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Macomb County

It is National Economic Development Week! Meet Jack Johns.

-Posted on May 9, 2020

As part of National Economic Development Week, Macomb County continues to highlight each of the members of the business development team at Macomb County Planning and Economic Development (MCPED).

So far we’ve introduced Dan Rochon and Curt Chowanic. Today we feature Jack Johns and one of his accomplishments.

In his role as project manager, Jack focuses on the retention of businesses that already call Macomb County home as well as the attraction of new business ventures into the county from places near and far. His expertise spans a variety of industries and thus he works with current and potential clients in the advanced manufacturing, automotive, defense, food/agriculture, health care, logistics, professional services and retail sectors. Mr. Johns has seven years of business development experience as part of MCPED and 12 years of workforce development knowledge from his time at Michigan Works!. Jack has a master’s degree in human resource administration from Central Michigan University and a bachelor’s degree in human resource management from Oakland University. He is a member of the Michigan Economic Developers Association, International Economic Development Council, and Asian Pacific American Chamber of Commerce. He also previously served as a Mount Clemens city commissioner.

Jack’s contributions as part of the business development team’s attraction efforts have led to many successes, including a major one with SAPA Transmission. To learn more about this achievement, check out the overview below. 


SAPA Transmission

As a premier supplier to the U.S. Army since 1982, SAPA Transmission provides state-of-the-art transmission technology solutions for military-tracked and wheeled-vehicle applications. The company is headquartered in Spain but wanted to explore the possibility of opening an office and manufacturing center in North America to better serve its clients here.

After meeting with SAPS’s management team, Jack introduced the Macomb County International Landing Zone (ILZ). The ILZ provided SAPA with six months of free space at the Velocity Center including business services for a few members of its staff to test out feasibility in a new area. It had great success here meeting new clients and securing a number of contracts for its products from the Army.  The company worked with Macomb County Business Development team, the State of Michigan and Shelby Township to find a location that would fit its needs for establishing a permanent location in Macomb County. To meet SAPA’s needs, a 109,000 sq. ft. facility in Cherry Creek Industrial Park was constructed. Now that construction is completed and the factory and offices are equipped, SAPA will be hiring up to 223 people. Jack has facilitated SAPA’s partnerships with both Macomb Community College and Michigan Works! which resulted in an enhanced employment pipeline as well as hiring and training  incentives. Additional incentives Jack worked with the company and other economic development partners include a Business Development Program grant for $2.7 million, a Michigan New Jobs Training program incentive through Macomb Community College for up to $759,915 and training and recruiting services from Michigan Works! with a value up to $212,822. As a result of SAPA’s investments – $7.6 million on real property and $27.1 million on personal property for a total of $34.7 million – it also received a tax abatement for $936,000 from Shelby Township. The overall incentives SAPA received totaled nearly $4.6 million. Jack and the MCPED team also helped connect SAPA Transmission with local suppliers through face-to-face introductions.

Jack is an integral part of the business development team at the Macomb County Department of Planning and Economic Development and offers clients of all types of skills and a variety of services to help them start and grow their business. If you want to connect with him, feel free to send an email to

To learn more about the entire business development team and the variety of resources available to businesses in Macomb County, visit