Talent and Economic Development
The Talent and Economic Development Department of Michigan and its subsidiary agencies work to provide the connections, expertise and innovative solutions to drive continued business growth, build vibrant communities, create affordable housing, generate tourism and attract and retain key talent to fill Michigan’s vast pipeline of opportunities.
Ted will work relentlessly to innovate, create, cultivate and collaborate on strategies and programs that effectively utilize taxpayer dollars to drive continued business growth, build vibrant communities, create affordable housing, generate tourism and attract and retain key talent to grow Michigan’s economy, now and in the future.
Stephanie Beckhorn has nearly 20 years of experience in workforce and economic development. As the Director of the Workforce Development Agency, Beckhorn works directly with federal, state, and local level partners to effectively implement key workforce and education programs, including the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act, Adult Education, the Trade Act, Jobs for Veterans, Migrant and Seasonal Farmworkers, Temporary Assistance for Needy Families, Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs (GEAR UP), King-Chavez-Parks (KCP), Perkins, Going PRO Talent Fund, and the Michigan Advanced Technician Training (MAT2). Beckhorn develops policies that align with, and support, the state’s key workforce development strategies. She actively engages internal and external stakeholders to ensure that policy and service delivery effectively address customer needs.
Through her work at the Workforce Development Agency, Beckhorn was responsible for the creation and implementation of the Agency’s Unified Workforce State Plan. She developed and implemented Michigan’s federally recognized incumbent worker layoff aversion strategy and is a member of the employer-led Governor’s Talent Investment Board. She approaches projects in an inclusive manner and seeks solutions that are effective and replicable.
Stephanie is a Certified Business Solutions Professional (CBSP) and earned a Bachelor of Science degree from Michigan State University.
As CEO, Jeff Mason is charged with implementing and executing MEDC’s core mission of business development and attraction, community development, providing access to capital and improving Michigan’s image and brand.
From 2009 to 2017 Jeff was the Executive Director of Michigan’s University Research Corridor which is an alliance between Michigan State University, the University of Michigan, and Wayne State University to transform, strengthen, and diversify Michigan’s economy. The vision of the University Research Corridor (URC) is to play a key role in creating a vibrant Michigan economy that leverages the intellectual capital of its three public research universities, to work proactively to attract the knowledge economy businesses that can find the research activity that feeds new enterprise, educate the workforce, and plants the seeds for the new industries of tomorrow.
Prior to joining the URC as Executive Director he served as Senior Vice President and Chief Business Development Officer for the Michigan Economic Development Corporation. In that role Mason led a team responsible for the retention and expansion of existing Michigan businesses as well as the attraction of national and international companies to Michigan.
Before becoming Chief Business Development Officer, Mason headed up the Technology Development Group working to grow Michigan’s technology oriented segments of our state’s economy. Technology Development was engaged in the areas of technology transfer and commercialization, venture capital, entrepreneurship, and business development. Their focus was in the sectors of life sciences, homeland security, and advanced automotive technologies. From 1990-1999, Jeff served in various roles on the Travel Michigan team, serving eventually as Managing Director of Travel Michigan.
Jeff received a Bachelor of Arts in Business Administration from Michigan State University.
Earl Poleski of Jackson was named Michigan State Housing Development Authority’s executive director on February 22, 2017. He previously served in the Michigan Legislature from 2011 to 2016, holding prominent roles as chair of the Financial Liabilities Reform Policy Committee and the General Government Appropriations Subcommittee. Earl also has been a certified public accountant since 1981, working as a sole-practitioner and partner with accounting firms providing individual and business accounting, tax and consulting services, while also representing clients to the IRS and state tax agencies.
He has also served in the oil and gas industry, where he managed the controllership, tax and treasury functions of CMS Nomeco Oil & Gas Co. in Jackson, and as vice president, treasurer and chief financial officer of Dart Energy Corporation in Mason.
After graduating from Jackson Community College in 1976 and Albion College in 1978, Earl earned a master's degree in taxation science from Walsh College.
Josh Burgett is in his first year as the Director of the Michigan Land Bank.
Burgett was chair of the board of directors for the Jackson Anchor Initiative, an effort to transform the city’s downtown by focusing on market rate housing in existing buildings with multi-use opportunities. Placemaking, especially in urban downtowns, is an important part of attracting the talent that businesses need to grow and thrive, creating new jobs.
The Anchor Initiative board works with corporate investors, public sector leaders, young professionals and others to advance projects.
Burgett continues in his role as chair of the Jackson County Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors and serves on the Experience Jackson Board of Directors, the Jackson County Visitors Bureau.
The Grass Lake, Mich. native worked at the Michigan International Speedway for nearly 11 years, last serving as vice president of business development and partnerships. He was part of the team that turned the speedway, Michigan’s largest sports and entertainment facility, into a year-round destination.
The Michigan Land Bank promotes economic growth through the acquisition, assembly and disposal of public property, including tax reverted property, in a coordinated manner to foster development that helps communities grow and thrive. The organization works to promote and support county and local land bank operations as well.
Burgett has a bachelor’s degree from Siena Heights University and a master’s degree from Eastern Michigan University.