Growing up in Kalamazoo, Rishi Makkar vividly recalls his father working nights mopping floors at a gas station while chairing the criminal justice department at Western Michigan University by day.
As the nation’s political and macroeconomic climate changes, The Right Place Inc. says it needs to adapt how it measures its impact.
In 2016, The Right Place Inc. attracted $240.6 million in new capital investment through 19 projects across West Michigan. Although the Grand Rapids-based economic development organization fell short of its three-year goals for jobs and payroll growth, President and CEO Birgit Klohs remains optimistic about Michigan’s economy. Klohs expects to attract more high-tech jobs and industries to the state while continuing to work with companies to find available talent in the region. Klohs discussed with MiBiz some of the issues that West Michigan employers and economic development professionals will face in the coming year.
The Right Place Inc. President and CEO Birgit Klohs has one word to describe her reaction to the United Kingdom’s decision yesterday to leave the European Union: Disappointment.
A looming cloud hung over this year’s Mackinac Policy Conference, and it wasn’t left over from Wednesday’s rain. The majority of the approximately 1,500 attendees at the annual retreat hosted by the Detroit Regional Chamber were laser-focused on two issues the state would rather not be known for: the legislative budget fight for the nearly-bankrupt Detroit Public Schools (DPS) and the ongoing Flint water crisis.
The budget cuts at the state’s economic development organization have forced industry executives in West Michigan to adjust their tactics.
Michigan economic developers say the “incendiary” rhetoric coming from one U.S. presidential candidate in particular has created an unwelcoming environment for many skilled workers and could chill prospects for foreign investment in Michigan and beyond.