Leverage Our Strengths

Every state has unique assets that give it opportunities to grow jobs and increase productivity. Michigan has more than most other states, especially given our proximity to the Great Lakes and Canada. And yet we have failed to leverage these unique assets as much as we could have. If we seize these opportunities, we’ll advance our growth to “Top Ten” status quickly.

Maintaining leadership and expanding the impact of these key growth industries not only requires doubling down on successful efforts already underway, but also making significant, strategic, and consistent investments in innovation.


  • Adopt strategies to accelerate the growth of Michigan’s key economic strengths.
    • Strategies:
      • Engineering services
      • Automotive/mobility sector
      • High-tech manufacturing
      • Higher education & start-up creation
      • Medical device engineering & manufacturing
      • Tourism & agriculture
      • Logistics
    • Designate the Michigan Economic Development Corporation to coordinate growth strategies occurring at the state, regional, and local level.
    • Consider dedicating a revenue source to fund and sustain long-term implementation of the growth strategies.
    • Support a federal mobility public-private partnership to:
      • Advance research, development, and deployment of connected and automated technology.
      • Adopt legal and voluntary technical standards that lead the world.
      • Develop the talent needed to grow the industry.
      • Leverage distinct assets in urban and rural areas:
    • Ensure that both urban and rural communities have an opportunity to benefit from the growth strategies described above.
    • Support a small number of community- or regionally-led strategies designed to accelerate the growth of innovation-based businesses.

  • Grow Michigan’s entrepreneurial and innovation ecosystem by leveraging our R&D base and universities:
    • Encourage higher education to play a greater role in economic development:
  • Develop economic development programs that leverage each institution’s greatest potential impact on the local economy and develop a means to share best practices across institutions.
  • Provide matching funds to enable universities to more aggressively attract federal research.
    • Support increasing federal R&D investments to at least the rate of GDP growth and ideally to twice this rate to accelerate the growth of innovation and Michigan’s economic strengths.
    • Become a “Top Ten” state for the availability of venture capital to invest in Michigan-based start-ups and fast growth companies.


Bridges in deficient condition


Broadband penetration


Economic development expenditures


Population ages 25-24