DETROIT, Mich. – Business Leaders for Michigan, the state’s business roundtable, weighed in on Governor Whitmer’s proposed American Rescue Plan economic investments announcement and urged the Governor and legislative leaders to come together to use these onetime funds to invest in transformational change that will help Michigan emerge from the pandemic a more prosperous and competitive state.
Even before the pandemic, Michigan was working to catch up to other states on key measures of economic performance. Michigan ranks 35th in the percent of residents with a higher education degree or certificate, 41st in labor force participation rate and 35th in median household income.
Jeff Donofrio, Business Leaders for Michigan CEO said, “This is a monumental opportunity to accelerate talent development, job creation and strengthen communities so that Michigan can emerge from the pandemic as stronger and more competitive. With states across the country using onetime dollars to up-skill and attract their workforce and create new jobs, we can’t afford to waste this chance to invest in our future.”
Business Leaders for Michigan, along with economic development leaders from across the state, have actively advocated for directing ARP investments to education and talent, economic development and improving the state’s economic climate. In April, this leer was sent to the Governor and legislative leadership outlining principles for transformational investments in education/skills, business competitiveness and well-paying jobs, and addressing economic, health and education gaps made by the COVID-19 pandemic, among other recommendations to help guide decision-making for state and local leaders.
The Governor’s proposal includes funds to retrain and up-skill Michigan workers and increase community college and skilled trade programs; support small business growth as providers of good-paying jobs, invest in electric vehicle infrastructure and develop STEM talent; and create vibrant communities with housing, infrastructure and amenities that support economic growth.
“We look forward to working with the Governor and legislative leadership on these and other transformational investments,” said Donofrio.