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NEAR TOP: The Future is Now Campaign Hits $1 Million, Litten Announces

Growth Could Add 1,000 Jobs, $26 Million Annually to Economy

May 28, 2016       Leave a Comment
By: Dave Rogers

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The ultimate goal of the fundraising campaign is to accelerate economic growth and help create 600 jobs in the community, according to leaders of Bay Future

Mark Litten, President, and CEO of Bay Future, Inc., was understandably enthusiastic:

"Seven weeks ago at the Campaign Kick Off Event, it was announced we had raised just over $801,000. Today we are happy to report that we now have commitments totaling $1,053,405 in support of our three-year Strategic Growth Plan!

"While that's great news, investment by others is still necessary to ensure we achieve our campaign goal of $1.2 million over the next nine weeks."

The ultimate goal of the fundraising campaign is to accelerate economic growth and help create 600 jobs in the community, according to leaders of Bay Future.

"What will 600 new jobs at $19.25 an hour and $300 million in new capital investment do over the next three years?" Litten asked rhetorically.

The impact to Bay County from the Bureau of Economic Analysis, U.S., Department of Commerce and Chmura Analytics, an internationally respected economic research firm based in Cleveland, Ohio, is as follows:

The goal of 600 Primary Jobs at $19.25 per hour would create an additional 400 secondary jobs at approximately $11.68 per hour. This would generate $34,512,878 in annual payroll and $26,066,400 in consumer expenditures.

A brief breakdown of just where some of the $26,066,400 will be spent right here IN Bay County!

$1,278,600 - Entertainment

$1,970,400 - Personal Insurance/Pensions

$2,225,400 - Healthcare

$3,561,600 - Food

$4,973,400 - Transportation

$9,082,800 - Housing

Bay Future reports on its website that the workforce here totals 51,299, with 2,600 unemployed resulting in an unemployment rate of 4.9 percent.

The public-private economic development partnership leaders note things are beginning to happen in Bay County with the following new projects:

*On April 27th, GM announced an investment of $118 million in the Bay City Powertrain facility, that will create 29 new jobs and retaining 67 positions.

*Cops and Doughnuts, the iconic police officer-owned bakery in Clare, is expanding into Bay City, and will create 20 new jobs.

*Universal Printing is completing a $300,000+ expansion, which will result in 12 new jobs.

"This investment reflects the excellent workforce at Bay City Powertrain, whose commitment to building benchmark quality engine components for many of GM?s award-winning vehicles is visible every day," said Bay City Powertrain Plant Manager John Lancaster. "It also demonstrates the teamwork of GM and our UAW partners, as together we continue to innovate and bring new powertrain solutions to our customers."

Although job growth in the county is a negative 3.29 percent, officials are buoyed by other encouraging developments such as the Uptown at RiversEdge complex by the Shaheen group, SSP Associates, of Saginaw that brought Dow Corning workers here from the Williams Township corporate headquarters. The effects of the recent Dow Chemical and Dupont merger, subsuming Dow Corning into the larger company, are eagerly anticipated.

The median age of county residents is 42.02 and more than 31 percent have college degrees.

Bay County's total population is 106,652, a decrease of 1.04 percent since 2010. Along with the workforce growth rate, that is a demographic that officials of Bay Future and County Executive Thomas L. Hickner are eager to change.

Tim Rokosz, of Michigan Sugar Company, is chairman of Bay Future, Inc., and Donald Tilley is immediate past chair. ### ###

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Dave Rogers

Dave Rogers is a former editorial writer for the Bay City Times and a widely read,
respected journalist/writer in and around Bay City.
(Contact Dave Via Email at

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