Oakland County, Michigan, was experiencing significant new developments by healthcare and life science companies, and retained Anderson Economic Group to assess the strength of its healthcare and life science industry, and to help determine if promoting the industry through an economic development strategy would be a worthwhile effort.
To complete this assessment, we started by defining the healthcare and life science industry. The definition was composed of NAICS codes, which were assembled into eight unique industry subsectors focusing manufacturing, research, and provision of care sectors. We then analyzed employment, establishments, and payroll data for each sector, and benchmarked Oakland County with other leading counties in Michigan. We also assessed workforce and education information, including occupational patterns, educational attainment, and university programs and degrees in healthcare and life science disciplines.
After assessing the current state of the industry and workforce, we next identified current investments and projects by healthcare and life science industry stakeholders. We then conducted a more detailed analysis of selected projects, including new training programs at a regional hospital, the economic impact of building and operating a proton beam cancer-treatment facility, and the economic impact of a new medical school at Oakland University.
We concluded our analysis by projecting industry employment levels from 2006 to 2018. Our employment projection model included a trend scenario, which assumed no initiative to expand the industry beyond natural demand levels, and a potential scenario, which assumed a county-directed initiative to promote the county and leverage its healthcare and life science assets.
The findings of our analysis were included in a 75-page report, complete with detailed data tables, employment projections, and methodological notes. The findings were also presented at a September 24, 2008 press conference in Oakland County, during which our CEO Patrick L. Anderson and Oakland County Executive L. Brooks Patterson presented the findings to the media and industry stakeholders. These findings have also been used by the county to create an industry recruitment taskforce and strategy.