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WAYNE COUNTY, MI-Wayne County is looking at copying the state of Michigan’s success by forming a quasi-public county organization that has more flexibility in its drive to promote business growth, said Wayne County executive Robert Ficano.

The Michigan Economic Development Corp. has handed out millions in tax incentives and grants to assist companies with expansions and new developments. Ficano said Wayne County could benefit from a similar set-up. He also said that the new corporation would be a public body, subject to public accountability and disclosure requirements.

Ficano’s Economic Development Advisory Committee, headed by former Masco Corp. President Frank Hennessey, said it recommended the new approach after studying a variety of economic development models nationwide. The proposal requires approval by the Wayne County Commission. A national search for the head of the corporation is underway, Ficano said.

“This new EDC will encourage the type of cooperation that prompted Visteon Corp. to commit to consolidating approximately 4,000 jobs in a village setting near Metro Airport,” Ficano said. Visteon is building a new headquarters building, and developers are building a new residential and retail development nearby.

“Our priority is on supporting business retention and expansion, while aggressively attracting new businesses to the county,” Ficano said.

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