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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.

 

Monday
Apr142014

Renaissance Expands Reach with Investment in Growth Stage Fund Plymouth Venture Partners III

ANN ARBOR, Mich., April 14, 2014 – Renaissance Venture Capital Fund, the venture capital fund-of-funds created by some of Michigan’s most important organizations, announced today that it has made an investment in Ann Arbor-based venture capital fund Plymouth Venture Partners III, an innovative fund that invests in growth stage companies – a vital class of businesses often underserved by other investors and lenders.

“Several years ago, Plymouth Ventures developed a strategy to provide growth funding to promising Midwest companies that had few alternatives and that were stymied in their progression because of the lack of available capital,” said Chris Rizik, CEO of the Renaissance Fund. “While these are solid, revenue producing, high potential companies, the lack of available financing capital limited their growth, and addressing it was a good opportunity for smart investors like the team at Plymouth. We are pleased to now be part of Plymouth’s newest fund and to play a part in its development into one of the Midwest’s top growth investors.   We believe that Plymouth will continue to successfully fill an important need for our region and help Michigan companies grow.”

“We are excited to have Renaissance Venture Capital Fund as our newest investor,” said Mark Horne, Chief Executive Officer of Plymouth Ventures. “Renaissance is an important source of capital, but perhaps more important is the strategic network it brings, with the ability to connect venture capital and growth stage companies to many of Michigan’s biggest corporations. We believe this relationship will bring new opportunities to us and the companies in our portfolio.”

Plymouth Venture Partners III is the 16th investment made by the Renaissance Venture Capital Fund.

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Thursday
Apr032014

2014 Michigan Turnaround Plan

BLM rolls out new Michigan Turnaround Plan and public awareness campaign

DETROIT, Mich., April 3, 2014 — Five years after the launch of its strategy for growing Michigan’s economy, Business Leaders for Michigan (BLM) today unveiled plans for continuing the state’s progress toward more jobs, higher incomes, and a healthy economy.

"About one-third of the original Michigan Turnaround Plan has been accomplished, with impressive results,” said Jeff M. Fettig, Chair, Board of Directors, Business Leaders for Michigan and Chairman & CEO, Whirlpool Corporation. “Michigan’s made significant gains in employment and income growth, and our GDP and population are coming back up too.  But our competitors in the U.S. and across the world aren’t standing still.  We’ve got to pivot, refresh, and realign behind an updated strategy that reflects current realities.”

The updated Michigan Turnaround Plan (MTP) is a fact-based roadmap to help Michigan become a Top Ten economic competitor.  First released in 2009, the MTP was developed by the state’s top business and education leaders.

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Monday
Mar102014

In 2012, “New Michigan” jobs grew twice as fast as the state as a whole

DETROIT, Mich., March 10, 2014 — Strategies for accelerating the state’s economic transformation took center stage in East Lansing today, as nearly 500 business and policy executives came together to discuss ways to build a New Michigan economy. 

Hosted by Business Leaders for Michigan (BLM), the second annual leadership summit offered a forum for participants to hear about the state’s recent progress in six areas identified in BLM’s New Michigan strategy as having the greatest potential to grow good jobs quickly and a sustainable economy.  A detailed report providing updates was also released today. 

“We are seeing excellent progress in these New Michigan opportunity areas; in fact, they are growing jobs at twice the rate of the state as a whole,” said Doug Rothwell, BLM President and CEO. “While we are seeing positive gains, it’s crucial to put an even greater focus on these areas. Properly leveraging our strongest assets will accelerate growth in our state, grow jobs and earnings and create an economy that is less susceptible to economic downturns.”

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Tuesday
Feb182014

Business Leaders Forecast: MI and U.S. Economies Expected to Grow in Short and Long Term

The state’s largest employers add jobs and invest in Michigan in 2013

DETROIT, Mich., February 18, 2013 – Business Leaders for Michigan (BLM), the state’s business roundtable, expects the Michigan and U.S. economies to both grow in the next 6 and 18 months and expects Michigan’s economy to continue to grow faster than the U.S. economy.

“The state’s largest job providers continue to believe Michigan will out-perform the national economy over the next year and a half,” said Doug Rothwell, President & CEO.  “Optimism about the economy rose sharply in the last quarter due partly to the resolution of federal budget and debt ceiling negotiations and strong year-end financial reports from major Michigan employers.” 

Highlights of the survey of Business Leaders for Michigan include:

  • Sixty four percent of business leaders believe Michigan’s economy will grow and none believe it will get worse while only 51% forecast the U.S. economy will grow the next six months.  

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Wednesday
Feb052014

Business Leaders for Michigan applauds Governor Snyder's 2015 budget recommendation

Supports investment strategy; urges consensus on long-term transportation funding solution

DETROIT, Mich., February 5, 2014 – “The Governor’s budget reflects how Top Ten states prioritize state spending to grow the economy," said Doug Rothwell, President and CEO, Business Leaders for Michigan. “In our view, state investments should be prioritized in areas that will accelerate the growth of our state such as in education and infrastructure, while paying down debt.  The Governor’s budget makes significant investments expanding pre-school education, implementing strong K12 academic standards and assessments, and increasing college affordability – actions that will ensure Michigan has the future talent it needs. 

“This budget marks the third consecutive year with an increase in funding for our colleges and universities tied to performance measures, including controlling college costs. We applaud the Governor for proposing this strategic reinvestment in our higher education institutions. While we understand the difficulty in reaching a legislative consensus on road funding and support the Governor’s request for additional one-time repair monies, it does not replace the need for additional long-term funding.  We also support continued investments to the Budget Stabilization Fund and other efforts that encourage regions in our state to work together to deliver services efficiently and effectively.”

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Download the press release. 

Tuesday
Jan212014

Podcast: Doug Rothwell on Michigan's Big Show discussing the 2014 State of the State address

In a radio interview on Michigan's Big Show with Michael Patrick Shiels, BLM President & CEO Doug Rothwell gives his reactions to the 2014 State of the State address, touching on preschool and higher education, immigration and the economy. 

Click here to listen to the podcast. 

Tuesday
Jan212014

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

URC comes in second in Innovation Power Ranking measuring R&D spending, commercialization and talent 

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.

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Thursday
Jan162014

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.”

  Download the release. 

Wednesday
Dec112013

Michigan Poised to be Global Center for Mobility

Business Leaders for Michigan unveils strategy to grow auto industry potential, add 100,000 new jobs

DETROIT, Mich., December 11, 2013— Michigan has the potential to grow up to 100,000 new jobs in the state’s important automotive sector by becoming a center of excellence in advanced powertrain, lightweight and smart/connected transportation technologies. That’s according to a strategy advanced today by Business Leaders for Michigan (BLM), the state’s business roundtable dedicated to making Michigan a Top Ten State for jobs, personal income and a healthy economy.

The BLM plan was developed with a coalition of top industry experts, the Center for Automotive Research and McKinsey & Company. The plan positions Michigan for long-term growth in the auto sector as it continues to transition to an increasingly advanced technology-based sector.  It is one of six strategies BLM is developing as part of its Michigan Turnaround Plan.

“The automotive industry is fast becoming a mobility industry,” said Bill Ford, Executive Chairman of Ford Motor Company and chair of BLM’s mobility initiative.  “While Michigan already is the automotive leader, we need to take actions now to ensure that we are the leader of the emerging mobility industry.”

Mobility refers to products associated with transporting people and goods, as well as sophisticated connectivity technology in vehicles to assist drivers with navigation, parking, road conditions and safety.  Mobility also refers to multi-modal and intermodal solutions that integrate personal vehicles with public transit and reduce congestion and emissions. Michigan’s advantage in the mobility arena is rooted in the state’s leadership on R&D, production and supply companies that operate here. The automotive industry has the highest jobs multipliers of any sector of the Michigan economy.

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Sunday
Dec012013

Designing Michigan’s Economic Future

BLM Promotes Agenda to Make Michigan a “Global Engineering Village”

DETROIT, Mich., December 2, 2013 —Michigan can capitalize on its engineering strengths to become a leader in the knowledge economy of tomorrow, according to recommendations released today by Business Leaders for Michigan (BLM).

BLM convened top economic and industry leaders to develop a business agenda that capitalizes on Michigan’s strong engineering base, attracts and develops new engineering talent, and redefines the state’s economic identity.

“Michigan leads the nation in the number of engineers per capita, and has the output metrics and earnings power to support tremendous economic growth,” said Doug Rothwell, president and CEO of Business Leaders for Michigan. “We began with these strengths in mind, and reached out to key stakeholders to help develop a business plan capable of strengthening the state’s economy through this industry sector.”

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