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Office of County Executive
Mark A. Hackel

Executive Focus Newsletter Fall 2016

Mark's Message
MFG Day in Macomb County – bigger and better than ever!
Macomb County continues to add jobs – breaks 15 year record
Inaugural Michigan Bootlegger Heritage Festival set for Oct. 1 on the Nautical Mile

Mark’s Message

If there’s one place to be during the fall months, it’s Macomb County, bottom line.


Our orchards are a destination spot for people all over Michigan. If you haven’t stopped by one, now is the time. Macomb County boasts over 500 farms with 68,000 acres of farmland. We have a total of eight orchards to pick from. These orchards not only serve the traditional use of offering apple cider and pumpkins to visitors, but many have greatly expanded their services to include hard cider, animal farms, hayrides and a variety of family-friendly activities. 

And just in time for those of you traveling to the northern part of our county, the 32 Mile Bridge is now open! The bridge opened at 6 a.m. on Monday, Sept. 12. This $1.4 million bridge is used by about 15,000 vehicles a day, so it was a much-needed project and I am happy it is now complete.

As part of promoting our many assets, such as the orchards, we are is rolling out a brand-new attractions map. This interactive and mobile-friendly guide is an easy way for residents and visitors to see everything Macomb County has to offer. Play around with this new tool (click here to learn how), and see what you can discover in Macomb!

Looking forward, on Oct. 7, Macomb County will once again be leading the way in celebrating Manufacturing Day. This is the fourth year our Planning and Economic Development department has spearheaded making sure our county is highly involved in this important national celebration. To learn more about this year’s event, visit  

MFG Day in Macomb County – bigger and better than ever!

Celebrated on Oct. 7

For the third year in a row, students from throughout Macomb County will experience Manufacturing Day (MFG Day) by visiting an area plant to learn about the industry and the careers it offers. Thanks to the willingness of 57 manufacturers who will offer tours, an estimated 2,100 students, representing every high school in the county, will participate.

Host sites range in size from the very large to the very small and include a variety of sectors including those that develop automated systems, make components or produce ready-for-market consumer goods. 

MFG Day is a national campaign designed to provide the public with a better understanding of what they industry is all about while connecting with the next generation of our workforce. 

“A job in manufacturing today is a lot different from the ones our grandfathers held,” said John Paul Rea, director of the Macomb County Department of Planning & Economic Development.  “Our research shows that the average employee in the industry earns more than $70,000 per year in wages and benefits.” 

The department became involved in this effort to expose the next generation of our workforce to the industry because of expressed concerns by manufacturers that not enough young people were coming forward to apply for open jobs. The average worker in the skilled trades is 55 years old.  It is imperative that the talent pipeline provide an ongoing flow of capable candidates.

The event is being coordinated by the Macomb County Department of Planning & Economic Development and the Macomb Intermediate School District. With the help of high school building principals, guidance counselors and teachers, students from every building will have an opportunity to participate.


This year, students will also have an opportunity to enter a video contest to tell the story of MFG Day. The winning team will receive $1,000 for their school, individual gift cards and a chance to tour Detroit Public Television’s studio in Wixom.

Top sponsors of the event are Dominion Technologies, Dynamic Plastics, Fisher Company, Fori Automation, Futuramic Tool & Engineering, L&L Products, Proper Group International. PTI Engineered Plastics and WICO Metal Products. Additional sponsors include Advancing Macomb, AIM Computer Solutions, Baker Industries, Brose Jefferson, Inc., GM - Warren Transmission, LumaSmart, Michigan Works! Young Professionals, Paslin, RCO Engineering and Sequoia Tool.

As a follow-up to MFG Day, a Careers in Manufacturing & Technology Expo will be held from 5:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 20 at Macomb Community College. The event will feature hands-on exhibits and opportunities to speak with individuals who have built a successful career in the industry. A personal 3D printer will be given as a door prize for those that pre-register.

Macomb County continues to add jobs – breaks 15 year record

The most recent jobs update from the Bureau of Labor Statistics shows Macomb County gained 767 jobs last month and 15,803 total so far in 2016.

Since Macomb County Executive Mark A. Hackel took office in January 2011, Macomb County has gained 54,905 jobs. In January 2015, the county started off with 383,739 jobs. August figures for 2016 show 410,639 Macomb County residents are employed. This is the highest number of people employed in Macomb County in more than 15 years, dating back to March 2001 when 412,364 people were employed.

 “Seven straight years of continued job growth is a clear sign that Macomb County is able to compete in a globally competitive market,” said Executive Hackel. “Our manufacturers are designing and creating the products that will revolutionize the future of mobility.”

The updated job numbers continue the streak of seven continuous years of job growth in Macomb County. More jobs have been added every year since the height of the recession in 2009, when 350,776 people in the county were working. The county peaked in job numbers in May 1999, when 437,251 were employed. At that time, unemployment was at a mere 2.7 percent.

Inaugural Michigan Bootlegger Heritage Festival set for Oct. 1 on the Nautical Mile

Volunteers needed

The first-ever Michigan Bootlegger Heritage Festival will be held Saturday, Oct. 1, on the Nautical Mile in St. Clair Shores. The event, which is a partnership between the Lake St. Clair Tourism Initiative and the Macomb County Department of Planning & Economic Development, was created to feature antique boats and cars of the Prohibition era, surrounding a day-long schedule of music and entertainment. 

The festival will benefit the Lake St. Clair Tourism Initiative, as well as local Knights of Columbus chapters and the Anchor Bay Yachting Association.

Event organizers are in need of volunteers to staff and pour beer at this event. There are a variety of positions to be filled, including beer pourers, registration, setup and cleanup, crowd management and security. Volunteer shifts are three and a half hours long and run from 12:30 p.m. to 4 p.m., 3:30 p.m. to 7 p.m., and 6:30 p.m. to 10 p.m. All volunteers will receive a complimentary T-shirt. Volunteers can register online at

This 21-and-older-only event will be held from 1 p.m. to 10 p.m., with most activities taking place at Colony Marine, 24530 Jefferson Avenue, and Wahby Park, 24800 Jefferson Avenue, in St. Clair Shores. There will be limited on-site parking at Colony Marine. Additional parking for the event will be available at off-site lots, with complimentary shuttle transportation to the event.

A number of craft breweries from around the region and the state will be serving up their best brews, and several of the area’s finest restaurants will participate. Breweries featured at the event include: Kuhnhenn Brewing Co., Baffin Brewing Co., Dragonmead, Atwater Brewery, Griffin Claw and many more! Restaurants include: Twisted Rooster, Fishbone’s Rhythm Kitchen Café, Bobcat Bonnie’s and North 42. In addition to a variety of food and craft beer, several live bands and a DJ will be playing throughout the day. For a complete list of participating breweries and restaurants, plus a live band schedule, visit

This event is for ages 21 and older only. No children, or anyone under the age of 21 will be allowed on the premises. Tickets are $35 online and $40 at the door and include 12, 3-ounce pours and three, $2 food vouchers. The Michigan Bootlegger Heritage Festival is sponsored by Colony Marine, Midwest’s largest Sea Ray dealer with three locations to serve boaters in Algonac, Pontiac and St. Clair Shores. 89X and 93.9 The River are also major sponsors and will be broadcasting live at the event throughout the day. Tune in to both stations for a chance to win tickets to the event! To purchase tickets, visit