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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 Michigan (13)


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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Business Leaders for Michigan endorses Rick Snyder for Governor

MACKINAC ISLAND, Mich., May 29, 2014 – Today, the Business Leaders for Michigan’s Political Action Committee (PAC) announced its unanimous endorsement of Governor Rick Snyder in Michigan’s gubernatorial election in November. 

“Confidence is high from the business community that under the Governor’s leadership that Michigan is on the right path for a full recovery,” said Michael J. Jandernoa, Director, Perrigo and BLM PAC Co-Chair.  “The state is clearly turning around. Michigan’s fiscal house is in order, state long-term debt has been reduced, the burdensome Michigan Business Tax has been eliminated and our state is much more competitive.  The Governor has prioritized state investments in areas that will most help our economy grow, such as preschool education and higher education.” 

Indicating that the decision was based on his leadership on significant components of the Michigan Turnaround Plan, Cynthia J. Pasky, Founder, President & CEO, Strategic Staffing Solutions and BLM PAC member said, “Everything we do is measured against the Michigan Turnaround Plan, including our support for candidates for office. By that standard, this Governor has earned our strongest endorsement. From his work on Detroit’s bankruptcy to removing barriers to greater collaboration between local governments, he has demonstrated a pragmatic, results-oriented approach to governing.  He works collaboratively to identify solutions such as his recent work on finding options for fixing Michigan’s roads and infrastructure.” 

After careful consideration, Business Leaders for Michigan’s PAC made the endorsement of Governor Snyder based on his strong track record and input from PAC Board members. The PAC Board of Directors regularly meets to identify and support candidates and policies that support BLM’s public policy priorities and includes Michael J. Jandernoa, Co-Chair, Albert M. Berriz, McKinley CEO and BLM PAC Co-Chair, Cynthia Pasky and  William U. Parfet, Chairman, President & CEO, MPI Research.

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Michigan's University Research Corridor Makes Strong Showing among Eight Leading U.S. Research Clusters


LANSING, Mich. (Jan. 21, 2014) – Michigan’s University Research Corridor (URC) ranks high among eight university innovation clusters in a new measure that examines R&D spending, research commercialization and talent production, according to a new Economic Impact Report released today.

The URC – consisting of Michigan State University, the University of Michigan and Wayne State University – ranked second in the Innovation Power Ranking when compared to seven other major university research clusters in six states, including well-known hubs such as North Carolina’s Research Triangle Park, California’s Innovation Hubs and Massachusetts’ Route 128 Corridor.

The report, prepared by East Lansing, Mich.-based Anderson Economic Group (AEG), showed that the URC universities conferred 32,483 graduate and undergraduate degrees in 2012, more than any of the university innovation clusters the URC has benchmarked itself against since 2007. The URC also granted the highest number of medical degrees and second-highest number of high-demand degrees overall, saw its research and development spending rise to nearly $2.1 billion and continued to commercialize its research through patents and start-up companies.

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Business Leaders for Michigan Applauds Governor Snyder's Commitment to the State's Turnaround

DETROIT, Mich., January 16, 2014 — “Business Leaders for Michigan is pleased that Governor Snyder continues to focus on many of the priorities needed to continue Michigan’s turnaround,” said Doug Rothwell, President and CEO, Business Leaders for Michigan. “Our policy priorities for 2014 are continued sound fiscal management, fixing our roads, making college more affordable and accelerating job growth.

“We applaud the Governor’s effort to make Michigan even more welcoming to immigrants. Attracting immigrants with advanced academic degrees or entrepreneurial aspirations will help the state attract investment and create jobs.  Another critical step forward is reducing Michigan’s unemployment rate by giving more children the opportunity to get a community college or university degree.  To do that, we need to increase access and make college more affordable. We’re hopeful the Governor will recommend enough in his budget to stem the tide of rising tuition and look forward to working with the Administration and the Legislature to make Michigan a “top ten” state for jobs, personal income and a healthy economy.”




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.”

Download the full press release