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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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Renaissance Venture Capital Fund Invests. MI Businesses Grow.

Return on investment exceeds all expectations

DETROIT, Mich., June 17, 2013 – The Renaissance Venture Capital Fund (RCVF), Michigan’s innovative venture capital fund-of-funds, today announced that its initial investment of $16.7 million has led to a total venture capital investment of nearly $300 million in 20 new Michigan companies and the creation of hundreds of high-wage jobs, helping to make Michigan the fastest growing state in the nation for venture capital.  Since RVCF’s formation in 2008, venture capital has grown nationally a mere 3% while venture capital investment in new Michigan companies has grown 69%.

Smart investing and creating connectivity are the keys to the success of the RVCF, said CEO Chris Rizik, “We provide capital that increases entrepreneurial activity and we connect young innovative start-ups with Michigan’s established companies, to the benefit and financial success of both parties. We have a proven model for expanding innovation, growing jobs and earn solid returns for our investors.” RVCF invests in the venture capital funds around the US and then engages those funds with Michigan’s strong technology and entrepreneurial base, with the goal of increasing profitable investment in Michigan and creating new opportunities for Michiganders.

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Michigan Needs Immigration Reform

According to Lumina Foundation, Michigan is facing a talent shortage of over 900,000 workers with more than a high school degree by 2025. A failure to produce this number of educated workers will risk MI's ability to grow jobs and incomes as our businesses struggle to find talent.  We cannot produce enough talent to meet projected needs by increasing in-state enrollments alone.  To produce a dynamic and skilled labor force, and enable MI businesses to compete effectively in the global marketplace --we need immigration reform.  The absence of an immigration reform policy has hurt our economy by making it harder for our companies to find the talent they need to grow and create more jobs right here in Michigan. 

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Mackinac Policy Conference-Interview with Doug Rothwell 


World-Class Standards for Michigan Learners

This year, Michigan public schools began using the kind of high-quality content standards that our kids need to be competitive in the 21st century.  Used by 45 states, the Common Core State Standards specify what kids should be able to know and do at every grade level in reading, math and science, so they can be ready to advance when they graduate no matter whether they enter the workforce or continue their education.

We all want our children to succeed and for our state to flourish.  The fact is that good paying jobs are increasingly requiring more education and the jobs will go where educated workers can be found. Michigan needs the Common Core. The standards have been carefully researched and developed to ensure their rigor and relevance in a 21st-century knowledge economy.  After decades of shrinking incomes and population, Michigan is starting to rebound. To make our recovery permanent, we need to make sure our children have the knowledge and skills that employers need. 

With the Common Core in place, teachers and schools have a reliable yardstick for determining whether their learners are on track to keep pace with their peers across the globe. Michigan still gets to decide the curricula that should be taught and teachers get to decide how to teach.

The Common Core is essential to make sure every graduate in Michigan has been well prepared for the world of tomorrow. Business Leaders for Michigan joins with education leaders, research and advocacy groups like the Business Round Table, Detroit Regional Chamber, Education Trust-Midwest, and many others to support full and continuing implementation of the Common Core.

Our goal is to make Michigan a Top Ten state for job, economic and personal income growth. Whether it’s in traditional Michigan industry sectors like manufacturing and agriculture or growing ones like healthcare and technology, Michigan’s ability to grow economically will be driven by increases in productivity tied to talent and innovation – and our education system is a primary incubator of both. The Common Core State Standards will ensure that all Michigan kids have the academic knowledge and skills to succeed after high school and help create a bright economic future for Michigan.


BLM in Support of Common Core State Standards

Below you will find a letter to the Michigan Legislature from Business Leaders for Michigan indicating support of the Common Core State Standards.  The standards are being discussed by both chambers as they review the 2014 budget for the Michigan Department of Education. 

May 2, 2013

The Honorable Joseph Haveman                              The Honorable Roger Kahn
Chair, House Appropriations Committee                   Chair, Senate Appropriations Committee
P.O. Box 30014                                                     P.O. Box 30036
Lansing, MI 48909-7514                                          Lansing, MI 48909-7536


Dear Chairman Haveman and Chairman Kahn:

I am writing to express our organization’s strong support for implementing the Common Core State Standards. The standards are not a curriculum – they only specify what students should know and be able to do in each grade and by the end of high school to be career and college ready. 

 The data overwhelmingly demonstrates the need for and benefit of a quality education:

  • Between now and 2018, 80% of the highest-paying, most in-demand jobs in Michigan will require an Associate’s degree or higher (Michigan Labor Market Information, Hot 50 Jobs);
  • By 2025, Michigan will need 900,000 more workers with an Associate’s degree or higher to fill available jobs (Lumina Foundation); and,
  • Those with higher levels of education earn more and are less likely to be unemployed (Bureau of Labor Statistics).

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