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Compete to Win: Michigan’s Path to Top 10

A framework for holistic economic development

Michigan’s economy has undergone significant change since the middle of the last century. Many of the solutions we’ve pursued in trying to grow income and create a more diversified economy have been too narrowly focused, lacked broad consensus and tried to recreate a world that no longer exists.

To change Michigan’s long-term trajectory, it’s time to focus on building our future together through a holistic economic development strategy – one that strengthens our fundamentals and makes Michigan a leader in income and population growth.

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Five areas necessary for a holistic economic development strategy


Prepare our people for high wage, in-demand careers and attract and keep more talent

Customer Service

Cut red tape and make expanding in Michigan easier for all doing business here


Create attractive, welcoming and safe communities and invest in place

Entrepreneurship + Innovation

Support Michigan small businesses and entrepreneurs and businesses that are creating jobs

Competitive Incentives

Create an effective toolbox that helps us compete for jobs and accelerates our progress toward strengthening fundamentals

What can we do in the next 18 months?

Start by setting clear, widely supported goals around population and income growth tied to education and job growth.


  • Drive systemic K-12 reform by implementing the Launch Michigan framework
  • Strengthen higher education outcomes and drive degree completion
  • Remove barriers to career advancement and entering the workforce
  • Improve talent attraction and retention strategies (expanded internships, career connections, immigration support, Pure Michigan talent campaign, etc.)
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Customer Service​

  • Maintain regulatory certainty
  • Become a leader in cutting red tape and making growth easier
  • Make processes easy, predictable, and efficient
  • Increase Michigan’s ranking on the ease of doing business


  • Support site preparation (50 small, medium & large shovel-ready sites)
  • Create statewide housing and community development strategy that supports economic growth and safety
  • Invest in hardening infrastructure and expanding transit solutions
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Entrepreneurship + Innovation​

  • Make Michigan a scale-up state by creating a statewide growth strategy for entrepreneurs
  • Support centers of innovation, incubator spaces, and anchor institutions to better serve the entrepreneurship community

Competitive Incentives

  • Ensure we strengthen fundamentals so we rely less and less on incentives
  • Incentives should help close a deal or fill a competitiveness gap
  • Ensure return on investment through “earn as you go” incentives, claw back, and/or other accountability measures
  • Use “but for” tests with qualitative and quantitative inputs
  • Finance incentives through future tax revenue generated by new investments when possible
  • Avoid arduous requirements that diminish the competitiveness
  • Avoid creating artificial markets which require incentives to sustain them
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