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Growing The New Michigan


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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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Summit brings together state, business and policy leaders focused on growing the New Michigan economy

Natural Resources, Mobility, Engineering, Logistics, Higher Education and Life Sciences industries highlighted as key assets to leverage growth

LANSING Mich., March 11, 2013 — Nearly 450 business and policy leaders from across Michigan met today to discuss key assets for growing a New Michigan economy, and assessed the state’s progress toward economic prosperity. Top leaders shared industry insights and recommended key strategies focused around six key areas of economic opportunity that Michigan boasts.  Business Leaders for Michigan (BLM), which hosted the summit, unveiled baseline information on its New Michigan strategy.

“We have already identified some powerful strategies for change,” said Doug Rothwell, President and CEO. “By doing more of what Michigan does best, we can meet global needs and grow our own economy - but we have to be smart, aggressive, and focused on results.”

Rothwell said BLM’s first annual New Michigan report offers an important first step to help the state track its progress.  BLM issued its New Michigan plan in 2012.

“This gives us a clear idea of how we stack up to our competitors on key outputs: GDP, employment, and earnings,” Rothwell said. “It also tells us about our inputs in six critical opportunity areas. Each year, we’ll report how we’re doing, where we can grow, and what’s next.”

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Business Leaders for Michigan launches Performance Tracker for Michigan Public Universities

Online tool puts information at fingertips of parents, policy makers and tracks university performance on 30 key measures

DETROIT, Mich., February 13, 2013 - Business Leaders for Michigan (BLM), the state’s business roundtable, which is focused on making Michigan a Top Ten state for job, personal income and economic growth, today unveiled Michigan’s Performance Tracker for Public Universities, an online tool that makes it easier for policy makers, job providers and families to see exactly how Michigan’s 15 public universities spend their dollars, as well as the return on investment for those dollars.

“The Performance Tracker shows what a college education at a Michigan university will cost students, and the kind of outcomes universities produce for that investment,” said Doug Rothwell, President and CEO. “It’s a transparent dashboard with easily-accessible data about Michigan’s public universities on about 30 different metrics that measure productivity and efficiency, affordability and access, and economic impact.  It places Michigan at the forefront of higher education transparency and accountability.” 

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Statement on Governor’s 2014 Executive Budget Recommendation

DETROIT, Mich., February 7, 2013 –Business Leaders for Michigan, the state’s business roundtable, saluted Governor Snyder on his 2014 Executive Budget Recommendation, and his emphasis on structurally balancing the budget, reducing the state’s long standing debt obligations and investing in the budget stabilization fund.

Doug Rothwell, President & CEO, said, “We applaud the Governor for continuing his commitment to getting Michigan’s fiscal house in order and addressing the long-standing debt obligations that have beleaguered our state. Getting our state on a strong fiscal footing is critical to a full economic recovery and an essential part of the Michigan Turnaround Plan.”

In addition, Business Leaders for Michigan praised the Governor for addressing early childhood needs in his budget presentation. “Studies show that children who participate in a good preschool experience have more success in life,” Rothwell said. “We want every child to enter kindergarten ready to succeed yet many of our children today are playing catch up. If we invest on the front end, they will do better in school and have better opportunities down the road.”

Rothwell also commented on the recommendations for higher education, “For the second year in a row, the Governor has proposed increases in higher education based on performance. We appreciate that the state has begun to reverse the decade of disinvestment in our colleges and universities. Investments in higher education contribute directly to our children and the state’s success. The changing global economy puts a premium on college graduates and Michigan is currently looking at a talent shortage of 900,000 graduates by 2020. To make college more affordable for our children, increase the number of college graduates our state needs to grow the economy and incent our colleges and universities to perform better than their peers, it will take a substantial long-term commitment. As the state’s fiscal health continues to return, it is critical we move even faster to boost state investments in areas that will promote future growth, such as higher education.”



Most of state’s largest job providers add jobs in 2012; Plan more hiring in 2013

DETROIT, Mich., February 5, 2013Business Leaders for Michigan (BLM), the state’s business roundtable, continues to forecast that Michigan’s economy will grow more than the U.S. economy over the next six to eighteen months.  The forecast is reinforced by 60 percent of BLM members planning to increase hiring in Michigan in just the next six months.  Nearly-two thirds added jobs in Michigan last year.    

“The avoidance of the fiscal cliff and slow, but steady domestic growth has boosted the overall economic outlook of Michigan’s largest job providers.  But they remain far more optimistic about Michigan vs. the nation’s economy by the largest margins we have seen since we started conducting these surveys in 2009,” said Doug Rothwell, President & CEO.  “The optimism of the state’s largest job providers for Michigan is based on progress made stabilizing the state’s finances, addressing long-term debt and structural budget deficits and improving the costs of doing business here.  These are the same issues they feel are not being addressed in Washington and are holding the national economy back from full recovery.  They demonstrated that optimism by adding jobs in Michigan last year and planning more this year.  Michigan is not an island and will be affected by slower national growth, but BLM members continue to believe we will out-perform the American economy over the next eighteen months.”

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Michigan's Economy Now

2012 BLM Benchmarking Report Affirms State Economy is Improving, but Still Short of Top Ten Status

DETROIT, Mich., December 20, 2012—Michigan has outpaced most of the nation in terms of recent economic growth and many trends are headed in the right direction, but its performance on most key indicators fall short of being a Top Ten state leaving its long-term recovery still uncertain, according to an economic benchmarking report released today by Business Leaders for Michigan (BLM).

The report continues to build on BLM’s extensive, fact-based research into state-level performance trends.  BLM’s Michigan Turnaround Plan is developed using this benchmarking analysis. 

“Our recovery is moving faster than in most states, but we also had much further to climb,” said Jim Nicholson, President & CEO, PVS Chemicals Inc. and BLM Chair. “We’ve had some successes, particularly in the areas of responsibly managing our state finances and creating a more competitive business tax environment.  The Governor, legislature and many business and community leaders deserve credit for the work of the past few years.  What matters now is that we build on those successes and move even more rapidly toward lasting economic growth.”

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