Washtenaw County Office of Community and Economic Development created the Michigan Economic Growth Authority Partnership (MEGA-P) as a collaborative effort to promote regional economic development.
Washtenaw County Office of Community and Economic Development (f0rmerly ETCS) developed MEGA-P, the Michigan Economic Growth Authority Partnership, as an innovative approach to bring together key community partners. MEGA-P fuses together the resources of the major workforce and economic development organizations in Washtenaw County. The partners work together to recruit talent to the area and bring workforce development and economic development together.
OCED functions as both the Workforce Investment Board and the Community Action Agency for Washtenaw County. OCED is a unique government department that recognizes that community action and workforce development are essential to economic development.
The MEGA-P endeavor was constructed to offer an exceptional opportunity to maximize the use of existing workforce and economic services for development of more effective and innovative ways to increase workforce and economic service outcomes. The MEGA-P Agreement includes provisions on how partners will coordinate in-service delivery and reference several critical tasks necessary for success.
Along with OCED, the MEGA-P partners include Ann Arbor SPARK, Eastern Michigan University, Washtenaw Community College, and the Ann Arbor and Ypsilanti Area Chambers of Commerce. The partnership ensures that all participants stay at the forefront of addressing the needs of Washtenaw County’s existing and emerging businesses to help them stay competitive. Additional partners are recruited on a continuing basis to further enhance the regional scope and availability of services to employers and workers.
An early example of the importance of MEGA-P was through the partnership’s role in response to the closing of the Pfizer Research and Development Center in Ann Arbor. This decision, announced by Pfizer in January 2007, would eliminate over 2,000 jobs as well as approximately 1,000 contract employees. As Ann Arbor’s largest private sector employer, Pfizer’s departure would also have a significant impact on taxes to the schools and the city and to the local real estate market. Consequently, an action plan was developed to work toward ameliorate this serious community problem. MEGA-P was used as the core for the plan, known as The Pfizer Challenge, to launch a quick response to assist people as they transition out of Pfizer.
MEGA-P aligns itself with the State of Michigan and wishes to be a part of the economic transformation by supporting the Governor’s Council for Labor and Economic Growth (CLEG) and support the basic principals of:
Preventing: Michigan’s traditional industries and jobs from leaving Michigan
Preparing: Communities, education institutions, local and state government and traditional industry to make the transition to new markets, new jobs, and new work skills
Creating: Regional workforce and economic development teams to implement new strategies to grow the regional economy and react to significant changes to employment and industry type.
The MEGA-P Agreement enables all partners to develop a holistic strategy for workforce and economic development. It helps ensure that the partners stay at the forefront of the needs of Washtenaw County's existing and emerging businesses to provide the training and other services that these businesses truly need to stay competitive and be successful. Enactment of the MEGA Agreement strengthens community partnerships and fosters joint efforts to build and sustain a strong Washtenaw County economy.
Trenda Rusher, Executive Director