The Plan

Let’s hit the gas.

It’s time to use the strategies that have turned Michigan around to build on what’s been done and accelerate our pace of progress. We are ready to compete, invest and grow our way to a stronger Michigan—one filled with as many as 34,000 more jobs and $9,500 more income per person. Below are the strategies to help make it happen. Download the full plan here.



  • Create a stronger economic environment than competitor states
  • Create a more responsive regulatory environment than competitor states
  • Strengthen Michigan’s fiscal stability and reduce future financial uncertainty
  • Provide better local government services than competitor states
  • Support federal policy changes that enhance Michigan’s competitiveness




  • Ensure every child is ready to learn and advance
  • Improve the connection between education, training and careers
  • Meet the talent needs of employers that are expanding or relocating to Michigan in a timely and customized manner
  • Increase workers with an education and training beyond high school
  • Connect Michigan to the world through strong infrastructure




  • Leverage assets with the greatest potential to meet future economic needs
  • Provide strong economic development services
  • Grow Michigan’s cities into thriving places
  • Make Michigan an aspirational destination to work, live, play and raise a family
  • Reclaim our reputation as a center of innovation



Create a Stronger Economic Environment than Competitor States

  • Continue to modernize Michigan’s tax system to reward production and reflect changes in the composition of the  economy by adopting broad, fair and flat taxes wherever practical
  • Determine the impact of property taxes on Michigan’s competitiveness
  • Maintain competitive energy costs

Create a More Responsive Regulatory Environment than Competitor States

  • Require agencies to publicly disclose information about planned regulatory actions monthly and engage stakeholders early in the regulatory process
  • Require a plan to evaluate the effectiveness of major rules
  • Designate a lead agency to have primary responsibility for coordinating reviews of a project:
    • Ensure that permits are processed by multiple agencies in parallel and according to a firm schedule
  • Provide adequate resources for permit processing
  • Require final decisions on permit issues to be issued in 180 days
  • Create an inventory of pending permits by agency and program, and expand the online dashboards to track the status of permits for all major projects and provide links to relevant documents

Strengthen Michigan’s Fiscal Stability and Reduce Future Financial Uncertainty

  • Prioritize policies that improve the long-term economic growth prospects of the state
  • Codify in statute fiscal best practices:
    • Use of performance-based budgeting
    • Presentation of multi-year budgets
    • Adoption of a long-term strategic state plan
    • Adoption of fiscal notes that price the cost of legislation
    • Publication of a citizen-friendly balance sheet
  • Reduce corrections costs to the Great Lakes average by adopting best practices, such as those that reduce recidivism and lengths of stay for non-violent offenders
  • Continue paying down state unfunded liabilities by shifting local government and school system retirees 65 and older to Medicare and early retirees to health care exchanges with stipends to maintain promised heath care benefits
  • Prevent local fiscal emergencies:
    • Preclude local governments from offering defined benefit retirement plans and retiree health care benefits to new hires
    • Enhance certification and professional development requirements for local government finance staff and provide state support for training

Provide Better Local Government Services than Competitor States

  • Encourage and expand service sharing for all local government units and school districts:
    • Expand state fiscal incentives that defray transition costs
    • Establish a suite of shared service vendors (e.g., accounting, legal, payroll, IT, etc.)
  • Empower regions to fund regional assets by referendum without state pre-authorization, such as transit systems, parks and cultural amenities
  • Determine the competitiveness of Michigan’s local revenue system with a focus on increasing efficiency and improving effectiveness

Support Federal Policy Changes that Enhance Michigan’s Competitiveness

  • Increase federal investments in transportation infrastructure:
    • Needs should be prioritized based on economic, health, and safety risks
    • Public-private partnerships and alternative financing methods should be fully utilized
    • Funding should be sufficient to ensure at least “good” and —ideally — “best” quality conditions
    • Warranties on contractor work should be required
    • Public transportation funding should be both sustainable and dedicated
    • Revenue should come from the users of the infrastructure —which means all of us.
    • General purpose taxes (e.g., income taxes) that fund the balance of government should not be utilized
    • User fees should reflect the true cost of service, including the replacement or rehabilitation of aging infrastructure
    • A non-partisan, multi-infrastructure council composed of professional subject-matter experts should be established to recommend strategic prioritization of investments, facilitate public-private partnerships and oversee a coordinated asset management system
  • Ensure American leadership in the emerging mobility sector by establishing a 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 and good jobs for Americans
  • Institute comprehensive regulatory reform consistent with recommendations outlined by the national Business Roundtable:
    • The government should objectively analyze costs and benefits of proposed and final major rules from all agencies, including independent regulatory commissions
    • Agencies should publicly disclose information about planned regulatory actions on a monthly basis, and engage stakeholders early in the regulatory process
    • Every major rule should include a plan for how the agency will evaluate its effectiveness over time
    • Congress should consider other changes to the Administrative Procedure Act, particularly relating to the content of the rulemaking record and greater judicial scrutiny of that record
  • Increase federal R&D investments to at least the rate of GDP growth and ideally to twice this rate
  • Support talent development and immigration reform:
    • Increase the number of H-1B visas, issue H-1B training grants to train American workers for which companies now rely on foreign nationals and exempt from the annual cap H- 1B workers who have degrees in needed fields by universities in the U.S.
    • Allow individuals with advanced STEM degrees from U.S. universities to qualify immediately for a green card to work and live in the U.S.
    • Establish a manageable legal system for workers who may not have higher education but are needed for specific sectors, including agriculture, hospitality and construction
    • Adopt innovative strategies to attract immigrants to cities experiencing significant population loss and high unemployment
    • Develop holistic strategies to increase labor force participation, including entitlement reform and talent development programs


best corporate tax climate


best overall business tax climate


Michigan's latest credit rating by Moody's


level of unfunded pension liability


in personal income growth


employment growth


in unemployment rate


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Ensure Every Child Is Ready to Learn and Advance

  • Maximize support for teachers—including: promoting the profession, providing robust training opportunities, up to date classroom technologies, and relevant student data
  • Develop high standards for initially certifying teachers and establish ongoing evaluations of teachers for competency and effectiveness based on student progress and performance
  • Maximize support for principals, including providing robust training opportunities to ensure effective leadership
  • Maintain high student standards, with a focus on math, literacy and science to prepare each student for their path of choice after the 12th grade, including college, technical training or immediate career:
    • Improve literacy outcomes for K–3 students
    • Maintain and strengthen the M-STEP assessment, and then maintain year-over-year to obtain relevant data to assist teachers
    • Explore a competency-based learning model to prepare students for 21st Century careers
  • Support and maintain a uniform set of performance and accountability standards for all schools, school management and leadership that accounts for student growth relative to level of proficiency
  • Adopt improvement strategies and provide the necessary support to remediate results where necessary
  • Become a “Top Ten” state for dollars going to the classroom by determining the true cost to educate all students equitably and the effectiveness of Michigan’s current spending model
  • Allocate any significant new funding based on relative school progress, performance and equity
  • Build better and more aligned support from educators, business, parents, government and philanthropy
  • Hold every level of the K–12 education system accountable for the role they play in student outcomes. This includes school leadership and management, the Michigan Department of Education, the Governor and the Legislature

Improve the Connection Between Education, Training and Careers

  • Provide parents and students with the information they need to make good career choices and select the best education and training pathways by increasing career counseling and starting it upon high school enrollment
  • Increase opportunities for high school and college students to participate in school-to-work transition experiences
  • Increase employer participation in identifying workforce needs and developing workforce development strategies
  • Require training providers, community colleges and universities to track graduate placement results, job provider satisfaction and non-degree outcomes

Meet the Talent Needs of Employers that are Expanding or Relocating to Michigan in a Timely and Customized Manner

  • Establish Michigan Economic Development Corporation as a single point of contact for businesses with the responsibility of driving a customer-centered approach to service delivery through the coordination of the delivery of job training services for new or expanding businesses as part of the state’s economic development program:
    • The agency should facilitate collaboration and sharing of best practices among job training service providers, and navigate programs and partners for new or expanding businesses
  • Provide on-demand job training to meet the needs of employers expanding or relocating to Michigan at the time, place and schedule that meets their needs
    • The speed of delivering on-demand job training can be accelerated by regularly anticipating high-demand employer skill requirements to develop customized training solutions
    • Design and fund through existing resources a state job training program that is flexible and responsive for the talent recruitment and training needs of business attraction and retention projects with minimal administrative burden for the business
    • Establish a brand for on-demand job training that is promoted, recognized and sustained to strengthen Michigan’s reputation of delivering these services
  • Notwithstanding the need for a dedicated source of fully flexible funds, every federal and state-funded job training program should be examined to ensure resources are fully leveraged to respond to employer needs

Increase Workers with an Education and Training Beyond High School

  • Increase in- and out-of-state college enrollment and completion rates without reducing in- state access:
    • Support a marketing program to recruit out-of-state students and increase in-state enrollments
    • Increase the availability/use of high-value sub-degree certificates, transferability of credits, dual credits and career guidance services
    • Continue to increase at-risk student enrollment and graduation rates
    • Explain tuition pricing more clearly and expand financial aid options to ensure that students can afford a higher education regardless of financial means
    • Use financial aid as an incentive to degree or certificate completion
    • Offer financial aid options that encourage public service and/or working in Michigan (e.g., rather than grants, offer forgivable loans subject to serving the public or working in Michigan for a period of years)
  • Achieve “Top Ten” community college and university affordability:
    • Provide per student funding for public universities and community colleges comparable to “Top Ten” levels if universities or colleges meet or exceed the performance of top quintile peers on specific outcome-based metrics
    • Increase the available amount of state student aid
    • Form public-private partnerships that expand the use of new delivery methods, increase administrative efficiency and increase cross-institutional collaboration
  • Determine the competitiveness of Michigan’s community college governance system, finances and outcomes

Connect Michigan to the World through Strong Infrastructure

  • Prioritize infrastructure investments based on economic, health, and safety risks, with transportation and water systems given highest priority
  • Reward regional and cross-functional coordination and resultant efficiencies
  • Fully utilize public-private partnerships and alternative financing methods
  • Provide sufficient funding to ensure at least “good” and—ideally—”best” quality conditions
  • Require contractor warranties on work
  • Ensure funding is sustainable and dedicated
  • Increase revenues from users of the infrastructure—which means all of us—to close Michigan’s $4 billion annual investment gap. General purpose taxes (e.g., sales and income taxes) that fund the balance of state government should not be utilized
  • Design user fees to reflect the true cost of service, including the replacement or rehabilitation of aging infrastructure
  • Consider a renewable bond program and/or regional assessment to fund one-time or recurring needs that cannot be reasonably addressed through user-based funding. However, the revenue source should not adversely impact other critical priorities that help create jobs, such as job training, higher education and economic development
  • Establish a statewide non-partisan, multi-infrastructure council composed of professional subject-matter experts to recommend strategic prioritization of investments, maximize capture of federal dollars, facilitate public-private partnerships, oversee a coordinated asset management system and possibly coordinate projects of state significance


in 4th grade reading


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in career and technical education enrollment


of students are career & college ready


for technical education (critical skills degrees and certificates)


of the population has an associate's degree or higher


urban roads in poor condition


bridges in deficient condition


broadband penetration


Leverage Assets with the Greatest Potential to Meet Future Economic Needs

  • Adopt growth strategies to leverage Michigan’s key economic assets (auto/mobility industry, engineering talent, geographic location, health and medical expertise, higher education system and natural resources). These strategies should identify:
    • Financial requirements and financing options
    • Infrastructure investments needed (e.g., logistics infrastructure for geographic location or transportation access for natural resources)
    • Workforce development needs
    • Marketing initiatives
    • Entrepreneurship opportunities
    • Research and development capacity required to accelerate commercialization
  • Designate one organization to coordinate development and implementation of growth strategies
  • Consider dedicating a revenue source to fund and sustain long-term implementation of the growth strategies

Provide Strong Economic Development Services

  • Act cohesively to attract and grow more good jobs by building greater alignment among stakeholders on the importance of a strong state economy, the role of economic development and the importance of consistent, competitive policies
  • Establish public-private partnerships to ensure greater consistency of economic development activities and programs
  • Maintain competitive economic development tools

Grow Michigan’s Cities into Thriving Places

  • Leverage distinct assets in urban and metro areas by supporting a small number of industry or
    innovation cluster growth strategies (such as life sciences, advanced manufacturing and alternative
  • Leverage innovation-generating anchor institutions in cities by designating one to three
    “urban innovation districts” that connect anchor institutions with infrastructure, housing and
  • Amend auto insurance laws that discourage residency in any particular community

Make Michigan an Aspirational Destination to Work, Live, Play and Raise a Family

  • Develop holistic strategies to increase workforce participation levels
  • Attract skilled immigrants and facilitate their relocation transitions
  • Prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation for employment like we do for race,
    color, religion, sex, national origin or disability

Reclaim Our Reputation as a Center of Innovation

  • Become a “Top Ten” state for the availability of venture capital
  • Become a “Top Ten” state for entrepreneurship and innovation
  • Grow and showcase Michigan as a center of modern design
  • Become a convening center for conferences, competitions and research
  • Encourage higher education to play a greater role in economic development and support these
    efforts through state economic development policy

    • 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


economic development expenditures


population ages 25-24


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