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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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Entries in Higher Education (10)

Wednesday
Jul022014

State Policy Leaders Make College More Affordable to Grow Jobs

Higher education is a critical element to fueling Michigan’s economy.  Universities account for a growing share of the research and development conducted in the state that fuels the growth of start-up companies and attracts new businesses.  Today, Michigan’s public universities account for over 6% of the total state economy and have the potential to create nearly 40,000 additional jobs in Michigan in the next decade. Higher learning also boosts lifetime earning potential. Median wages for Michigan workers with a bachelor’s degree are over twice as high as those with only a high school diploma. Further, they are far less likely to be unemployed.

Our leaders in Lansing understand that a strong higher education sector is crucial for a healthy state economy.  For the third straight year, Governor Rick Snyder proposed—and the state Legislature enacted—increased state aid to universities.  For FY 2015, universities received the largest single-year increase in more than a decade, and funding has increased 11 percent over FY 2012 levels – more than most other states. 

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Wednesday
Jun112014

Business Leaders for Michigan Applauds Legislature’s action on FY 2015 University Budget

Provides most significant investment in higher education in over a decade, helps make college affordable

DETROIT, Mich. June 11, 2014 —Business Leaders for Michigan (BLM), the state’s business roundtable, strongly applauded today final passage of the Fiscal Year 2015 budget for the state’s public universities. 

The budget provides a 5.9% increase for Michigan’s 15 public universities. Half of the funding is based on performance measures that reward schools for producing graduates to fill Michigan jobs and to control costs and increase affordability for Michigan students. In addition the budget provides a 5.9% increase for state programs to help students at private colleges pay for their tuition. 

Doug Rothwell, BLM President & CEO, explained the importance of the action, “Increasing funding for our public universities and tying that funding to affordability and performance has been a foundation of our Michigan Turnaround Plan and is critical to making Michigan a top ten state for jobs, personal income, and a healthy economy. In the next 10 years and beyond, Michigan will need more workers with education and training beyond high school to fill job demand. This budget will help make college more affordable so that Michigan students can get the skills necessary to fill those jobs.” 

Mr. Rothwell praised the Governor and legislative leaders for adopting a budget that marks the most significant investment in higher education in a decade. “As Michigan has begun to turn around and its economic condition has improved, Governor Snyder has made reinvesting in higher education a priority. In the legislature, Senator Tonya Schuitmaker and Representative Al Pscholka have been staunch advocates for increasing state support and making college more affordable for Michigan families. They all deserve tremendous credit for reversing a decade-long trend of disinvestment in one of our state’s most important resources.” 

“We look forward to continuing to work with Governor Snyder, our legislative leaders, and our state universities to produce the graduates we need and to make college even more affordable.”

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Wednesday
Apr092014

Making College More Affordable

Recently, the House and Senate Higher Education Appropriations subcommittees passed their budget recommendations for next year, tying funding to university performance and tuition cost restraint. We want to thank our legislative leaders for their commitment to make college more affordable for Michigan families

The Senate Higher Education Appropriations Subcommittee, chaired by Senator Tonya Schuitmaker, agreed with the Executive Budget recommendation and approved a funding increase of 6.1%. In a letter, Senate Majority Leader Randy Richardville expressed his strong belief that this investment is critical for our state's future prosperity. While the House recommendation was lower than the Executive recommendation, Chairman Al Pscholka and Majority Vice Chair John Walsh both indicated that this was the first step in the process and there was more work to be done.

BLM's view: As the budget process moves forward, we are hopeful that the House and Senate will agree to fund our public universities at least at the level in the Executive Recommendation. We need a strong higher ed system to help strengthen Michigan's workforce -- for both young high school graduates and workers in need of retraining and development. The only surefire way of keeping higher ed affordable for everyone is to ensure strong public support. Please contact your state legislators and urge them to support the Governor's budget recommendation for our public universities.   

Friday
Mar072014

Accelerating Job Growth via Investments in Higher Ed

How do we keep our recent job growth success going?  One way is by giving more kids a chance to earn technical or college degrees.  All the data says we'll need more workers with an education beyond high school in the years ahead and that they will make and work more over their careers than those with just a high school degree.

But in Michigan, we've made it harder for kids to get the education they need.  We went from being a Top Ten to a Bottom Ten state for college affordability over the past decade due to a dramatic decline in state support.  The result was a cost shift to students and parents at a time when they could least afford it. 

The state began modestly reinvesting in college education the past two years.  This year, Governor Snyder proposed a 6% increase that would keep tuition at or below the rate of inflation.  BLM strongly supports the Governor's proposal and urges you to call your legislator and ask them to do the same.  Nothing could better help us fill the jobs of the future.

 Richardville Support for Higher Ed 03.18.14

Wednesday
Feb122014

Investing to Accelerate Michigan's Growth

The Michigan Turnaround Plan recognizes the importance of making investments to grow the economy, but also the need to prioritize them on growing talent and building infrastructure while paying down debt.  The Governor's FY15 Budget Recommendation will give more kids a chance to start school ready to learn, increase college affordability, provide more workers the technical training they need, fix more of our roads and reduce future fiscal liabilities.

The Executive Recommendation recognizes that MI needs more workers with an education beyond high school than ever before by strategically investing in higher education. It proposes increasing funding for our colleges and universities by $8.9 million and $80.3 million, respectively - tied to performance measures, including controlling college costs.  The additional dollars would be allocated based on how well each meets rigorous performance metrics. 
 
BLM's view: The Executive Recommendation is a sound budget proposal that reflects how Top Ten states prioritize state spending to grow the economy.  We urge the Legislature to support it as it not only serves our students and families well but also ensures MI has the future talent it needs.