On Wednesday evening, under the cover of Michigan snow fall, Mayor Kevin McDaniel, City Manager Tom Tanghe, Assistant City Manager Don Grice, and I had the privilege of attending Oakland County’s 22nd annual State of the County address given by County Executive L. Brooks Patterson. Mr. Patterson began the evening with the announcement that, “The state of Oakland County is strong! Amazingly strong. Vibrant.”
The State of the County featured multiple ties to Auburn Hills, and I am pleased to share those today. The most noteworthy announcement of the evening was the lane addition project for I-75. If you looked at a map within 3 miles of I-75, you would find 23,000 businesses, over half of all the businesses in Oakland County. The addition of a fourth north and southbound lane from 8 Mile Road to M-59 will help improve the commute for many who work and commute to not only Auburn Hills, but all of Oakland County.
TI Automotive, who just this year opened their headquarters in Auburn Hills, was featured as a highlight business during the address; as was Nexteer, who is moving their global HQ to our community this spring. We are proud to call TI Automotive and Nexteer business residents of Auburn Hills and Oakland County.
Additionally, the winner of the Elite 40 Under 40 program was announced. Ali Woerner, a professor of dance at Oakland University, was chosen for her work in creating a non-profit to bring dance to those with Parkinson’s disease. Another finalist was Jeanette (Smither) Brown, an Oakland University alumna. Ms. Woerner and Ms. Brown were among 11 individuals in the 40 Under 40 who have ties to Oakland University. The recognition of these emerging leaders in Oakland County highlights the quality of the higher education offered in Auburn Hills.
These were not the only announcements from the evening. Oakland County government will now offer six-weeks of paid leave for both parents after the birth of a child, laying the groundwork to retain young talent in Oakland County. It was also announced that, in total, the emerging sector businesses have invested over $7.58 billion in Oakland County.
Auburn Hills finds itself in one of the most innovative and respected county’s in the nation. We are eagerly looking forward to the continued growth of Oakland County.
Sam Harris, Management Assistant