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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.



Business Leaders for Michigan’s statement on the FY 2017 Executive Budget Recommendation

DETROIT, Mich., February 10, 2016 – Business Leaders for Michigan (BLM), the state’s business roundtable, released a statement on Governor Rick Snyder’s Executive Budget recommendation.

“The Governor’s budget recommendation aligns with BLM’s policy priorities in that it invests in infrastructure and talent which are critical to Michigan’s long-term economic success,” said Doug Rothwell, President and CEO, Business Leaders for Michigan. “BLM has long advocated for prioritizing state investment in these key areas.” 

“We are particularly pleased with the increased support for job training and Michigan’s higher education institutions.  At a time when education and training beyond high school are more important than ever, this budget makes higher education a high priority. The investment in infrastructure is an important step forward, and we urge a comprehensive strategy and funding plan be adopted to address the state’s long-term infrastructure needs.”

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Michigan Governor's 2017 budgetDownload the statement. 


Business Leaders for Michigan Rolls out 2016 Economic, Policy Agenda

Unveils Plan for “Building a New Michigan”

DETROIT, Mich. —Business Leaders for Michigan (BLM) today unveiled its agenda for continuing Michigan’s progress toward more jobs, higher incomes, and a healthy economy.

The organization’s Building a New Michigan plan is a fact-based roadmap to help Michigan become a “Top Ten” economic competitor by 2020.  It is the successor to BLM’s Michigan Turnaround Plan (MTP), which was designed to restart economic growth after the Great Recession.

“Thanks to the support of the public, policy makers, business and community leaders, much of the MTP has been accomplished, with positive results—new jobs, higher incomes and a growing population. Now that we’ve shored up our economic foundation, it’s time for us to get building,” said Patrick Doyle, Domino’s President & CEO and BLM Board Chair.

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BUSINESS LEADERS QUARTERLY ECONOMIC FORECAST:Slower near & long-term growth; better in Michigan than nation

DETROIT, Mich., January 26, 2016 – The latest quarterly survey of  Business Leaders for Michigan (BLM) members, the state’s business roundtable, forecasts that  the Michigan and U.S. economies will generate very slow growth over the short and long term.  They are slightly more optimistic about Michigan’s economy in long-term.

“Michigan’s largest job providers believe that both the Michigan and U.S. economies will experience very little growth over the next six months, but are more optimistic about Michigan’s growth over the next eighteen months than they are the rest of the nation,” said Doug Rothwell, BLM President & CEO. “Our surveys began forecasting the slow-down in growth we are just beginning to experience today.  This survey indicates slow growth will be with us for the next year or so.”

Highlights of the survey of Business Leaders for Michigan include:

  • Next six months:  Most business leaders believe the Michigan and U. S. economies will remain the same over the next six months (61% and 80%, respectively) with some believing there will be modest growth (34% and 10%, respectively). This is slightly better than the October 2015 survey.

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MI Universities Show Compelling Growth 

Most Increase Key Outcomes and Perform Better Than National Peers

DETROIT, Mich. — Michigan’s public universities are showing impressive gains, according to the 2015 update of Business Leaders for Michigan’s Performance Tracker for Public Universities. 

Business Leaders for Michigan (BLM) has identified higher education as both critical to producing the talent Michigan needs and a key economic sector that has the potential to build a New Michigan economy. 

“Four out of every five Michigan public universities are increasing their enrollments,” said Doug Rothwell, President and CEO of Business Leaders for Michigan. “In the short term, this translates into more students here in our state boosting economic activity and generating new research. Over the long haul, however, higher enrollment means increased investment and potentially higher population, entrepreneurship, and opportunities for statewide economic advancement.” 

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When it Comes to Talent, Michigan Needs More... of Everything


Michigan Higher Education Partnership Council to Help Boost Educational Attainment

December 10, 2015, LANSING, MI  — A group of public, private and postsecondary institutions are joining forces to increase educational attainment across Michigan.

The “Keep Learning, Michigan. For All It’s Worth.” campaign launches this week, with a website and social media messages aimed at heightening awareness of the need for teens and adults to continue their education and training beyond high school. These are the first elements of a comprehensive media campaign planned for launch in 2016. The campaign is spearheaded by the Michigan Higher Education Partnership Council.

“We know that within the next five years, 70 percent of Michigan jobs are going to require more than a high school diploma,” said Doug Rothwell, President & CEO of Business Leaders for Michigan, which is part of the Council. “Currently, however, only 46 percent of state residents currently have the degrees and certificates they need to be successful.  We need to turn this around—and quickly—if we are going to be competitive as a state.”

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Michigan CEOs Review Economic Progress, Discuss Statewide Prosperity at Summit

State Must Boost Value if Growth Is to Continue 

DETROIT, Mich., November 12, 2015 — Michigan’s economic future is threatened by a lack of cohesion behind a common strategy for growing the economy and prioritizing investments in areas that will improve the state’s overall competitiveness such as education and training beyond high school, innovation and assets and economic development according to panelists presenting at today’s CEO summit hosted by Business Leaders for Michigan (BLM) in Detroit. 

An audience of 500 senior leaders from the fields of business, policy, education and advocacy gathered at the Westin Book Cadillac for updates and discussion related to Michigan’s economic growth.   

“Thanks to major policy changes since 2009, Michigan’s economy has experienced a surge of growth that has outpaced nearly all other U.S. states,” said Doug Rothwell, president and CEO of Business Leaders for Michigan. “However, our progress in absolute terms is still very low compared to our peers. If we want to attract fresh talent and new employers, we need to make absolutely sure the value Michigan offers is worth the cost of locating here.” 

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Business Leaders for Michigan issues statement in response to action on the road funding package 

DETROIT, Mich., Nov. 3, 2015  – Business Leaders for Michigan (BLM), the state’s business roundtable, today issued the following statement in response to the passage of the road funding package.

“This road funding package provides substantial funding toward fixing our roads. While it doesn't meet all of our objectives for funding transportation – it meets many of them,” said Doug Rothwell, BLM President and CEO. “Moving forward, we will monitor the state’s finances to ensure the goals of this multi-year funding plan are met and continue to encourage the state to prioritize investments to make college more affordable and to support job training and economic development as these are also critical priorities that are important to growing jobs and our economy.”


Download the statement


BLM 3Q Forecast: Short-term growth slightly positive, long-term growth flat

DETROIT, Mich., Oct 29, 2015 – According to a survey conducted by Business Leaders for Michigan (BLM), the state’s business roundtable, most business leaders forecast the Michigan and U.S. economies will grow modestly over the next six months, followed by flat growth over the next 18 months.

“The majority of Michigan’s largest job providers believe that the state’s economy will remain stronger than the nation’s over the next eighteen months, but growth will slow in both markets,” said Doug Rothwell, BLM President & CEO. “The economic recovery is entering its seventh year – historically a long time for expansions. Growth is slowing, but America remains a bright spot in the world economy and Michigan will likely out-perform the nation over the next eighteen months.” 

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Business Leaders for Michigan and Michigan Municipal League issue joint statement on road funding proposals 

DETROIT, MI, Oct. 20, 2015—Business Leaders for Michigan, the state’s business roundtable representing 80 of the largest employers, and the Michigan Municipal League, which represents Michigan cities, villages and urban townships as well as several affiliate organizations, today jointly issued the following statement in response to the road funding proposals being discussed by the Michigan Legislature:

“We’ve been talking about the need to invest new dollars in Michigan’s infrastructure for four years. There have been multiple plans and several 'close calls' without a solution. We are at that point again," said Doug Rothwell, President and CEO of Business Leaders for Michigan.

The Governor and legislative leaders agreed in principle to a solution that raises at least $800 million in new revenue, while using no more than $400 million in existing funds, to fix our crumbling roads, repair our deteriorating bridges, and invest in transit. Experts agree this total of $1.2 billion is the minimum level of investment needed to fix our transportation network. Business Leaders for Michigan and the Michigan Municipal League support this solution, and we support the call by Senate Majority Leader Arlan Meekhof for a conference committee vote on this solution, Rothwell said.

“Some are advocating for a solution that uses even more General Fund dollars for roads. We have serious concerns about any proposal that relies on using more than $400 million in General Fund revenues," Rothwell said. "Using the General Fund beyond that level isn’t sustainable and puts other critical needs at risk – ranging from potential Medicaid shortfalls and less money for community services to higher tuition bills and weaker efforts to attract jobs. These priorities are just as important as fixing potholes.”

Using general fund dollars also could have a negative impact on essential services in local communities, said Dan Gilmartin, Executive Director and CEO of the Michigan Municipal League.

“Building and maintaining a transportation network that moves both people and goods is one of government’s most basic functions and responsibilities. Taxpayers expect government to do this, but not at the expense of other critical services," Gilmartin said. "We believe the fairest solution is one that relies on the users of our system to pay for its upkeep and repair – gasoline taxes, registration fees or similar revenue sources. Michigan needs this problem solved once and for all--and solved the right way.”

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Business Leaders for Michigan Takes Michigan Ambassador Program to Silicon Valley

Michigan’s turnaround to be highlighted at The Commonwealth Club

San Francisco, October 1, 2015 — Business Leaders for Michigan (BLM), the state's business roundtable, today brings the Michigan Ambassador Program to the heart of San Francisco. State execs meet with local leaders that have Michigan ties, sharing news of Michigan’s comeback and growth opportunities that exist in the state's emerging mobility industry.

“In just a few short years, Michigan has transformed itself and its business climate,” said Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder. “The steps Michigan has taken to become more competitive have paid off.  Our tax climate has flipped from one of the nation’s worst to one of the best; Michigan is a national leader in terms of R&D production and talent; and Michigan’s per capita GDP, per capita income and employment have all grown faster than the national average and are reaffirming our state’s quality of life. Simply put, we’re now a top place nationally to live, work, do business, and play.”

Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder and Bill Ford, Executive Chairman of the Ford Motor Company, kick off the day with an hour-long discussion at The Commonwealth Club of California, the nation’s oldest and largest public affairs forum. Their presentation focuses on a variety of economic issues including growing the talent pipeline, the value of public/private partnerships, the country’s biggest growth opportunities, and how new mobility solutions will change the auto industry and cities alike.


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