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Media Center

Welcome to the Media Resource Center.  Here you'll find press releases, images, webcasts, postcasts and the latest news and information about Business Leaders for Michigan and its work.  Please consider bookmarking this page and return frequently for the most up-to-date information.

 

Wednesday
Jul012015

Business Leaders for Michigan issues statement in response to Senate road funding package

DETROIT, Mich., July 1, 2015  – Business Leaders for Michigan (BLM), the state’s business roundtable, today issued the following statement in response to the road funding package passed by the Michigan Senate.

“The Senate road funding plan is an improvement over the House package. By raising the state’s gas tax, it asks the users of our system to help ensure good quality road and bridge conditions,” said Doug Rothwell, BLM President and CEO.  “However, like the House plan, the Senate package redirects a significant percentage of income tax revenue from the General Fund to transportation. We remain seriously concerned about this shift and the potential negative impact it could have on other critical priorities that are important to growing jobs and our economy.”

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Download the statement. 

Wednesday
Jun102015

Business Leaders for Michigan issues statement in response to House Road Funding Package

DETROIT, Mich.  – Business Leaders for Michigan (BLM), the state’s business roundtable, today issued the following statement expressing its disappointment over the road funding package passed by the House of Representatives today.

“The House road funding plan is the wrong direction for Michigan,” said Doug Rothwell, BLM President and CEO.  “Michigan needs a permanent, long-term solution to increase road repair funding without raiding the General Fund and hurting other critical priorities that are important to our economy.  The revenue should come from the users of our roads and bridges and be sufficient to ensure good quality road and bridge conditions.  We look forward to working with the Senate on a solution that meets these thresholds.”

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Download the statement. 

Friday
May222015

BLM Poll & Policy Principles Outline Path Forward on MI Road Funding

Statewide Survey Shows Voters Ready to Fund Road Fixes

DETROIT, Mich., May 26, 2015 — Business Leaders for Michigan (BLM) today issued a set of principles and the results of a recent statewide public opinion poll that outline how Michigan’s roads and bridges should be fixed in light of the defeat of Proposal 1. 

The public opinion polling results show Michigan voters want the roads fixed—and they are willing to pay for the work— but policymakers need to shape a less complex proposal. More than half of survey respondents who voted no on Proposal 1 said they believed the initiative gave tax money away to too many other things.  The survey also revealed that nearly 80 percent of voters believe the state’s roads are worse than other states.

“Michigan voters know the roads are bad, and they are willing to fund the right solution for fixing them,” said BLM President & CEO Doug Rothwell.  “The message this survey sends to our state leaders is twofold—deal with this issue quickly, and don’t tie too many extra bells and whistles onto a funding package that should simply be about getting our roads and bridges in better shape.”

Click to read more ...

Wednesday
May062015

Business Leaders for Michigan issues statement in response to the defeat of Proposal 1

DETROIT, Mich.  – Business Leaders for Michigan (BLM), the state’s business roundtable, today issued the following statement expressing its disappointment over the defeat of Proposal 1 and the need for urgency in finding an alternative solution to fix Michigan’s crumbling transportation infrastructure system. 

Doug Rothwell, BLM President and CEO said, “We are disappointed that it didn’t pass.  Now the problem has become harder because the cost of fixing our roads goes up the longer we delay.  We believe the Governor and legislature should immediately begin the work to find a permanent, long-term solution to increase road repair funding without raiding the General Fund and hurting other critical priorities like job training and college affordability.  These steps might include increasing vehicle registration fees, increasing the gas tax, issuing a bond or other actions within the control of the legislature.  Losing another road repair season just puts us farther behind.”

Download the statement. 

 

Monday
Mar232015

Leveraging MI’s Most Valuable Assets

BLM New Michigan Summit leaders: “Opportunities are only meaningful if we act on them”

LANSING, Mich., March 26, 2015 — Nearly 500 Michigan business and policy leaders convened in  Lansing today to explore the state’s most promising economic growth opportunities.

Hosted by Business Leaders for Michigan (BLM), the third annual Building a New Michigan Leadership Summit offered projections, data, and strategies for accelerating Michigan’s economy. 

“Michigan has natural assets and strengths capable of driving long-term job, income and GDP growth,” said Doug Rothwell, BLM President and CEO. “But these opportunities are only meaningful if we act on them in smart, aggressive ways. We’re in a fast-paced global race for economic leadership. We must maximize every opportunity we have if we’re going to win.”

Rothwell highlighted his organization’s latest report on each of six key opportunity areas identified in the Michigan Turnaround Plan’s New Michigan strategy as having the best potential to create good paying jobs in the state.  “Michigan can be a global leader, but we have to aggressively build upon our strengths,” Rothwell said.  “As a Top Ten competitor, our state stands to gain 230,000 more jobs, $14,000 more in average annual earnings, and $36,500 more in per capita GDP. We can’t afford not to get serious about each of these opportunities.”

Click to read more ...

Thursday
Feb262015

MI Universities Outperforming U.S. Peers in Key Categories

Efforts to control costs and increase access continue

DETROIT, Mich., February 26, 2015  Performance data for each of Michigan’s 15 public universities, released online today by Business Leaders for Michigan, shows the state’s higher education sector is performing better than most peers in producing talent while working to control costs and increase access.

 The Michigan Performance Tracker for Public Universities reports on about 30 different metrics that measure productivity and efficiency, affordability and access, and economic impact. 

Visitors to the Performance Tracker can see exactly how much Michigan invests in its public universities compared to other states as well as how Michigan’s universities compare to peer universities in other states on graduation rates, degrees awarded in critical skills areas (including science, technology, engineering and math), and the cost of attendance. 

Data available in the dashboard shows that most Michigan universities receive less state appropriations but generally out-perform their national peers.

Click to read more ...

Monday
Feb232015

Business Leaders Economic Forecast: Optimism High for both MI and U.S. Economies in Short and Long Term

Plan more hiring and investment in Michigan this year

DETROIT, Mich., February 23, 2015 – Business Leaders for Michigan (BLM), the state’s business roundtable, projects that both the Michigan and U.S. economies will continue to grow through the next 6 to 18 months.  The forecast is reinforced by nearly half of the state’s largest employers projecting that they plan to increase hiring or make new investments in Michigan this year.  

“Michigan’s largest employers reported much stronger confidence in Michigan’s and the U.S. economy since the third quarter forecast,” said Doug Rothwell, BLM President and CEO.  “The national outlook has improved for a variety of reasons – lower energy prices, good job numbers and America’s relative economic strength compared to other regions.  In Michigan, the November election results had a positive impact on the future outlook.  What’s interesting is that this is the first time in nearly three years that the outlook for the national and state economies are nearly the same.”  

Highlights of the survey of Business Leaders for Michigan include: 

  • Sixty percent (60%) of business leaders believe both the Michigan and U.S. economies will grow in the short-term (the next six months).  None believe that either economy will be worse.

Click to read more ...

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. 

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.”


 Download the statement. 

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.