Home // News // Statewide business organizations announce partnership with Governor Whitmer aimed at shaping and approving “Michigan Reconnect” and “MI Opportunity Scholarship”   

Statewide business organizations announce partnership with Governor Whitmer aimed at shaping and approving “Michigan Reconnect” and “MI Opportunity Scholarship”   

Statewide business organizations announce partnership with Governor Whitmer aimed at shaping and approving “Michigan Reconnect” and “MI Opportunity Scholarship”   
Thursday, Mar 28, 2019
Download Press Release
Download Principles outline


LANSING, March 28, 2019 – Today, four major business organizations announced key support for Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s goal of increasing the percentage of Michigan’s workforce with a post high school degree or high-value certificate to 60 percent by the year 2030. Business Leaders for Michigan, the Detroit Regional Chamber, the Grand Rapids Chamber and the Small Business Association of Michigan expressed high level support for the Governor’s Mi Opportunity and Reconnect proposals, and look forward to working together with her team and the legislature to increase post-secondary access for high school graduates and adults, consistent with principles related to accountability for both students and colleges.

“Nearly every large employer in Michigan faces the same major challenge: talent attraction and retention,” said Doug Rothwell, CEO of Business Leaders for Michigan. “We want to have homegrown talent sustaining our state’s productivity and continued economic growth, and to achieve that we need to boost the number of residents who attain a post-secondary degree or certification. Gov. Whitmer quickly identified this challenge and brought forth an attainable goal for us to all work toward.”

“The Chamber was an early adopter of the goal of achieving 60 percent degree or certificate attainment by 2030 – a goal now shared by Gov. Whitmer,” said Sandy K. Baruah, President and CEO of the Detroit Regional Chamber. “Our experience leading the Detroit Promise helps us provide valuable feedback to ensuring the Governor’s proposal fills the talent gap and allow businesses to succeed across the state.”

“Closing the skills gap and addressing our talent crisis is the number one issue for our members,” says Andy Johnston, Vice President of Government Affairs at the Grand Rapids Chamber.  “To combat this issue, we need a plan to increase degree attainment, including four year and two-year degrees, as well as certificates and credentials.  We are eager to work alongside the Administration, the Legislature and other stakeholders to craft initiatives that accomplish these goals and create a sustainable and thriving workforce.”

“Michigan has come a long way in the last decade,” said Brian Calley, President of the Small Business Association of Michigan. “The lack of available talent to accommodate growth is a common challenge that businesses of all sizes face. We need a unified, comprehensive strategy to connect more people to education and opportunity. SBAM looks forward to working with the Whitmer Administration and the Legislature to reach the ambitious 60 percent degree or certificate attainment by the year 2030.”

The attached document describes principles needed to ensure effectiveness as the MI Opportunity Scholarship and Reconnect programs are developed and negotiated within the legislative process. The support of these goals should not be construed to be an endorsement of any other aspect of proposed policies or the budget.

###

Media Contacts:

Business Leaders for Michigan
Anna Heaton, 313.259.5400, AnnaH@businessleadersformichigan.com

Detroit Regional Chamber
Kelly Weatherwax, 313.596.0360, kweatherwax@detroitchamber.com

Grand Rapids Chamber
Andy Johnston, 616.822.1878, johnstona@grandrapids.org

Small Business Association of Michigan
Laura Biehl, 248.921.5008, laura@reschstrategies.com

Recent News

News

One More Item On Our 2018 To-Do List

Dec 12, 2018

Leading What’s Next… As we come to the end of another calendar year, it’s great to reflect on all that has been accomplished. We’ve made new strides in connecting business with...

Read More
Data

BLM releases 2018 statewide economic benchmarking data

Nov 12, 2018

DETROIT, Mich.—Business Leaders for Michigan (BLM), the state’s business roundtable, released a major report on the state’s economic performance Monday, highlighting the impact of key policy and...

Read More
Data

BLM 2Q 2019 economic forecast: Business leaders predict stable growth for Michigan, U.S.

Jul 31, 2019

Capital investment, job growth expected to remain stable over next 6–12 months but growing number see downturn ahead DETROIT— A majority of Michigan business leaders expect to continue or boost th...

Read More
What We're Reading

After 10 years of steady growth, Michigan’s economy faces headwinds

Jul 11, 2019

As of July, the U.S. economic recovery from the Great Recession is now the longest in American history, dating to the 1850s. Yet several factors are emerging that could leave the state more vulnerable...

Read More
What We're Reading

Editorial: Time is now to make roads funding deal

Jun 26, 2019

A coalition of business advocates last week had a simple message for legislators: Fix the roads before you hit the road. The Michigan Chamber of Commerce, Business Leaders for Michigan, the Detroit Re...

Read More