.
Last month, the county saw investments by Canada-based Magna International Inc., Troy-based Energy Power Systems, and Bmax USA, a subsidiary of a French technology company called I-Pulse, among many others.
Patterson credits the county’s Emerging Sector program for a total investment of $3 billion since the program began in 2004. The program was created to diversify Oakland County’s economy, which was heavily dependent on the automotive industry. The strategy targeted international companies that expressed an interest in expanding operations into North America, in sectors such as advanced materials, aerospace, and defense.