One Stop Ready Academy set to launch third year

Six Oakland County communities are set to join 14 of their neighbors as the One Stop Ready Academy kicks off its third year today.

The session is set for 6 p.m. tonight at the conference center of the Oakland County Executive Office Building in Waterford.

Representatives from Clawson, Groveland Township, Hazel Park, Keego Harbor, West Bloomfield Township, and Southfield are expected to attend.

“One Stop Ready is essentially a ‘best practices’ for economic developers,” Oakland County Executive L. Brooks Patterson said. “We aren’t telling communities how they should run themselves. We’re asking them to examine how they make decisions, review their practices, look at other communities and see if there are ways they can improve.”

The One Stop Ready philosophy encourages communities to think of themselves in the context of a developer, business or resident who is making a decision on whether to locate or invest in a community. Communities are deemed “one stop ready” when community officials and staff complete a series of interactive sessions that stresses the importance of customer service, self-evaluation, time and a community’s ability to respond to the business project put before it in a timely fashion.

Deputy County Executive Matt Gibb said global tier one supplier GKN Automotive, which officially opened its regional headquarters in June for subsidiaries GKN Driveline and GKN Sinter Metals, was a perfect example of a One Stop Ready project. The 168,000 square-foot facility sits on an 11-acre site on Opdyke Road in Auburn Hills that was once the home of the Showcase Cinemas.

“GKN doesn’t happen without the philosophy of One Stop Ready,” Gibb said. “When a community action is proactive, in a problem-solving mode and recognizes the urgency to bring a project home as Auburn Hills did, this is the kind of project that can happen.”

Auburn Hills officials said the project between the developer, GKN and the city of Auburn Hills was approved from start to finish in just 35 days, a process that typically takes six months or more with many city governments.

“It’s truly amazing what can be done when the public and private sector work together on a singular goal,” Auburn Hills Mayor Kevin McDaniel said.” The GKN project is just another great example of the high-level of customer service our team provides. Auburn Hills is honored GKN Automotive chose to re-invest and remain in our community.”

Gibb lauded Auburn Hills for its quick action.

“Auburn Hills took advantage of an opportunity instead of waiting for an opportunity,” Gibb said.

GKN Driveline produces auto driveline components and systems; GKN Sinter Metals produces precision powder-metal products. The company employs about 350 people.

The communities who have completed the One Stop Ready Academy are Auburn Hills, Highland Township, Independence Township, Lyon Township, Oak Park, Orion Township, Oxford, Oxford Township, Pontiac, Royal Oak, Troy, Waterford Township, White Lake Township, and Wixom.

The One Stop Ready Academy is a project of the Planning Division of the county’s Department of Economic Development & Community Affairs.

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