MARQUETTE, Mich. (WJMN) – A statewide tour began in Marquette on Friday. The goal was to meet with local business, workforce and community investment leaders to discuss ways to achieve the goals laid out in Governor Whitmer’s recently announced MI New Economy plan.
We spoke with Susan Corbin, Director of Michigan Department of Labor and Economic Opportunity (LEO), who said the goal is to listen and learn the best ways to spend Federal dollars through the American Rescue Plan (ARP).
“The Governor has developed a plan where we can grow the middle class, how we can support our small businesses that we know were disproportionately impacted during the public health crisis and really focus on our communities,” said Corbin.
Business leaders from Sault Ste. Marie in the east over to Ironwood in the west were in attendance on Friday. They included leaders of economic development to universities and some of the U.P.’s larger employers.
“We know that the natural resources that are here in the U.P. are a real attraction for those industries that are going to expand their outdoor manufacturing. So we want to make sure we capitalize and support the U.P. with all of that activity.” Corbin continued, “We’re here to listen. We know in Lansing we can’t be in the U.P. every day. We don’t have the answers. And we need to listen to people from the U.P. about how these resources need to be used.”
Last month, Governor Whitmer detailed her economic agenda, including the unveiling of the three pillars of her $2.1 billion MI New Economy plan.
Pillar 1: Grow the Middle Class – No economic vision for the state can be complete if it doesn’t focus on eliminating poverty and lifting families into the middle class.
- Goal: 60% of adults with a postsecondary credential by 2030
- Goal: Lift 100,000 families out of working poverty during the next five years (FY22-FY26)
- Goal: Provide access to low or no cost childcare for 150,000 more families by 2024
Pillar 2: Support Small Business – To supplement the great economic development work our state already does, Michigan needs a focus on creating and growing more Main Street businesses.
- Goal: Top 10 state for small business job growth and revenue growth from 2022 to 2026
- Goal: Top 10 state for household income growth during the next five years (FY22-FY26)
- Goal: Top 10 state for growth in venture capital funding over the next five years (2022-2026)
Pillar 3: Build Strong Communities – Michigan’s residents deserve to live in vibrant communities with the kinds of services and amenities associated with a high standard of living.
- Goal: 100% access to high-speed internet and 95% adoption by households during the next five years, while continually investing in higher quality access (FY22-FY26)
- Goal: 75,000 new or rehabilitated housing units in five years (FY22-FY26)
Additional stops of the MI New Economy Tour are being planned for many communities across Michigan.