Do you want more opportunities, better jobs and higher incomes? If so, it’s time to raise your hand in support of the Plan for a Stronger Michigan. Released this week, it’s an exciting plan for accelerating Michigan’s economic progress put together by a group of the state’s largest employers and universities. It offers a compelling agenda for advancing the economy and improving the quality of life in Michigan.
Why is the Plan for a Stronger Michigan so exciting? Primarily because it’s so real. It doesn’t shrink from hard facts, or from opportunities waiting on the horizon. And it’s a bipartisan plan designed to span administrations, so our growth can continue regardless of which party sits in Lansing.
Though the state has made great progress in the past decade—our business climate, ranked last in the nation in 2009, has jumped to 25th—there is still a long way to go before we reach “Top Ten” status. That’s why this new plan is ambitious. Aimed at moving Michigan ahead more aggressively, it combats complacency with a strategy for growth. To put it simply: We’ve gotten ourselves back in the game, but now it’s time to go for the win. Following this plan’s recommendations, Michigan could lead the U.S. as one of the top states for jobs, personal income, and a healthy economy.
Download a comprehensive PDF of the plan here.
Why does this matter? Because the people of Michigan matter. Getting to “Top Ten” means 34,000 more Michiganders working and $9,500 more in annual income per capita. That’s enough to cover a lot of costs—to even transform lives.
The Plan for a Stronger Michigan is a comprehensive strategy to make our state a better place to live, work and raise a family. It can help improve opportunities for all, enhance our quality of life and diversify the economy to weather downturns. Following the plan, we can do a better job of building a skilled, educated workforce, a well-connected infrastructure and an innovation-rich environment.
There are smart strategic areas where we can compete, invest and grow to transform Michigan into a thriving state:
- Strengthen the state’s fiscal stability. The plan calls for further reductions in state and local debt, cost estimates for proposed legislation, and shared service delivery across jurisdictions. We need to lock in these reforms and use our resources wisely to ensure the long-term fiscal health of the state, and to help free up capital we can invest in critical needs.
- Build the state’s talent pipeline. Michigan must create more educated and skilled talent at all levels. We need to improve K–12 outcomes, boost postsecondary enrollment and help Michiganders access the education and training programs they need to be successful. And we need to provide customized on-demand job training for employers looking to expand or relocate to Michigan, to attract new business (and the jobs that come with it) to the state.
- Leverage Michigan’s unique assets, most notably by ensuring we become the Global Center of Mobility. Michigan’s automotive industry represents the state’s single largest potential for growth. We’re home to 96 of the top auto suppliers and 76% of all North American automotive research and development. We need to make sure the regulatory agencies, talent, research and testing facilities needed to enable this transformation are based in Michigan. We also have unique opportunities in the engineering, logistics, higher education, life sciences and natural resources sectors with the potential to grow good paying jobs that should be leveraged as well.
- Build a robust, stable infrastructure. We need to bring quality roads, broadband, and safe drinking water to each and every Michigan resident. These will ensure a higher quality of life and help us grow our population.
Michigan has come so far, and we have reason to be proud. We have a competitive tax environment to attract new business, we’ve reduced our long-term debt, and our job growth has been strong. But we know we can do better. This plan provides fresh, innovative solutions for boosting jobs, incomes, and economic growth in our state. If you want to see what a stronger Michigan looks like, and how we can get there, check out the full Plan for a Stronger Michigan at strongermichigan.com.
“Top Ten” results are possible, even in a world that is moving farther—and faster—than ever before. The key is to address the opportunities and challenges that lie ahead.
Are you ready to get behind the plan? Raise your hand, and together we can build a stronger Michigan.