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Manufacturers heading into 2018 have made workplace culture a priority.

GRAND RAPIDS — After a decade of growth in manufacturing, the sector still finds itself having to defend its worth to parents and high school counsellors.

At least nine campaigns are in various stages of development to put questions before Michigan voters in 2018.

Business and local government advocates aren’t always aligned on policy issues, but both groups say 2018 will require concerted efforts to attract and retain talent in Michigan.

year ago, Gov. Rick Snyder signed a pair of comprehensive, bipartisan energy bills that expanded the state’s clean energy standards and charted a new course for how various utility programs are overseen by state regulators.

Expect the U.S. economy to maintain steady growth through 2018 with continued low unemployment, an even tighter labor market that drives up wages, higher business investment and additional increases in interest rates.

Michigan will largely follow the U.S. economy in 2018, with continued job growth and low unemployment.

When Brad Davis looks ahead to 2018, he gets very excited about the future of his company, Zeeland-based Industrial Woodworking Corp.

Charter Capital adds two partners to the business

Written by | Sunday, 03 September 2017 16:47 |

GRAND RAPIDS — In a move designed to manage growth in the business, investment banking and M&A firm Charter Capital Partners promoted two managing directors to partners.

West Michigan executives share outlook for 2017

Written by | Tuesday, 27 December 2016 13:09 |

For the annual year-end Crystal Ball edition, MiBiz asked executives from around West Michigan to share their outlooks for 2017, both for their industry and their companies.

As the economy has recovered from the recession, philanthropic giving nationwide has slowly climbed to an all-time high, in 2015 reaching $373.25 billion, according to a report from the Giving USA Foundation. However, nonprofits rely on funding from other sources as well, and leaders like Carrie Pickett-Erway at Kalamazoo Community Foundation don’t know if those sources will remain secure in the coming year. “We know many of our partners are concerned about major changes they anticipate in state and federal funding,” she said. “Our endowed funds provide a stable source of funding, but would not be able to fill that gap.”

2017 Outlook: Mindy Ysasi, The SOURCE

Written by | Sunday, 25 December 2016 17:44 |

Mindy Ysasi says she is hopeful as she watches employers begin to recognize what it actually takes to solve their talent struggles. Employers have to decide what will make them stand out, whether that means they’re helping people achieve certifications and degrees, focusing on sustainability, hiring people who have a criminal background, or something else, she said. “Because of the market, employers are now saying, ‘What is the root cause?’ Some employers are recognizing that in some of our communities, we have 38 percent unemployment for men of color. I’m really very hopeful, because employers have immense power.” At the same time, Ysasi is concerned with the lack of support going to systems like child care and housing that help people enter the workforce.

For 2017, Rob Collier at the Grand Haven-based Council of Michigan Foundations is keeping one eye on Washington and one on Lansing. Collier cited potentially detrimental proposals coming out of the federal level, with beneficial legislation under review at the state level. 

With the Affordable Care Act on the chopping block for President-elect Trump’s administration, Kyle Caldwell fears the “tremendous amount of investment by nonprofits and foundations into our health care system” could be all for naught in 2017 unless lawmakers find a suitable replacement. Similarly, “there will be challenges to both foundations and nonprofits as the administration looks to … find efficiencies in government spending, and cuts to services to make way for tax cuts,” he said. On both the state and federal level, lawmakers’ decisions in 2017 have the opportunity to greatly impact nonprofits through bills like SB 960, which clarifies property tax policies.

With the year ahead being so difficult to predict, Diana Sieger’s advice to nonprofits is to stay focused and keep doing their work well. She believes organizations like KConnect, whose goal is to bring together groups to collectively solve problems, will be essential in both identifying and addressing issues in 2017.

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