ANN ARBOR, Mich., Sept. 22, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Ann Arbor SPARK, the driving force of business retention, acceleration and growth in the region, recently received an Excellence in Economic Development Award from the International Economic Development Council (IEDC). The award recognized the MichAGAIN campaign in the category of Human Capital for communities with populations of 200,000 – 500,000.
"We recognize Ann Arbor SPARK for providing successful strategies to promote new standards in economic development in this period of global recovery," said Dennis Coleman, IEDC chair. "Our awards honor organizations and individuals for their efforts in creating positive change in communities. They demonstrate that they are at the forefront of the economic development profession and are using innovative and effective practices that can be replicated in other communities."
MichAGAIN is an effort led by Ann Arbor SPARK to lure back grads who have left the state to take jobs at high tech firms elsewhere. MichAGAIN, supported by a consortium of several private companies, economic development groups, and the University Research Corridor, hosts events in various cities with vibrant high tech communities and significant numbers of Michigan college alumni. These events connect talent with representatives from companies, such as GE and Barracuda Networks, colleges and universities, and economic development officials to talk about the career opportunities available to them back home in Michigan.
"MichAGAIN attracts talent back to the state by raising awareness of job opportunities within growing companies," said Paul Krutko, Ann Arbor SPARK president and CEO. "By attracting talent back to Michigan, MichAGAIN directly supports economic development in the state. Businesses benefit by having access to the talent they need to grow. Talented individuals benefit by learning of the opportunities for employment here in Michigan with exciting, growing businesses. As businesses and individuals succeed, so does the state's economy."
MichAGAIN was developed and deployed in 2010. It was recently adopted by the Michigan Economic Development Corp for rollout across the state.
The Excellence in Economic Awards Program annually recognizes the world's best economic development programs and partnerships, marketing materials, and the year's most influential leaders. The program honors organizations and individuals in 28 categories for their efforts in creating positive change in urban, suburban, and rural communities.
About Ann Arbor SPARK
Ann Arbor SPARK, a non-profit organization, is the driving force in establishing the Ann Arbor region as a destination for business expansion, retention, and location by identifying and meeting the needs of business at every stage, from start-ups to large organizations. Ann Arbor SPARK represents all communities in Washtenaw County. Ann Arbor SPARK collaborates with business, academic, government, and community investor partners including the University of Michigan, Eastern Michigan University, Washtenaw Community College, Washtenaw County, Washtenaw County etcs/Michigan Works!, the City of Ann Arbor, Bank of Ann Arbor and the Michigan Economic Development Corporation. For more information, please call (734) 761-9317 or visit www.AnnArborUSA.org.
About the International Economic Development Council
The International Economic Development Council (IEDC) is the premier membership organization dedicated to helping economic development professionals create high-quality jobs, develop vibrant communities and improve the quality of life in their regions. Serving more than 4,500 members, IEDC represents the largest network of economic development professionals in the world. IEDC provides a diverse range of services, including conferences, certification, professional development, publications, research, advisory services and legislative tracking.
SOURCE Ann Arbor SPARK