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Business Leaders for Michigan is an organization dedicated to making Michigan a "Top Ten" state for jobs, personal income and a healthy economy. Serving as the state's business roundtable, Business Leaders for Michigan is composed of the chairpersons, chief executives or most senior executives of the state’s largest job providers and universities. Read more...

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Tuesday
Jan202015

BLM Statement in Response to the 2015 MI State of the State Address

In response to the 2015 Michigan State of the State address, Business Leaders for Michigan released the following statement: 

"Business Leaders for Michigan believes fixing our roads and accelerating efforts to increase both education and skill levels are the most important steps the legislature can take this year to create more good jobs. Helping more people get the education and job skills they need to secure jobs will require both greater state support and collaboration to make college more affordable. Fixing the roads and continuing to prioritize job training and higher education funding in the budget are the next steps in Michigan's turnaround.  The Governor's priorities align well with these goals."

---- Doug Rothwell, President & CEO, Business Leaders for Michigan.

Download the statement. 

 

Wednesday
Jan072015

2015: Charting a path to a vibrant, prosperous future

Our state has come a long way over the last few years. State government finances are more stable. Changes to our tax system have reduced the burden for small businesses and entrepreneurs. Long-term debt has been reduced. Unnecessary regulations have been eliminated. 

We've made great gains. Our state is performing better but what was necessary then is not what is needed now - if we are to make MI a Top Ten  state with more jobs and higher incomes. 

Now that we've regained our economic footing, it's time to think about how we can strategically invest for our future growth.  

Michigan leaders know two crucial areas of investment are needed--people and infrastructure. We need to make sure our people have the tools they need to succeed, and that our roads and bridges are safe for everyday travel and have the capacity to move our products and services to market.

We begin-first, last, and always-with the people of our great state.  There needs to be more investment in educational programs Michiganders need to be successful.  Our young people need more than a high school education to succeed.  Yet, our state spends more to house prison inmates than it does to help a kid get through college. We can do better.  And additional job training opportunities would help many talented, displaced workers re-enter the workforce and fill the 70,000+ open jobs that exist today.

For Michigan to continue to grow, we need to develop a skilled, educated workforce that is capable of meeting the demands of employers today, tomorrow, and even a decade from now.  At the same time, we need to fundamentally retool our state's transportation infrastructure.  Michigan's roads and bridges need to function as more than a humorous punchline; they need to be capable of supporting our growing economy. 

State policymakers have shown tremendous foresight in adopting a comprehensive road funding solution. Voters will have an opportunity to approve this solution this spring, connecting Michigan to the resources and tools necessary to be an economic powerhouse once more.

Please join us, our colleagues, neighbors and communities as we rally around these strategies for growth in 2015.  Michigan's future prosperity depends on it. 

Thursday
Dec182014

Business Leaders for Michigan Supports Road Funding Package

LANSING, Mich. December 18, 2014 —Business Leaders for Michigan, the state’s business roundtable, announced today that it was pleased Governor Snyder and the Michigan Legislature reached an agreement on a proposal to increase investments in Michigan’s transportation infrastructure. 

Doug Rothwell, President & CEO said: “We are pleased to see Michigan’s transportation needs being addressed. Today's actions will help Michigan build on the turnaround that’s underway in our state by making meaningful investments that will accelerate our growth. The proposal will fix our roads and represents a big step toward a broader long-term solution to expand the capacity of our roads to grow the economy.  While there is some risk in relying on a ballot measure that requires a strong public awareness campaign, this proposal offers some very positive benefits for citizens, schools, communities and businesses alike.”

 Download the statement.

 

Tuesday
Dec092014

SOS for MI roads & bridges! 

When you need help, you send out an SOS.  Here in Michigan, SOS could stand for "Save Our Streets."

Michigan's urban roads are appalling-a shameful 45th in the nation. Even worse, one-third of the state's bridges are deficient.  Action is needed to ensure the quality and safety of all Michigan roadways. 

SOS could also stand for "Save Our State." Our newfound economic recovery is jeopardized when people and businesses can't move their products and services with ease. 

The saying "you get what you pay for" could not be truer. Michigan has bad roads that are too congested because we spend only half of what our neighbors do, and it shows. 

Click to read more ...

Tuesday
Dec022014

Michigan needs sustainable fix to road problem (Detroit Free Press) 

By Detroit Free Press Guest Writer Jeff Fettig, Chairman & CEO of Whirlpool Corporation and Chairman of Business Leaders for Michigan.

As winter takes hold, Michiganders will encounter one of our state’s most challenging issues — deficient roads and bridges. I think everyone has their own personal story of how our bad roads have affected them, whether in unplanned and costly car repairs or overall aggravation that comes from dealing with bad weather on top of potholes.

While our economic recovery remains strong — jobs and personal income are growing again, and gross domestic product is on the rise — we still have large gaps to fill, namely in our roads."

It starts with a commitment to build and maintain a world-class transportation infrastructure. Not only do poor-quality roads wreak havoc on our vehicles daily, they can add unnecessary costs and shipping delays for businesses, which harms everyone overall.

Michigan’s urban roadways are in such poor condition — they’ve earned us a ranking of 45th in the nation, according to our analysis of federal data. Not a big surprise, considering Michigan spends nearly one-half of the average of Great Lakes states on its roads. Moreover, 33% of our state’s bridges are deficient. Businesses contemplating a Michigan location take these factors into account.

Click to read more ...