Lt. Governor Garlin Gilchrist Joins DTE and Consumers Energy as Companies Announce $15 Billion Commitment to Grow Michigan Businesses
MACKINAC ISLAND, MI (StatesNewsToday.com) – Michigan Lt. Governor Garlin Gilchrist, DTE and Consumers Energy announced a $15 billion commitment to spend with Michigan-based companies over the next five years through Michigan Economic Development Corporation’s Pure Michigan Business Connect (PMBC) initiative.
The announcement, made at the 2019 Mackinac Policy Conference, includes a commitment to increasing supplier diversity, with Consumers Energy committing to doubling current diversity spend and DTE commitment to $2.5 billion in spending with diverse Michigan suppliers during that five-year time frame. Those include suppliers that are more than half owned by people who are racial minorities, women, military veterans or who are LGBTQ.
“Today’s announcement sends a powerful message about our commitment here in the state – in both the public and private sector – to Buying Michigan,” said Governor Gretchen Whitmer. “Expanding opportunities for the diverse range of business owners right here in Michigan is critical to ensuring the success of our state. I applaud DTE and Consumers Energy for their tremendous support of Michigan suppliers and continued engagement in Pure Michigan Business Connect.”
“Whether we are talking about small businesses or skilled trades and training, it is critical that we create equitable opportunities to succeed here in Michigan,” Lt. Governor Gilchrist said. “Pure Michigan Business Connect offers exactly the kind of support needed to make that happen, working with key partners like Consumers Energy and DTE.”
Consumers Energy and DTE will each spend $1.5 billion with Michigan suppliers annually through 2024, for a cumulative Michigan spend of $15 billion. An average of $0.60 on every dollar being spent by the energy providers will go to a Michigan supplier during that time frame.
“Our Triple Bottom Line commitment to people, the planet and Michigan’s prosperity means that we are looking out for our state, doing business with employers in the communities we serve and putting more people to work in the process,” said Patti Poppe, president and CEO of Consumers Energy. “We spent over $5 billion with Michigan businesses in the last four years and look forward to doing even more in the future.”
DTE and Consumers Energy are founding members of the Pure Michigan Business Connect (PMBC) program – an MEDC initiative that works across industries to connect small to medium-sized Michigan suppliers with local, national and global purchasers to explore new business opportunities. Today’s announcement builds on $11 billion previously committed and achieved more than a year ahead of schedule.
“Our investment in Michigan businesses has created or retained 24,000 jobs over the past nine years,” said DTE Chairman and CEO Gerry Anderson. “We look forward to continuing to create growth opportunities for hard-working business owners in our state, and we will continue to urge our large suppliers to focus sourcing from within Michigan as well.”
PMBC will activate and coordinate a series of buyer/supplier events including two “supplier showcases” for DTE and Consumers Energy purchasing teams respectively, as well as one larger joint activity for both energy providers to bring access and exposure to a diverse, statewide network of suppliers. Concierge-level research and support will also be delivered through PMBC to each energy partner to support and grow the Michigan supplier base.
“Pure Michigan Business Connect provides Michigan companies with access to new opportunities to grow their business here in the state,” said Jeff Mason, CEO of the Michigan Economic Development Corporation. “We appreciate the continued commitment and collaboration of Consumers Energy and DTE to utilize Michigan-based suppliers and deliver a tremendous impact on the economy across the state.”
To date, PMBC has spearheaded connections among suppliers and purchasers that have facilitated more than $8 billion in new contracts and purchase orders between global companies and qualified Michigan-based companies across 76 industries, all while creating or retaining more than 40,000 jobs in Michigan.
SEEL and Commercial Construction Inc. are examples of two companies that have utilized PMBC to help secure new contracts.
“I’ve been a part of enough minority initiatives to know that it only works when the commitment comes from the top down,” said Louis E. James, CEO, SEEL, LLC. “DTE committed to SEEL without quota, allowing us to grow and meet the goals of training, hiring and developing talent in Detroit. As a direct result of DTE, and the Pure Michigan Business Connect program, we’ve been able to invest in training for nearly 800 individuals, providing them with the skills to have better jobs, not only for today, but jobs for the future. We were also able to make a commitment to spend 40 percent of our available procurement dollars annually with other minority-owned businesses.”
“Commercial Construction Inc. has provided contracting services for the heavy industrial processing industry for many years and counts on customers like Consumers Energy and DTE Energy through the Pure Michigan Business Connect Program,” said Robert Garcia, Sr. President and CEO of Commercial Construction Inc. “We are pleased to be a part of the program which has connected us to more work in Michigan and within the utility industry, helping us to create new jobs and real investment for our state.”