Blog: Maureen Krauss

To be competitive, governments must reach out to their communities – and, even, past international borders. Maureen Krauss, director for the Department of Economic Development and Community Affairs for Oakland County, discusses the role of events and the county's overseas trade missions in business development.

Post 1: Pure Oakland County

Welcome to my blog. As director of the Department of Economic Development and Community Affairs for Oakland County, the nearly 90 staff that fall under my Department are more interrelated than many would think. Housing, workforce development, planning, and marketing are all key aspects of economic development. When these areas are strong, it makes business retention, expansion and attraction, the heart of our mission, much easier.

Quality of life is important to what businesses think of Oakland County and Michigan. Two examples show the way we can make the public feel great about our area in a less direct way than a business brochure. This past weekend, the Third Annual Brooksie Way Half Marathon was run in the county. The sun shone (after it rose) on over 4,300 runners, making this the largest race yet. The beautiful course throughout Rochester and Rochester Hills brought people from multiple states and two countries to experience a first class event, and the press coverage makes residents and non-residents know that in Oakland County, we value community and people. We are already following up with one company executive who ran the race, liked what he saw, and wants to expand his business here.

The Pure Michigan campaign, which has been run nationally for the past three years, has brought many positive feelings to those who are not from Michigan, and helps set the stage when out-of-state prospects visit our area. Every prospect I have spoken with recently gets some of their initial impressions from this award winning campaign, which is meant to boost tourism but helps promote the quality of life we have to offer. A Reasonable Bunch, a movie currently being shot in Oakland County, cites the Pure Michigan campaign as one of the key reasons that Michigan would accommodate their film.

Companies can choose to locate almost anywhere in today's mobile society, and these two efforts, The Brooksie Way and the Pure Michigan campaign, make those from outside our area feel good about their decision to invest here, and help us to remember that we live and work in a great community.