There was a time when people from all over the world moved their families to Michigan in search of economic opportunity. Michiganders created the middle-class and put the world on wheels. Michigan was synonymous with innovation. We built great things. We offered a quality of life that was second to none.
That’s not reality for a lot of Michiganders today. Many Michigan families are struggling to get by. We have an economy of Haves and Have-Nots. According to the United Way’s 2017 Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed (ALICE) Report, 40 percent of Michiganders struggle to pay for basic necessities. Things like housing, food, transportation and health care are should be guarantees to every Michigander across the state, but they aren’t. Parents tell me all the time about their kids who move out of state, looking for opportunity elsewhere. Michigan’s median income is more than $5,000 below the national average, our roads are crumbling, almost 100 communities lack access to clean, drinkable water, and nearly 40 percent of our population is not working.
Michigan’s “economic comeback” eludes a lot of small business owners, the working class, women, and people of color. At the same time, we are short on the skilled workforce that was once our hallmark. We must get more Michiganders on the path to high-wage skills, because a concentration of talent benefits us all. Michigan must target, grow, and recruit the strongest, fastest growing industries of the future and offer the talent, place, education and infrastructure necessary to compete with the world.
That’s why this jobs plan focuses on raising household incomes by expanding education and skills training, investing in our infrastructure, aggressively pursuing economic development and supporting small business growth so that everyone has a path to a good job and a secure future. It’s not a real comeback until everyone feels it. Every Michigander deserves a path to a high-wage skill, economic opportunity and an income that supports their family.
My plan for improving Michigan’s economy and creating high-paying jobs focuses on:
- High-Wage Skills
- Closing the Economic Inequity Gap
- Unleashing Michigan’s Economic Development Potential
- Helping Small Businesses Compete