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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
Feb172015

No Time to Lose 

The 2015 legislative session is already underway, and it's clear that state lawmakers and the Governor have a busy year planned. So do we.

There's no time to lose when it comes to implementing The Michigan Turnaround Plan. In fact, we must act more aggressively than ever to boost jobs and incomes. We need to invest in the assets that matter most, our transportation and higher education infrastructure, and take steps to cement the gains we've made so far.

BLM is a strong supporter of this May's road funding ballot proposal. We're also pushing hard for increased funding for job training and the state's colleges and universities. We applaud the Governor's 2016 budget recommendation because it recognizes the importance of these things in boosting incomes and growing jobs. Our agenda also includes ongoing work to ensure support for the growth of New Michigan industries like life sciences, mobility, engineering, natural resources, and logistics. We are aggressively working to help grow the things that matter most-transforming Michigan into a center for innovation and an aspirational destination for all.

It's going to be an exciting year as Michigan takes more steps toward its future as a Top Ten state. 

Thursday
Feb122015

BLM: Higher Ed Critical to Growing MI’s Economy

Colleges & Universities Well-Positioned to Help MI Become a Top Ten State 

LANSING, Mich.—Michigan’s higher education institutions must play a more central role if the state is to achieve an economic transformation, according to a report released today by Business Leaders for Michigan (BLM).

“As our overall economy becomes more knowledge-based, we’re seeing a growing demand for both more skilled and highly-educated workers and a greater reliance on higher education to drive innovation,” said Doug Rothwell, BLM President & CEO. “Higher education is one of the state’s most critical assets for moving Michigan forward.  We need to ensure affordability and access, strengthen outcomes and employment transitions, and grow overall economic impact.”

BLM’s report, which was developed in collaboration with higher education experts from across Michigan and the U.S., as well as business, economic, and public policy leaders, clearly shows a correlation between educational attainment and per capita income. 

“Seventy percent of Michigan jobs in 2020 will require so

Click to read more ...

Wednesday
Feb112015

Business Leaders for Michigan’s statement on the FY 2016 Executive Budget Recommendation

LANSING, MI- Business Leaders for Michigan (BLM), the state’s business roundtable, today applauded Governor Rick Snyder’s Executive Budget recommendation, particularly the increased support for technical skills training and Michigan’s higher education institutions.

Doug Rothwell, BLM President & CEO said: “A survey conducted by Business Leaders for Michigan showed that over half of all small, medium, and large business are having difficulty finding talent with the right skills to fill available jobs. This isn’t surprising considering Michigan ranks only 26th in technical credentials per 100,000 of the working age population. We strongly support the Governor’s recommendation for an increase in appropriations for technical job training and education to help fill these high-demand, high wage occupations.

“We also know that there is a strong correlation between more education and higher incomes. Today, Michigan ranks in the bottom 20 states for both educational attainment and personal income. To help raise both, we need to make college education more affordable. The Governor’s 2016 proposed budget marks the fourth consecutive year of increased appropriations tied to performance standards. We applaud the Governor for continuing to make college affordability a priority.”

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.