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Business Leaders for Michigan rollout "Building a New Michigan" plan


Four years ago, Business Leaders for Michigan unveiled its Michigan Turnaround Plan. The idea was to formulate a strategy jump starting the Michigan economy following the Great Recession. Four years later, BLM claims there’s been improvement and now it’s time to move the state to higher economic strata. It wants to position the state to a “Top Ten” economic power by the year 2020. How does it plan to get there?

“If you look back we were probably 50 out of 50 states on most measures. Today, we’re about average. Maybe a little below average than most.”

New jobs, higher income, population growth, tax reform and the state balancing its budget are all improvements. But Business leaders for Michigan CEO Doug Rothwell is expecting greater results in the coming years rolling out BLM’s “Building a New Michigan” plan with a goal to make the state a “Top Ten” economic competitor by the year 2020. It’s believed focusing on three areas will elevate the state to “Top Ten” status; Compete, Invest and Grow.

The competition begins with improving the economic environment.

“One of the things that we’re looking at is what are all the unfunded liabilities, or debt, that we have at the state and local level the next five, 10, 20 years? We need to start chipping away at and paying down. We’ve made some progress, about a third of our total debt is paid down in the last five or so years but not sure we know all that is out there and what more needs to be taken care of. The second pillar of our strategy is investing and we think that there are two areas that really ought to be the priorities; infrastructure and talent, education.”

The “Building a New Michigan” plan says growth will come from leveraging assets; its engineering talent, geographic location, higher ed system, natural resources, automotive industry and the state’s health and medical expertise.

Patrick Center, WGVU News.

Patrick joined WGVU Public Media in December, 2008 after eight years of investigative reporting at Grand Rapids' WOOD-TV8 and three years at WYTV News Channel 33 in Youngstown, Ohio. As News and Public Affairs Director, Patrick manages our daily radio news operation and public interest television programming. An award-winning reporter, Patrick has won multiple Michigan Associated Press Best Reporter/Anchor awards and is a three-time Academy of Television Arts & Sciences EMMY Award winner with 14 nominations.